I was going to spend the next few hours at the house of someone I didn't know, with people I didn't know, listening to a musician I hadn't heard of, and I wouldn't get home until it was too late to really spend any time with my wife before going to bed so I could get up and go to work the next day. Nothing about it sounded good to me. I was tired and feeling low. The last thing I wanted to do was be sociable with strangers. I just wanted to go home and cozy up on my couch and feel sad. It was one of those days.
But instead I left work, looked up the address on my phone, and pointed my car toward the concert. After a drive that included approximately ten harrowing minutes on a dirt road so muddy and riddled with potholes that I was sure my wild veering and sloshing was going to land me in the ditch at every turn, I arrived at the house no more excited for the evening than I'd been when I left.
I followed a line of pink balloons up a long, very steep, winding driveway and tried to fit my car into a the mash of others, realizing instantly that the way these cars were parked, I wasn't going to be able to leave until everyone left. No showing my face and slipping out early. Awesome.
I bundled my coat around me, stepped out of the car, got my arm tangled in my seatbelt, and proceeded to dump out onto the driveway the entire contents of my purse, which basically consisted of a pile of crumpled receipts and to-do lists, one tube of lip gloss, about 187 coins, and two tampons thrown in for good measure.
A carful of people pulled in next to me just in time to witness the whole event and several of them jumped out, but I shooed them away saying I could get everything but thank you very much. I shoved the final slip of paper into my purse and grabbed a rogue quarter, fully intending to get back in my car and leave when I realized they'd blocked me in.
So that was that.
I turned toward the house and ran smack into an elderly man who had been in the car that had just pulled in.
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