There was something in my shoe. It was my left shoe, I could feel the bump--a foreign object--underneath my heel. You know, I felt it as soon as I put my shoe on this morning, but, well, I was already running late.
Of course, now I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry--I wish I had taken that extra thirty seconds to take my shoe back off and pull the foreign object out.
I guess that's the problem with running late. You lose sight of what's important and this single destination--whatever it is you might be running late for--becomes all-consuming.
Read the rest of the story after the break!
It was work, by the way. What I was late for.
It's so ridiculous now--at the time I was near panic over how late I was this morning. I'm a good employee--really, I am--but I'm as much a victim of circumstance as anybody else. A few more minutes later, or if I got stuck at that traffic light at 4th and Wade Blvd ... well, that was going to be my third strike.
Like I said, I was in a near panic. So there was something in my shoe? Not a big deal--I'd deal with it later, right? I needed every extra second to get to work on time.
If only I could've anticipated what would happen later.
My drive to work varies. Sometimes it'll take as little as fifteen minutes, other times as long as thirty. And because of the nature of the commute, I quickly forgot about the foreign object in my shoe.
You'd think that'd be a good thing, right?
When I finally arrived at the office I had exactly one minute and twenty-eight seconds to spare. Hopefully, just enough time to get through security, up three flights of stairs, and into my cubicle before my boss made his rounds.
It's been about thirteen hours since my rush up those stairs, but I suspect that was when it started to happen--that is, if it hadn't started already.
I had clicked my monitor on just as my boss walked by my cubicle. As he passed, I could smell the cologne he doused himself in every morning waft by.
He had a thing for our receptionist.
Our receptionist, Ted, isn't gay.
It's a little awkward.
My boss walked by and didn't say a word--which was generally the case for when I arrived on time. I let out a breath that I hadn't realized I was holding and my shoulders slumped forward.
The second-hand on the clock ticked past twelve. It was 9 am.
At that moment, all I could think of was the disaster I had just avoided. The relief I felt was quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of despair.
I had nine more hours of this god-forsaken office. Not exactly the most comforting thought on a Monday morning.
I was staring blankly at my computer monitor--I couldn't tell you what was on the screen if my life depended on it. My eyes were focused on nothing at all and my senses--my sense of smell, at least--was trying to blot out the aroma of my boss's cologne.
And then I felt a pinch on the heel of my left foot.
It stung like hell for all of a second and then subsided.
That was the beginning. The beginning of the end.
My instinct was to push away from my desk and yank my shoe off to get at whatever it was that had bit me ...
... but the world was slowing down around me. I looked at the second hand on the clock and it seemed to have stopped completely. Then it made a laborious haul across the face of the clock to settle on the next second mark.
I tried to move my hand from the computer mouse to the edge of the desk.
It was like the air around my hand had transformed into invisible molasses. I could feel my arm moving, but it was agonizingly slow.
My face was numb.
From the heel of my foot, I felt something worm its way up my leg from the inside. As it inched along underneath my skin, a stabbing pain followed it. My face had gone so numb, however, that I could show no sign of the pain, much less fear.
To an onlooker, I would have looked like I look ever morning: a cubicle zombie zoned out in front of his computer.
But the thing that was in my shoe--which was halfway up my leg now--clearly had different plans for me.