dear sisyphus,

driving

a rare moment’s meditation on the slow road to school and back. before my pal sisyphus pulled the latest from his bag of slick tricks.

yo sis,

forgive the familiarity, but it seems we’ve been on most-familiar terms in the last 24 hours, so it dawned on me that perhaps it wise to befriend you. for reasons that escape me, you seem to have barged in this ol’ house, with nary a knock at the door. just, oomph! blew right in, settled down alongside me, tried to see what havoc you and your up-and-down ways might wreak.

you, my sisyphean interruptor, you must have run out of folks to mess with, so you decided to mess with me. there’s the dinner you burned, the pants you nearly set on fire, and in your latest attempt at folly, you must have decided it would be oh-so-charming if, after staying up till past midnight with the kid whose homework would not end and whose headache wouldn’t stop pounding, you first made him miss the bus. and then, just as i was thinking how much i didn’t mind the morning drive through the woods to the schoolhouse, and how in fact it stitched a dose of meditative calm into my daily rush, you dawned on the big bright idea that it would be hilarious if, when the kid hauled his backpack out of the car at the schoolhouse curb, you tugged at the pencil bag, the one that carries the calculator he needs for the quiz he missed because his headache was so awful. you kept it in hiding, of course, you sly little rock-pusher, you waited till the car was almost home, and then, in a fit of devilishness, you poked the pencil bag’s edge out from under the seat, just far enough so that when i saw it, i could feel that wonderful sense of heart reeling to throat. that’s when i pulled over and texted said kid: “do you need pencil bag?” to which he replied: “of course. why don’t i have it?”

and that’s when i made like, well, you, mr. forth-and-back-forth-and-back-forever-and-ever-amen!

i spun the old wagon back in the direction from which it had just come, and emphatically hit the gas. oops. lest the cops pull me over right here and now, let’s say i “gentled the pedal” that ties to the gas, ever so delicately hightailing from 10 to 40 mph. and that’s when i looked down, and realized that today of all days was the rare and unusual morning when i figured i could head out the door in my jammies, the ones with the tie-dyed dots all over the pants, the ones no fool would wear into that high school where high-cheekboned kids stay up late into the night perusing the latest fashion trends.

so, yes, you pulled a good one there. you must have been doubled over in fits of giggles, as you watched me leap from the car, lope up the steps, and weave through the teen-aged throngs to get to the window where lost and left-behind items are left. far as i know, those adorable kiddies thought i was just another silver-haired mama, decked out in my retrofit tie-dyes, adding to the daily pile of forgetfulness.

and before this goes on much longer, before you decide it would be SO funny to, say, let a chipmunk romp through the house, or bathe the old cat in eau de skunk, i thought i’d dash off this dispatch, this plea for detente, and see if maybe just maybe we could sit down for tea, negotiate a truce.

i need no more tearful outbursts. i’ve had it with smoke-billowing appliances. all i want, mister one-step-forward-two-steps-back, is a calm rest of the day. no speeding tickets. no sprained ankles. no fire department banging down my front door.

in fact, i’ll sweeten the deal: you steer clear of my path for the day, just this one measly day, and i’ll shoulder your load to the top of the hill.

but you’re on your own after that, mr. deja-vu-all-over-again, when per eternal order of the undergods, that nasty old rock bobbles back to the starting line. and you find yourself right back where you were.

much like the drill i’ve come to know as my own. ever since you so rudely barged in.

has sisyphus visited your house of late?