January 23, 1995

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

I am compiling a list of ways that I’ve been thwarted today in order to prove, once and for all, that the world is conspiring against me.

Couldn’t get the steamer on Nannette’s espresso maker to work.  Cold cappuccino.

Went to Mills to check in at registrar’s office. They say I’m not cleared by Student Accounts and must go talk to them. Some mistake. I go over to Student Accounts and wait for about ten minutes in the wrong line. Give up, resolve to do other chores.

Go to computer lab to clean viruses off my diskettes. New computers cannot read the formatting on my diskettes and offer to erase them.

Go to library to look for book they don’t have.

Stop at ATM machine to deposit Grandma’s check. Have my usual difficulty getting purse out of shoulder bag, wallet out of purse, card out of wallet. Put everything away, fill out deposit envelope, realize I don’t know my account number, get everything out again, read account number off of check, copy onto deposit envelope. While putting card away umbrella gets tangled up with purse strap, purse flips over, wallet falls out. Smile at people in line. Reassemble.

Walk to health center. Go to the bathroom. Discover that my water bottle has been leaking inside my bag. Many things saturated, including half of the yellow pad that I am now writing on. Diskettes and library books are all right.

Proceed to clinic. Discover that it has just closed for lunch. Settle down to wait. Worry about making it back to Mills on time for 2:30 class. Read article about Princess Diana in Newsweek called, I think, Dismember of the Royal Family.  No, sorry, it was, Windsor of Our Discontent.

Finish article. Get out pad and begin to record misfortunes. Go back to Mills. Go to 2:30 class. No one there but me. Mysterious. Call registrar. Class is tomorrow at 2:30.

Go to ballet. Discover that ballet clothes have been soaked by leaking water bottle. Wear them anyway. Leave class early with coughing fit.

And that has been My Day.

Why is the physical business of life is so difficult for me? A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch, and I watched Teresa wrap the cable around the seat-post of her bike, just one-two-three like that. “You know, that would be so hard for me,” I said.


“Wrapping that thing around.  It’s the kind of thing I have trouble with.”

“Why? It’s just–” and she made a quick motion with her hand.

“It’s easy for you. But I’m always getting tangled up.”

And at ATM’s and when writing checks and, oh, in millions of situations I get so flummoxed.