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i was having an excellent day yesterday. i’d spent about an hour being lazy and reading in bed, which is always nice. then i got up and had some banana bread that i had made (yum!). to be honest, i was pretty excited about the banana bread. i had been planning on making banana bread for ages. i mean, basically forever. i always buy bananas and then they go bad (apparently i don’t really like bananas) and every single time, i freeze them, thinking, oh good, i’ll make banana bread.

the thing is, every time i’ve moved out of an apartment, i’ve emptied the freezer only to find multitudes of frozen bananas. i’ve never once made banana bread. yet, i’ve been so hopeful and well-intentioned every time.

finally, the other day, i thought, it’s about time. and i actually made banana bread!

so, i started the day sitting at my table, drinking tea and eating my banana bread and peaches and reading the mill on the floss, which i’ve just started really getting into. after a couple of hours, i realized that it was time to get cleaning and so i opened the windows, letting in the sun. our windows are actually quite good and the whole apartment is quite breezy. that’s key here.

i turned on some music – quite loud, james always says he can hear it down the street, and got to it. some days, i get quite happy about cleaning. i think it’s part of appreciating what you have. i am very grateful for my lovely apartment and want to do my utmost to keep it at its best. so, i decided to really deep clean everything, the fridge, the oven, you know, that sort of cleaning. i started with the kitchen and everything was going wonderfully.

i had done the dishes, cleaned all the counters and walls and emptied the fridge, even moving it to clean the floor underneath and in the end, i had cleaned out the trash can, scrubbing it inside and out, and had decided to put it just outside of my front door to dry.

i stepped outside, and placed it right by the door and turned, just as the door slammed in my face. now, in the us, doors don’t usually automatically lock when they shut, but here, they do.

i stood there for a moment, taking it all in, still not quite believing what had actually happened. it had obviously been the wind. sadly, this wasn’t the first time.

i pushed the door. nothing.

the longer i stood there, the more i realized that i had no phone, no money, absolutely nothing on me and worse, i was still wearing my pajamas. i mean, they were just shorts and a tank top, but nothing i would ever wear in public. i hadn’t even washed my face and my hair was an absolute mess. in short, i looked a state.

i sat down and thought about my options: i could walk to james’s work, not sure if i’d even be able to get through to him. bayerwerk security is pretty tight – it is a chemical plant, after all and i certainly didn’t have my special bayer visitor id card. beyond that, i’d have about an hour’s walk ahead of me, through downtown leverkusen, in my pajamas. hm. not good. i could try to get to a neighbor’s house to use their internet and email james, but then i’d have to talk to people (who may or may not speak english), and again, be seen by people. plus, i only know my neighbors in my own building, and they were also at work.

out of all of my options, the best one was just to go outside and sit in the sun and wait for james to get home. we’d talked earlier, and he said he’d be home earlier than usual. so, i did just that. i went outside and sat in the sun and thought.

i sang to myself, i watched the sky, i might have even taken a little nap. it was lovely.

until, it wasn’t. i got hungry and thirsty and tired of waiting.

and then it got worse. i got a headache from being out in the sun too long (and i was starting to look a bit red), i was really thirsty and intensely, extremely bored. i walked up and down the stairs and then went to the end of the driveway, staring out at the street, hoping to see his little bike. i did see lots of bikes, they weren’t his.

i found a couple of leaflets that had been left on top of the mailboxes and made what i had hoped would be a telekinetic or psychokinetic letter to james. i told myself, like you do when you’re young, that when i finished the letter, he’d be home. he wasn’t. i also searched through everyone’s storage spaces down in the cellar and discovered that we as a building are not really diy folks. there were no tools, nothing with which i could macgyver the door open. i did find a few luggage and bike lock keys. those, obviously, did not work.

at least my music was still on and i could hear it through the door.

i knew james would be calling me or emailing me. i’m always logged into gmail chat on my phone and we tend to chat throughout the day, so he definitely would notice my absence. i hoped that it would make him rush home, worried about me. but i thought that chances of that are not likely. more probable was him sitting at his desk, getting more and more annoyed because i’m not answering him. which is what happened, until he called me and then, get this, actually sat at his desk waiting for me to call back before he left. he could have been home at least a half an hour earlier, but he was waiting for me to respond.

i know half an hour doesn’t seem too long, and i wouldn’t have thought so either, but it is, it really, really is.

i tried throughout the day to hold onto that feeling i had in the morning, when my whole day was ahead of me and i had so much planned. but in the end, once he got home and i went back into the apartment, it wasn’t clean, the day was gone and i was disappointed.

of course, i had another piece of banana bread after dinner, and that did make me feel a little better.

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