Lack of sleep. This is what I blame Today’s Fail Moment upon, lack of any sort of restful sleep whatsoever. I did usual things about the house this morning, then decided as I got sleepier and sleepier that the pot of coffee I made was ineffectual and I should just go rest for a minute. The next thing I knew, there’s the damn phone ringing, conspiring against Me and Rest. I look at the Caller ID, CRAP! The dentist! Before I even picked up and answered I glanced at the clock. Twenty minutes late for teenager’s appointment. I answer. “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry! We will be there in ten minutes!” They are nice there, and did not chastise me, at least to my knowledge.

I flung myself out of bed, and ran down to the Teen Basement Lair, yelling BLAH BLAH BLAH DENTIST BLAH BLAH HURRY UP BLAH BLAH RIGHT NOW! He yelled back, “WELL, I HAVE TO TAKE A SHOWER!” I made some growling noises and went “BLAH BLAH NO TIME BLAH BLAH GO!” He argued to himself while I ran and threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, and did the 30 Second Makeup Slam. I scowled at myself in the mirror, prodded Teen to HURRY THE F UP and ran to the car, deftly hooking my purse on my shoulder in one fluid movement out the door.

After a short sprint down the curvy road at an illegal speed, we arrive, sheepish and apologetic, and Teen shuffles back to get his teeth polished and scraped. I grab the latest issue of People and settle in for a few minutes of celebritying. I note that Heather Locklear is much prettier and has a much better body than I do, as she always has, but has more facial wrinkles. I don’t have any crows’ feet yet. Perhaps when the acne clears up I shall obtain them at last.

Teen is done soon enough and I decide that since my Amateur Coffee was a bust, that I should now drive over to get a Professional Coffee at Starbucks. Teen pilfers my wallet yet again for my last few measly dollars as I park the car again, and he walks over to get some incredibly-smelly sandwich from Quizno’s. This particular Quizno’s is owned by an Indian family, and Teen is very amused how their small children are always there, bickering bitterly back and forth in Hindu.

I go into the Atrium Starbucks, order my usual summer Iced Venti Latte, and a Fruit and Cheese Plate. I could be pretty happy, with just coffee and fruit and cheese and good bread, that would be enough for me in this life, I think. Maybe some icy cold water. And a single delicious square of exquisite dark chocolate. Yes. That would be fine.

Still tired and nonfunctional, I go to put the straw in my coffee and it flurps out of the hole in a great wet mess. Goddammit, I think at it, and grab up a pile of tan recycled paper Starbucks napkins to clean up the mess. Out of the corner of my eye, I see an elderly woman, sitting alone in one of the cushy chairs. She is well-dressed in a hot-pink sweater which looks pretty with her bright silver-white hair, styled longish and very nicely. She sips on an iced tea quietly. I finish cleaning up, and head back out into the car to eat my food. Sometimes I don’t feel like being around people very much.

I sit in the car, taking tiny bites of the tiny pieces of cut up cheese and apples, and listen to a pleasantly-morose song by Radiohead. Again, my attention is caught by hair – this time, a young woman’s bright-apricot-colored ponytail that glows in the sunshine. She crosses the parking lot, headed towards Starbucks. She is very pretty, and reminds me of Angie Everhart, the model – very tall and thin, with a confident walk. She has on a tight white tank top and cargo pants the exact shade of Ghiradelli cocoa powder. She opens the heavy glass door and through the window I see the elderly woman jump to her feet. She flings her arms wide open with no hesitation; there is joy on her face. The redhead embraces her warmly, and I now see the connection: the young woman is her granddaughter. There is something about this moment, seen from my car seat, that makes me smile. Perhaps it has been a long time since the older woman has seen her granddaughter, and for her it is like drinking in the most wonderful sight imaginable. I felt happy for them both.

Teen comes shuffling back to the car with his purchase, I finish my little lunch, and I drive back home, to write this.