the here-but-not-here syndrome

Today has just been one of THOSE days.

I was on study leave on Wednesday and Thursday, as I wrote my first test towards my Diploma in Packaging Technology yesterday afternoon. So this morning I woke up early. I left the house early. I fetched my sister early. And then spent the next 40mins stuck in traffic, only to do 4km, and then the very best part of it all, was running out of petrol 2km from the closest station. The very VERY best part of it all, were all of the cars that just drove past me, the people hooting at me for inconveniencing them, the rude stares and shakes of their heads as they drove around me. I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to swing my car into the yellow lane. Unfortunately it died. No power steering, no brakes, nothing. I was stuck. It was awful. I had my 4 year old daughter in the car with me and my sister, as I needed to drop them both off at creche and work respectively, but no one cared that there was this woman standing in the middle of the road, crying, phone stuck to her ear, next to a car also in the middle of the road with its hazard lights on. My biggest fear was that someone would drive into the back of my car, resulting in my daughter and/or sister being injured. Eventually a gentleman stopped, Neil, who offered his assistance. He and my sister pushed my car to the side of the road, and he then took me to the nearest petrol station. I had no container with me, and we hoped that the station would have a container. I managed to arrange with my mom that my brother would come through with a container, buy 5l of petrol, and take me back to my car.

Neil was my guardian angel today. He calmed me down, he took time out of his morning to assist me, and when we got to the petrol station, he even bought me a cup of coffee. Neil, thank-you. The way that traffic was so messed up this morning (anyone living in Hillcrest and who uses the M13 and N3 will know EXACTLY what I’m talking about) I would probably still be stuck in it now if it weren’t for you. It would have taken my brother almost an hour just to get to me, and then we would have still had to go to the petrol station and get back to my car.

The worst part of this morning were the looks that people gave me. Yes, I drive a Merc. Yes, she’s very pretty. Yes, she’s not a cheap car. But she’s 8 years old, has over 230,000km on her clock, oh and it belongs to the bank for the next 6 years. The petrol isn’t the problem; it’s the money required to put the petrol required into the car. What, just because I drive a decent car I obviously have money? You couldn’t be more further from the truth.

The crazy thing, is that I knew I would run out of petrol. I was sitting on 0km from last night. I just was hoping and praying that I would make it to the station in time. 2km. That’s what I missed it by. I just didn’t have the money to put petrol in the car; as it is I had to borrow money this morning to put more petrol into the car once I was back on the road. I was 1 hour late to work; my daughter and sister were both late and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I haven’t felt this awful in a while. I knew that I was going to be late because of the traffic, but the petrol story just worsened it. 1 hour almost my car sat on the side of the road this morning. And only 1 car stopped.

The reason I’ve called this post ‘the here-but-not-here syndrome’ is because this morning was so emotionally draining, that I have not been able to re-energise myself at all. I have really being trying to keep my personal issues out of work, as that is the proper thing to do (plus my boss did have a word about that with me a month ago) but today it was really difficult to smile and laugh and joke when all I want to do is go home and sleep. My eyes are heavy, I have the meanest headache and I’m drained.

Drained. Just like my petrol tank was a few hours ago.




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