Groaning, I reached out and fumbled around my nightstand, grasping for the snooze button.
Instead of hitting it, I ended up knocking my wristwatch to the floor.
“Uh,” I groaned. “I’m too tired to pick it up. I can’t deal.”
So I yanked the alarm clock’s plug from the wall and left the watch lying on the floor.
Only the clock kept squawking, because I’d put backup batteries in it in case the power went out.
So I reached out and swiped the alarm clock off the nightstand. It hit the floor, the back hatch falling open and the batteries tumbling out.
The clock lay there next to the watch, its relentless squawking silenced.
Hours later, my phone rang. I reached out to pick up the receiver. “Hello?”
It was my boss. “Are you coming in to work today?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “I can’t deal.”
“What do you mean you can’t deal?” he asked.
“Just what I said. It’s one of those days where I can’t deal. I don’t even have the energy to pick up my wristwatch.”
“Where’s your wristwatch?”
“It’s on the floor next to my alarm clock.”
“Why is your alarm clock on the floor?”
“Because it wouldn’t stop squawking.”
“Are you sick?” my boss asked. “Do you have a cold, or something?”
“No. I’m healthy. I just can’t deal.”
“What exactly can’t you deal with?”
“Today. I just can’t deal.”
“But that’s no excuse. You can’t stay home because you can’t deal. You have to deal.”
“I don’t want to deal.”
“But that’s not part of the deal. The deal is that to keep your job, you have to show up.”
“I’ll show up tomorrow,” I said.
“No — you’ll show up today. If you’re not sick, then you need to come in.”
“But I’m sleeping in,” I said.
“Colane, do you have any idea what time it is?”
“I don’t,” I said. “My wristwatch is on the floor.”
“Then look at your clock.”
“My clock is on the floor, too.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” my boss said. “Get dressed and get down to the office immediately! Either you show up in an hour or you’re fired. Deal?”
I sighed. “This sucks. I don’t want to get up.”
“That’s life,” my boss said. “Deal with it.”