Jun 27
fiction 0 comments challenge: Milk


I knew I was rushing. I knew that. I knew I shouldn't have had that last cup of coffee, shouldn't have gotten into that conversation with that person I haven't seen for a while, shouldn't have told that last story, oh my gosh what was I thinking, as I got in the car like half an hour later than I should have and then just as I started the engine the ping in my cellphone, oh no now what, yes it was my wife, do you know we have people coming for dinner in 45 minutes where are you? Like I know and I really don't want to answer that and I am so late, so late, late, late, Ping. Ping. Ping. Oh my gosh I can't answer you as I slowly inch out in the intersection, nothing coming, and run the red light which is way too long, but officer, I thought the light was broken, "yah likely story, sure buddy, well sit back because I'm going to take my sweet time writing you this ticket and that'll teach you not to be in such a fool-damned hurry," but, oh, yah, no cops, smooth sailing, ping ping ping, I pick up the cell phone just as I turn onto the main street and goose it, Are you almost home? Can you pick up the milk at the farm? And can you get some cream? Strawberry shortcake for dessert. Hurry, they'll be here soon. What was I thinking having all those people over on a week night and people we don't know some of my wife's workmates and her boss, too. I can't be late. 

At the farm, whew, ping, ping, ping. I get out and go into the milk room.  It's cool. It smells nice. Our milk is in the fridge. A half-gallon Mason jar. I grab a pint jar of cream, too, put $5 in the box, no time to work out the change they deserve it anyway, and I'm in the car and off. Ping ping. I zoom up the hill, through town, only two miles to go. I am almost there. God why do I work so far from home. 10 minutes to spare. I am going to make it, get there before they all do. I don't see the hole. I don't see where our town crew have been dubbing around in the road. I don't see that they didn't really fill the hole. I don't see the cone. I am looking down at the text. Hurry! The bump zings the phone out of my hand and I look as the glass jar of milk rises from the seat and smashes against the window, glass on glass, what was I expecting, and in slow motion I see it crack and the milk pour out and land on the seat and then the glass jar, hits the cream which has already landed and that, too, cracks and breaks and spills and I'm still flying up the hill and all the milk and cream has puddled on the seat, streaming off the side. I use an expletive. It is a bad expletive. I repeat it over and over as I scream up the last incline to the flats and my road and the turnoff and I am still screaming the expletive as I pull into my long drive and wonder how I am going to get the cream, now, and the milk that she loves to serve with dinner, and now it's gone and maybe I can turn around, but wait, no, my clock is slow, damn, I was going to fix that, and my drive is filled with cars. I am late. With no milk. And no cream.