Calm Under Pressure
I’ve never considered myself good at handling chaos. Calm under pressure, sure, absolutely. That’s a feature of my highly analytical, introspective nature. I’m acutely aware it may not pay off for me one day. I’ve had cars run red lights and barely miss me, violent and crazy people attempt to instigate fights, fire alarms go off mid-REM cycle. I didn’t disarm these situations gracefully. I was fortunate enough that most passed me by, or I was helped along, while the extent of my reaction - if any - has been to smile and nod. I’m not good with confrontations or excitement. I once spent an all stops train trip from Eden Hills to Adelaide with a tall woman’s heel on the top of my toes and I didn’t even say anything. Like I mentioned, calm under pressure.
I was speculating earlier this week about a hypothetical emergency and how I might be a hero in that situation. It was a short daydream, in which I pulled out my phone to search the internet for answers shortly after the gore erupted, and I found myself a bystander even in my own fantasy.
It was that very same night - walking Nash after twilight - when I came across a lost budgerigar. Well, Nash came across it, and I saved it from Nash through my foresight of having my dog on a short lead. As no one else was around, I decided I should save the budgie. I presumed it was someone’s pet, and that it had flown out an open window on what was a very warm October night.
I didn’t know how to catch a bird, and so of course my first and only plan was to Google it... In incognito mode... So I didn’t get ads later about how to catch budgies.
I tried the “perch” trick, and I called its name (“budgie”) but it did not come close. I checked lost pets of Adelaide web pages and no one had listed any budgies recently, and so I concluded that no one must really care about the budgie, and given that I live in a medium-density residential area where it was 26 degrees celsius at 9pm, I figured a real hero would probably come along at some point anyway.
So I left it there. I left it there to die and I didn’t even think about it for another three days. I walked by the same spot today and checked around to see if it was still alive and in need of rescuing, if perhaps my highly analytical, introspective and slow build up rescuing style might have actually been what it needed. I didn’t see it anywhere. Nor a corpse, so I can only presume everything worked out for the best.
Other than finding and eating a bulk meal curry in my freezer from September, this was the most exciting thing that happened to me in the final week of October, 2019.
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The woman with the fake tan stepped into my office, sat across from my desk and lit a cigarette.
At least, she would, sometime in the next 20 minutes. Smelling the future has advantages, but precision isn’t one of them.