Late Numbers

DSC_3474I popped the box next to my car with a poorly stifled grunt and opened the door. Hmm, lots of my own junk was still here on the back seat.

There were 4 carefully dated bags of money strewn on the floor, I grabbed them and stuffed them under the front seat.

I stood up with a stretch and a groan. Tired.

The previous morning, Friday morning, I finished work at 2:30am, got home at 3, responded to 2 work emails and was in bed by 4am to be in at work by 8:30 the same morning where, out of the 59 defects remaining we determined 18 had to be fixed by the 3 of us in the 1.5 working days remaining on the project. I left work at 6pm and managed to squeeze in dinner with my friend Sam, just in time to be 2 hours late for the 8pm “singles party” a friend of mine was throwing Friday night.

I played 3 rounds of Tekken 7 at the party. I already knew every one of the 6 people, providing yet more evidence to the prevailing hypothesis that I’ve already met all the eligible guys in the greater Auckland region.

I ducked away by around 11, just in time to be 20 minutes late to meet my friend Jo for a few drinks to celebrate his 30th birthday. I got to bed nearing 4pm again, after playing 3 hours of my new game: Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War 2.

The phone rang at 8am with that obnoxious “real phone” tone I foolishly programmed into it on enthusiastic day. “Morning, Sam” I did my best to sound cheerful. “Yes, I’ll be there in 30 minutes!”

So here I stood, piling boxes into my car. I promised Sam I’d help him move, his 3rd since his return to New Zealand a few years ago and unfortunately for him, unlikely to be his last. I’m quite proud of the fact that I managed to fill every square inch of my car with boxes that day (about 12), even though I am not particularly adept at carrying them. The task for the day complete, I dragged myself back into bed at around 5pm for a little “nana nap”, as they here in New Zealand.

“Beebly beebly beebly beebly beep! Beebly beebly beebly beebly beep!” The cacophony rose to an irritating crescendo. I flailed, looking for my phone, found nothing and all but fell out of bed. Fire alarm! I put my pants on and stumbled down the 12 flights of stairs from my apartment to ground level. It was Sunday morning now and at least 2 fire appliances turned up to address the emergency of the moment as Sarah & I took the opportunity to indulge in brunch. It’s only 5 more days till she & I get to leave for Fiji (flight number 56 at 1:20pm).

I confess, I played another 3 hours of my game before I remembered to my horror that I had a board meeting this Sunday and hadn’t done any of the finances for church yet. Church finances are where the numbers really start interfering with my life.

I frantically fished the 4 bags of money out from under the car seat and threw them on the dining room table. Three bank statements as yet unprocessed, 5 cheques to enter into my useless spreadsheet and hundreds of dirty, smelly little coins to classify, count and contain within little envelopes. How I hate money!

I do my best to channel Mr. Trollip when doing these church finances. Mr Trollip was my accounting teacher in high school. Looking back, I realize I had a bit of a crush on him. I’m pretty sure he was gay (in my mind anyway). I remember him being quite distracting during accounting class, which probably explains why the numbers never seem to add up for me. I would always end up late for his class because I had science on the other end of school and had to run the entire length of the school to make it to class at all. Mr. Trollip hated lateness and procrastination. Two things I was very adept at.

I think I like being late for things. Being late means I’m always in a rush, which means I don’t think about things too much, and thinking, I find, can lead to problems.

I tamed the numbers for one more month and arrived 30 minutes late for my 4pm meeting where we discussed everything from the rather important missionary work the church is doing for gay paedophiles in prison to one of the board members claiming that he won’t come back to church if hand sanitiser isn’t used during communion.

I went straight from the meeting at 6pm to church to help set up by 7:30pm with the service ending late (as always) at 9:30pm. I swept the collection for the evening into my pocket and waited around for Alastair to finish dallying.

It’s good for someone like me, rushed off my feet as I am, to have a friend like Alastair. I learn a great deal about patience from him. There’s no point being impatient, because the more he senses your impatience, the slower he seems to get things done.

It was about 10:30pm by the time I got home and collapsed onto the couch to write this. As I turn everything off to finally head off to bed, putting an end to this week I can’t help but notice there’s now yet another bag of money on the dining room table, with the numbers 16 and 20/6/2010 on it. Hey, at least it’s not under the chair in my car.