My day did not get off to a great start, and it did not have a great end. Sure, people from many walks of life could say the same, but how many were tormented by a gnat?
I managed to get out of the house and make the commute to work without incident, but that did not last long. When I reached for my purse to get out of the car, two of my fingers hit the passenger seat (which I do not even attempt to keep sanitary). I didn’t have time to deal with it then; I had to get into the office on time. I walked hurriedly to the building with three of my fingers clutching my purse handles and the other two sticking out in the air (1) so that they would not contaminate the other fingers, and (2) so that I, in my rush, would not forget that they were dirty.
As I reached the door I realized that I had left my badge in the car, the one I have to scan to open the door. Time to panic. I had to rush back to the car, open the door, retrieve my badge, and try to make it back in on time while carrying a purse in one hand, a bag in the other, and trying very hard not to touch anything with my two contaminated fingers.
I made it on time! I was relieved and hurried to my desk to put down my bags and clean my fingers – only it wasn’t that simple. I couldn’t put the plastic grocery bag on my desk because it had been hanging down by my pant legs. I had to remove the items from the bag and throw it away without it touching my desk. I held the bag with the hand with the contaminated fingers, and starting removing the contents with my clean hand. Then my clean hand touched the dirty outside of the grocery bag. Oh, great! Now what? I had two tainted hands. The only things remaining in the bag were some vinyl gloves (irony?) and I made the decision to throw them out with the bag. It wasn’t worth the effort to try to save them. I was in a quandary for a few seconds, but then OCD emergency mode kicked in. Emergency mode demands that I find a way. I looked at the package of wet wipes that I had just taken out of the grocery bag. I used my two untainted fingers to peel back the flap and put the wipes on my desk. Then I picked them up one-by-one and went over my hands as thoroughly as I could. That is not my preferred method of sanitizing, but it was the only one that worked in that situation. To top it off, I used two sandwich baggies to pick up the grocery bag by the handles and take it to the garbage can. Someone came around the corner just as I stepped out of my cubicle, and I jumped and made a flourish of noise and motion to distract her from the spectacle and ran off to the trash can. That was my morning.
Now for the evening – enter gnat. For two nights I had seen a gnat flying around the shower. While I am in the shower I am powerless to touch anything dirty, and, yes, the gnat was dirty because it was crawling all over the walls of the shower. I don’t touch the walls myself unless I am cleaning them, but “cleaning” is not “sanitizing” and there is no way to sanitize them. In fact, once in a while I accidentally bump the shower wall with an elbow, and I feel as though I’ve been shot. Then the next ten minutes are spent pouring alcohol and soap over my elbow.
Tonight, I felt something running down my face, but it did not feel like water. I ignored it and continued with my shower because I always feel twitches or things that aren’t there. A couple of minutes later what did I see? I saw the gnat on my arm, waterlogged. The good thing? The little rascal would not survive. The bad part? I was convinced that the gnat was what I felt sliding down my face, and now I had to start a super-shower. I was almost done with my bath, and now I was looking at another half-hour in there with no hot water. Oh, well. Shivering or not, OCD prevails.