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This post is part of my 2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Something went wrong. Error code 2.

I mean, if I was going to make an error, it might as well be an Error code 2. That’s my favorite.

Just another example of NO THINGS working, ever. I’m in a perpetual state of being thwarted. All I wanted to do was log into my OneDrive and grab a file I’m supposed to send to someone. Literally a five second procedure. Log in, download, be done.

Error code 2.

I feel only a quarter as important as my brother, who tried to log into one of his accounts and got a message that said we couldn’t connect, because: 8.

But that’s any given day.

I had a word today. A whole plan. I even started writing early this morning. And then the day happened, and the thing I wanted to write about didn’t.

Because 8.

And now it’s too late to go with my original plan, so we’re going with this one: thwarted.

I spend a lot of time thwarted, mostly in small ways, but they add up. Like when you hit every traffic light on the day you are most late getting somewhere. Or the power goes out the second you get connected to the Zoom call.

Or you spend 20 minutes retouching a photo and you know better than to do that without saving it every four seconds but you get on a roll and do it anyway and then you hit the save button at the end and Photoshop crashes, and then it wants to know if you want to send an error report but really you want to send your fist through the computer.

Error code: punch.

Because: thwarted.

I’ve been waiting for an important piece of mail. Since November. I kid you not, it vanished into thin air. I contacted the sender. They sent me Important Piece Of Mail, Second Edition. It vanished as well. Fast forward four months and they sent Important Piece Of Mail, Third Time’s A Charm via certified mail signature required.

Do you know how often I leave the house? Especially on a weekday?

Only marginally more times than zero.

Today, after a stressful morning, we decided to go out and grab lunch. In the half hour we were gone, my mail showed up.

Because: thwarted.

Not to be deterred, we took the little sorry we missed you receipt and trekked ourselves to the post office. Except not the post office five minutes away downtown, oh no, the post office 20 minutes away OVER THERE. Where all the red lights are.

We then waited on line for an hour. One. Hour.

And another 15 minutes because they couldn’t find our mail and had to practically call in the National Guard.

In the end, we (finally!) have our mail, even if we lost an entire afternoon.

On the bright side, it opened up a brand new word.

I have thwarting dreams a lot. You probably do, too. Like the kind where you’re running and running and running but it’s like a cartoon where someone keeps pulling the ground out from under you and you get nowhere.

My thwarting dreams usually involve me needing to call someone very urgently but being unable to hit the right numbers on my cell phone, or else apps keep opening and blocking the keypad, or else the numbers keep shrinking and moving all around.

These dreams often result in me attempting to smash the cell phone to the ground, but like the running-to-get-nowhere dreams, the phone always sort of floats off instead. Sometimes – I kid you not – a bed manifests out of thin air and the phone bounces off unharmed.

I have gotten very close to making a phone call in some of these dreams. I’ve even gotten as far as being able to dial the right number, except then I open my mouth and find I can’t speak.

Apparently if the universe can thwart me while awake, my own brain can do it while I sleep. Someone study that, please.

If there’s a plus side to be found, it’s that the day gave me a word without even realizing it, and I can save my original word for another day. Take THAT, thwarters!

Photo: screen shot of thwarting message.