The 5-second Rude

Not the 5-second rule, the one where if you drop food on the floor you can still eat it if you retrieve it within 5 seconds. That’s insane. I’ve eaten floor food after 5 hours. Once I found yogurt from the past down at the bottom of my backpack. It was days old but I ate it anyway, probably with a piece of paper because I imagine I had forgotten my spoon. Today I had a thick soup, some leftover minestrone that I’d made for friends, so I ate it (even better at truck temperature and a day old!) with bits of spoon paper in every bite. Once I found a banana from the past in a small tub that I keep in my truck. No, not even if I’d had a spoon . . .

It’s not the rule. This post is about that 5-second rude at the very end of my workday. The entire day was blessed. That’s a good word for a day. I have used so many good ones like “functional bliss”, “delight”, etc. and I am saving the best ones for later, but “blessed” is apt. And I like to pronounce that word, not like “blest” but as two syllables: bless-ed. Today was blessed, for many reasons I think, but the one that made me smile the most was that the songbird had apparently visited sometime very early morning, and that is the greeting that I received as I opened my eyes, at least on the opening time that I knew they would stay open.

It was a tough work day, but around the half-way point, it was announced that Holst’s The Planets would be airing at 1:15 p.m. I knew that by then, I’d be mostly done with the busy thoroughfare deliveries and be back into the neighborhoods. I set myself up for three of the movements in particular. “Mars, The Bringer of War” would be first I knew. It will always be like this I thought, some battle here or there to be fighting, but the past month has been more like a true war. I am no longer sure that I like August that much, but time will tell. So, when “Mars” began, I reflected on past battles won, and the nature of my place within the war. Then, it was “Venus, The Bringer of Peace”, a movment so evocative for me that I almost ran into the curb multiple times. One good thing about my single route, Shade, is that there are no ditches. I’d be in and out of the ditch again and again if there were one, but it actually brings me a moment of joy to hit the curb sometimes. And so I did nudge it intentionally several times today. I continued listening and I always enjoy “Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity.”

Listening to such joyful music from Jupiter took me straight back to Venus, however, even as the other movements continued and I kept on going. Steady and unstoppable, that is my only pace really.

Except for the interruptions!

I was reminded of them when, toward the end of The Planets the mood turns ethereal with a fadeout at the end of the last movement, “Neptune the Mystic.” Here I was, with some Jupiter Joy and a Peace of Venus with me, bumping curbs and laughing, then getting into the mystical mystery of Neptune, when all of a sudden another channel crossed into the mix, something Baroque, and it cut off the reverie. There was apparently a technical glitch at the radio station and someone bumped a button I suppose. They caught it after a few seconds and then it went right back into Neptune as the chorus took us into the ether. I began at that point to think about interruptions and their place in our lives. Still thinking . . .

So, I continued to work hard, and although I had double-cased (prepared another route) for a couple of hours in the morning, I told them I would be back by 6 p.m. I figured it would be around 5:40 actually, but I told them just before 6:00. It was music, music, music and work, work, work, and eat, think, and pray, and then I pulled into the station around 5:30 and began to casually unload, still with the radio on. That is when I paused. The radio announcer said the name of one of my new favorite vocal composers, Gabriel Jackson, and then announced the title of the piece. She said it was a song for a cappella choir called, “I Gave Up on You.”


My first reaction was “This can’t be right.” A nano-second later, I thought “How rude!” That one lasted 5-seconds, hence the title of this post. Then I thought, “That could be one of the biggest mistakes of your life.” That thought wasn’t real (I only wrote it) because my true notion was the first one, “This can’t be right.” So, I checked the title on my phone, while I listened to the gorgeous music at the end of my workday as I unloaded and walked into the station precisely on time.

I gaze upon you.