On Friday morning steel gray clouds scudded across the sky and a restless breeze washed over the neighborhood, heralding bad weather to come. Hoping for rain, I ducked into my car and turned the key, then glanced over my shoulder as I sped down the driveway, later for work than usual. Then a thought struck me and I lurched to a stop a few feet from the road. My sunglasses, unnecessary that morning, were still in the house. It may have been too shady for shades, but the sun could break through later, leaving me to squint my way home again at the end of the day. I pulled up the parking brake, unclicked my seat belt, and threw open the door.
At that precise moment, the sprinkler in the front yard sprang into action. After the last cycle the head had come to a stop facing the driveway and now, with no warning, it burst on, hurling morning-cold water at my face, my skirt, the inside of my car. I spluttered, jumped out of my seat, and slammed the door, then sprinted onto our porch and out of range. As time ticked, I paused to wipe the drops from my face and watch the sprinkler sweep across the yard, dousing everything in its path.
I laughed, of course, and shook my head. I had to. It had been that kind of week, every day filled with miniature disasters, every night spent in tense tossing instead of sleep, every email and phone call left unanswered. This Friday morning comedy routine only added to it all with such perfection. I wanted to put it in a novel, down to the promise of rain hovering above the scene as if foreshadowing the whole event. It was, however, too well-timed to be real, too slapstick to be believed, and therefore too weird for fiction.