Tuesday, August the Fifth

Joe slow jogged into work in the morning. It was so slow, in fact, that it bordered on being a fast power walk – a shuffle. It was a warm, sunny morning, a bit muggy but decently breezy as to be not too hot.

Crossing a residential side road while jogging down Park Street, he was almost run over by an oblivious driver. As Joe stepped into the intersection, he looked up at the driver approaching from the right. Although her face was pointed toward him, Joe could tell immediately she was staring “through” him, and was not seeing him. He was in her psychological blind spot as her mind’s eye looked for oncoming cars, but not pedestrians. Joe reared back before he was in the path of the hurtling minivan and waited for the woman to focus and acknowledge his presence once she had stopped. When she did, he nodded at her sternly and continued on. He turned right on the next side road and made his way over to Parmenter Street, which he took left to the bike trail, avoiding having to cross any busy streets. The Pheasant Branch bike trail led him directly to the hospital administrative building in which he worked.

Joe badged himself into the building and went to the men’s locker room to shower and change into his work clothes, which he carried in his backpack when he walked, ran, or biked the 1.6 or so miles to work.

Most of the morning at his desk was uneventful. He received some documentation requests for a project he was working on. Nothing too urgent.

At lunch, he went down to the cafeteria on the first floor of the building and got a salad from the salad bar, trying to stay away from non-Paleo diet foods, like cheese. The salad bar was out of hard boiled eggs, Joe’s usual staple protein, so he substituted some grilled turkey breast strips and ham (not strictly Paleo, but close enough). After purchasing the salad, he stepped out onto the outdoor patio adjacent to the cafeteria to enjoy his food in the sunshine. He pounded out a blog post on his phone about diet and nutrition while he ate.

Shortly after lunch, Joe’s girlfriend Deborah pulled up next to the patio in her black Audi to hand off some ointment Joe had asked her to drop off on her way to her massage therapy appointment. Joe had dry skin under his right eye, a chronic problem that seemed to come and go. Today it had come, fairly potently. He chatted with Deborah briefly in the car and then went back inside to apply the ointment and return to work.

Back at his desk, Joe pondered what to do that evening. He needed some “Joe” time - solo time to decompress and do some music stuff, maybe watch a bit of Netflix - but he wanted to take Deborah down to the Union Terrace for live music too, because the weather was so nice. He thought he could do both, but decided to err on the side of solo time if their was any question. He knew better than to let unresolved stress build up in himself. There were other options too. They could go out more locally to save time, maybe go for a walk or bike ride along the bike trail he had run on that morning.

What would they do for dinner? Food was always a bit of an issue for Joe and Deborah, a topic that more than any other brought them close to conflict in an otherwise conflict free relationship. Their diets were different and that sometimes made eating together difficult. Although Joe could eat the food Deborah made, he needed more calories than her and liked additional foods that were not part of her fairly strict diet regimen. It made for some awkwardness on occasion, but it was fairly minor.

Deborah had told him that she did not want to eat out as much any more, if at all. So Joe did not want to eat at the Union, because most of their food was high calorie fare that inhibited Deborah's ability to document her dietary intake accurately, as she explained it.

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