Woke earlier than necessary Dec. 1st, thanks to the smell of fresh coffee. Began the day determined to work for Amy Schumer, even though it was a small call (that I wasn’t on). When Violet came to give me a hug goodbye as she left for school, was crying a little, watching videos about the Standing Rock Water Protectors. At the same time, penned a final draft of my letter to the President.
Left for work at 9am on my bike, to wait on standby in case anyone failed to show up for the Amy Schumer Load-In. Missed the text from my boss at 9:02, saying not to bother. By the time I received it, I was there.
Then came a message from Kim saying the departure day for our proposed Water Protector supply mission had been moved to Dec. 2nd, set to return home on the 5th. This was a revelation because it meant I could feasibly go! I’d only have to bail on one day of work. Feeling energized, rode to the post office to drop off my letter.
Hit Cricket Cafe for the “takeout special” on the way home. (Two breakfast sandwiches and a cup of coffee for five bucks!) Mentioned going to Standing Rock, documenting it for my web series.
The server asked, “Are you just going for yourself?!”
Was stunned, speechless for a moment before replying, “No, we are taking a load of supplies.”
Egging me on he said, “Go! Go to Standing Rock! Go!”
His voice echoed in my head. Was I going for myself? Of course not! I was the glue for the operation. I’d brought together Wes, who’d gathered three cubic feet of supplies, and my friend Kim, who had an SUV and felt a deep calling to go to Standing Rock, despite loud objections from her boyfriend.
Back home, got a message from Cricket Wireless (my cell service provider), saying I’d used all of my data for the current month. This was hard to believe. Opened a chat window with a customer service representative.
“I’ve never used five gigs of data in a month. Now, even after being upgraded to eight gigs a couple weeks ago, it’s already gone? Where did it go?”
“It went to what you use it on.”
“There’s no way for me to show you – that is insane.”
“Are you calling me insane? Please connect me with your supervisor.”
This is precisely when the chat session ended. Ooooh, I was miffed! Considered calling Cricket, but there was almost no chance of reaching any human on the phone. Opened another chat window. Much to my surprise, it was the same person on the other end.
“Hi, I think you just hung up on me!”
“There is no way I can hang up on you, we been having issue for a few weeks with the chats just closing.”
“Okay, you were just explaining that I am insane. Then I asked to speak with your supervisor. I saved a copy of the conversation, in case you forgot.”
“I would not and cannot call a customer insane, you understand wrong but I would never do such thing, I was trying to explain about the data usage.”
“You used an offensive way to say so. Wow.”
“I apologize for any inconvenient on my end.”
“Inconvenient? More like rude. Disrespectful. Unkind.”
“And I make it up to you Audrey I am really really sorry. If you think I was rude I was and will never be here. Please accept my unreserved and sincere apologies.”
“Thanks. Might want to reconsider your wording next time.”
“Thanks, I will.”
“The only thing that happened this month is I switched from Windows to an iPhone.”
The next segment of this conversation was the agent informing me that several programs were running in the background on my new phone that had zapped the data.
“Okay, I will move on with my life. There are more important things to worry about in this world. I’m glad we got to chat again though, because our first conversation had me feeling pretty ticked-off. Have a good day.”
“I am glad that you contact me again, I was worried.”
“What do you think are the odds that we would chat twice in a row?”
“I have faith in the Lord, I was hoping for that, so I will say God is so good.”
“Where in the world are you?”
“I wish happy holidays to you and your love ones, many blessings and lots joy and prosperity for the coming year and always. I am in Central America.”
“If you have a direct line with God… Can you also please pray for the Water Protectors who are currently in North Dakota fighting Big Oil? It is time to make the switch to renewable energy. Best wishes to you as well.”
Was sort of laughing and crying, both at my feeling of helplessness and the absurdity of such a request.
“Thanks, I sure will keep it in my prayers. So sorry to read about that.”
“Me too. I am thinking about going there tomorrow. It’s only 1,400 miles away.”
“May the good Lord guide and protect you on your way and back.”
“Thank you! It’s nice to know there are so many people with us, even if they are far away… There’s a demonstration in support of the Water Protectors starting downtown right now; I’ve got to run. Goodbye.”
Had Kim meet me at the rally, but we were late. Found the last stragglers gathered outside City Hall. One of them told us about a breakfast send-off that was happening the next morning at Native American Family Center, for veterans headed to Standing Rock. Figured we should go there too.
Kim and I had a chuckle about my profound experiences with various forms of crickets that day. Discussed the power of words, for both good and evil. And the way some people are driven by fear, while others are driven by love.
By the time we were back to my house, I’d been called to work the Load-Out for Amy Schumer after all. Hooray! Even though much of her act was stuff I’d read in her book, it was great hearing the stories in her own voice. Laughed so hard there were tears in my eyes.
December 1st was an emotional rollercoaster, only the beginning of one heckuva ride.