Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 21 #sol19

Quietly excusing myself from the meeting, I hurried down the deserted hallway to go gather my things.  I wonder if sometimes the lockers chuckle to themselves-  “There he goes again, running late.” Coat donned and bag now over my shoulder, I pulled my reading office door closed and rushed outside the school into the chilly, not-quite-spring air.  Oh right, I parked over there.  I swung an unusual left toward my parked vehicle and began fumbling with my phone.  Just need to double-check that my dentist appointment is today.

Finding the text I’d been sent, I silently confirmed: yep, today’s my cleaning.  I remembered the phone call I’d received in January.  “Oh hi Lanny, since it’s supposed to snow later we are canceling and rescheduling all our appointments.”  When is the next available appointment?  Mid-March?!  Well, okay, I’d said.  See you then.

What I hadn’t calculated was the fact that my children would be on spring break in mid-March, and that going to the dentist would mean my wife would be home with them not only all day but into the evening (since my dentist appointment would last until well after 5 p.m.).  Not many natural dentists exist in my state, so I drive an hour for dental care.  And I didn’t dare cancel; who knows when the next appointment would be available.  Looking down at the floor, my wife had shaken her head.  “Okay,” she’d said.  “I’ll put a pot roast in and we’ll see you for dinner.”

Finally, after 57 minutes of driving, I made the final turn onto the quiet street.  Something wasn’t right.  Peering through my windshield, I wondered why the office looked so dark.  A sinking feeling began to set in as I placed my car in park.  I circled around, approaching the front door.  But I didn’t pull on it.  I didn’t need to.  Through the dusty windows, I saw heaps of trash, boxes, mail.

Shuttered.  My dentist’s office was shuttered.

Quietly returning to my car, conflicting emotions and thoughts began springing into my mind.  Why hadn’t someone called me?  When did this happen?  Those poor people.  So sad.  Turning on my blinker, I pulled back into the road.

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 23 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy and reading consultant in Northwestern Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops, twowritingteachers.org.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 21 #sol19”

  1. Thank you for being patient with us, witholding the ending to bring us through how “appointments” never blend into our lives even when we schedule (or reschedule them). What I love about the slices is that they illuminate inner thoughts and perspective in so many different settings, and this one — in the car, gazing at the shuttered office — makes me shutter, makes me feel compassion for you while wondering the story of the office.

    Liked by 1 person

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