Sue’s Blues

Allison Prusha

It’s the first day of school for Sue, now officially a junior at the University, and everything is already going wrong. Only one hour has passed. She stayed up past 2 a.m. to order textbooks she had told herself to order for the past two weeks, but left till the last minute, 6:30 a.m. came way too soon. The blaring ring of her alarm, accompanied by flashing red numbers, startles her at first, but then angers her. She swats her alarm clock off the bedside table. When it hits the wall, the ringing finally stops, and she falls back to sleep. Half an hour later she wakes and jolts out of bed like a ninja, already knowing she was going to arrive at school late. She throws on whatever clothes she can find, laughing at the thought of her proper mother’s reaction to her appearance. Whatever. Being a junior, she refuses to be mistaken for one of the many freshman girls she knows will dress to the nines in their designer jeans and sandals and mask their faces in 10 different makeup products, not that she was ever the kind of girl to do that. To her they might as well have been wearing a big flashing sign to announce their arrival, basically the same thing to her. Sue scrambles out of her dorm room, nearly tripping over her passed-out roommate in the hallway. Apparently those last three steps into the room were too much of a chore and the hallway carpet seemed appealing enough to sleep on. The simple thought made her want to vomit, but she suspected her roommate had already taken care of that. She reached the bathroom, but the mirrors were all taken. Figures. She heads back to her room, stepping over her roommate again, slings her backpack on and leaves. This 8 a.m. class thing seems old already and she hasn’t even arrived at class yet. The 8 a.m. classes her freshman and sophomore year should have been warning enough not to take more, but she thought she would get better at waking up early, not worse. Sue has only made that mistake, like, four times now. Coffee, she thinks. If she can just find some coffee, everything will be fine. When Sue finds the coffee place though, the line is a mile long. The line was more of a just a massive herd of people barking orders at the barista to get them their super specific orders. Sue swears the last guy’s order sounded like he was listing off an entire restaurant menu. Grande, decaf, nonfat latte iced, but only six whole cubes of ice, a single shot of espresso, and a half-tablespoon organic sugar, anyone? Seriously? Sue thinks. At this point they should just make their own drinks. She finally reaches the front of the flock, orders a simple black coffee and proceeds to walk toward the door when a woman, yelling into her cell phone at a decibel high enough to deafen someone, bumps into Sue and spills her coffee all over her shirt. A glance in her direction and a curt sorry was all the woman mutters before she scurries to the front to get her full cup of caffeine. Sue opens her mouth to say the few choice words spinning around in her head, but it wouldn’t do anything. Her clothes are soaked, and she is already late. Sue knows this is going to be one of the longest days of her life, and she is only an hour in.