What is the universe trying to tell me?

Today I had to meet Jesus, the guy who’s refinishing our floors, at 8am. After nursing boo at 5 (he’s still getting up at 5), having breakfast, feeding the cats (who are sharing a room with us and who, I’ve learned, have a nightly dance party at 4am), etc. we headed out to Venice. Let the guys into the house, admired the gorgeously stained floors I wish had been there when we were living in the house, jumped back into the car and drove closer to the beach, since I wanted to take boo to the playground. We have so little time.

We squeezed into a minuscule spot on Market Street right by Studio Surya where I hoped to take a 9am yoga class once Lindsay showed up to watch boo. I loaded him into the stroller along with all his accoutrements—snacks, diapers, a sweater, water, sunscreen, bubbles—along with my yoga mat, and we began our short, beachward stroll. Halfway there, Jesus called to say I’d left my keys on the counter. I panicked, started walking back, realized it was a dumb plan, stood paralyzed, thought for a second, told him to leave the keys in the geranium pot by the front door before he goes. I hung up and had a bright idea: called Lindsay and asked her to swing by and pick up my keys from the geranium pot before she came to meet us at the beach. Picked up a yogurt for boo and a protein shake for myself at the deli and continued our beachward journey. At this point, it was beginning to feel like a journey.

As we made our way toward the playground, it became clear that there was a mob in the grassy area surrounding the building that abuts the playground. I couldn’t quite get a handle on who they were, but they were adults, some on the grimy side. A man with a megaphone was calling out lottery numbers. My only guess was they were for spots in a homeless shelter. Maybe it was for work. In any case, it made me uncomfortable to set boo loose with this gathering afoot.

I texted Lindsay that we’d meet her at the house. Walked back to the car. Got back in it. Drove back to the house. Got the keys out of the geranium pot. Said goodbye to the guys, who were taking off as we arrived. Admired the floors again, now shiny under a coat of polyurethane. Took boxes full of packing paper littering the side of the house out to the alley while waiting for our tardy Lindsay. Watered the front lawn. Wondered how the day had gotten so fucked up already and it wasn’t even 9:30 yet. Did I mention that we ran into my yoga teacher on the way back to the car and told her I wouldn’t be making it despite all my good intentions?

So what is the universe trying to tell me? That life in Venice, California is only free and easy when you’re actually living in your house there? That the minute your furniture exits the premises your life will turn as chaotic as it is on the rest of the planet?

Life with my parents in the Palisades is relatively calm, but I am unfortunately doomed to let workmen into my house in Venice every morning, make sure my son is cared for and in bed at noon for a nap and 7:00 for bedtime every night. These details rattle my plans. In fact it’s 11:13 now and I have to pick boo up at the Duck Park to go back up to the Palisades for naptime, and I still need to run by West Elm to exchange a light fixture.

Forgot to mention that I brought the proposed light fixture over to the house to hold up and see how it would look there this morning. I had boo with me so I asked Jesus to please carry the box into the house for me and then let boo outside to play with gardening tools while I unwrapped the many layers of cardboard and bubble wrap that supposedly protected the light, and when I took it out to hold it up to the ceiling, I discovered that three of its glass panels were shattered.