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I tempt the fates driving home from an afternoon of color and texture, heading east as the evening rush begins. During the half hour from north to south shore the sky changes from a brilliantly sunlit blue summer to forbidding grey with swirling mists dancing across the road as the south shore approaches. Traffic is acceptable and I imagine what it would be like to be one of the millions of Americans who drive to work. Aside from a three month internship the summer before college, I have never driven to and from work but always relied on public transit.
Cleaned the porch while listening to the latest KCCC release: ProjeKct One's Jazz Café Suite - these guys don't know how to disappoint. Listening to their music, reading Fripp's saga of life on the road articulate clearly the toll it takes on him, I sometimes find myself wondering what would have happened had I actually decided to ditch college to be a musical road warrior. It appears as though he and I have certain similarities in temperament; I would likely be as distressed as he recently seems. Would the rewards of sometimes having the Music find me have been enough?
It was suggested today that Gossamer Wing make an appearance at the next KC concert. And that I restock my supply of personal cards before Dragon*Con. The latter is a given, a truth waiting to happen. The former concept is almost laughable ? although unlike Sci-Fi geeks, I would expect the KC crowd to have enough manners not to gape too openly or be too aggressive at the sudden appearance of the fey creature swathed in corset and wisps of silk. The mask would definitely be too much, yet braving the male gaze (however appreciative) without its protection seems almost unthinkable.
I finally posted my diatribe on Patriot II, or rather, the diatribe's introduction. In response, he asks me questions I am unable to readily answer. I can't remember the last time a topic at all meaningful to my life surfaced upon which I didn't have a ready opinion. He has no idea, I'm sure, how much I absolutely groove on that - being asked to open my eyes to new questions. My mind ponders other questions whose answers are best left alone. I have otherwise given up on males; apparently I cannot distinguish between men and boys until its too late.
The universe is speaking to me, doing more than whispering to me in my dreams. Today the Wizard asked if I had ever thought of leaving NYC. He believes it would be easy for me to find a job in the Netherlands. I hadn't thought of going abroad again; mom would be very unhappy. Last week's epiphany and a long talk with mom already had me questioning what role the peculiar cultures of the City and the Island have had in my ongoing struggles. Truthfully, though, I am not equipped to handle an interstate job search at this time
Kenny is dead - and we know who killed him this time. The CEO officially announced today the system will be turned off due to performance problems. Unfortunately the spin he attempted to put on the situation is so ludicrous and patently false, it indicates to me he is either deluded or lying, neither of which is acceptable to me.
I have been advised that this week I am to leap at opportunities the moment they appear, no dilly-dallying. A bold course considering we're still in retrograde but it comes from a trusted source. 'Leap and the net will appear.'
I'm ready for a day off. Half way through the regular week at work and I feel bone tired. Logically, it is to be expected as I haven't worked a full week of 8 hour days at the office since June of last year, 11 months ago! It hardly seems possible, but by July I was trimming hours off every day, often absent due to the screaming nerve pain. Ed seems to be the only one who has caught on to the significance of this week, looking at me with eyebrows quirking skeptically as if questioning if I was ready.
Pondering the big questions in my life. What if, and it is a HUGE "if," there were appropriate massive changes at work, would I stay? I want to shift directions in a way that won't be possible there, but if the immediate pressure to do a pre-emptive move were gone, could I do as suggested: sit tight a while longer. With the pressure off, I could then push headlong into certification and play with various tools on the rebuilt laptop, fortifying the specifics on the resume. My life would remain on hold for the duration - and therein lies the rub.
It is a mercy killing: today we take down the Frankenstein creature that was brought alive on March 31, the behemoth that required life support every single day of its existence. It has taken four days to prepare as the process is nowhere near as simple as flipping a switch to start the lethal injection. Backups must be made and data will be running through the bridges during the weekend, but come Monday morning, we will return to the Old Ways, the Dark Ages of computing. I don't think Rob or I have stopped smiling since the announcement was made.
I take the day for myself as an antidote for the week that was. Indulge in total girl stuff: after the pool and parading in my spiffy new suit, some errands, then lunch at Café Joel while reading a novel (not a trade magazine), followed by browsing the shops for something pretty that I don't really need. All of it a mask and distraction from the fact I have no one to spend time with. I feel as though I've been harping on and on without end about my isolation, but it is a main factor in defining my existence.
As I shuttled from task to task I realized with sudden clarity the extent to which my current job dictates my life. The military precision with which I schedule my weekends is a small part but that which troubles me the most. It is not possible to simply relax for two days, there are too many facts of Life to see to, to organize and prioritize. Something must give, must loosen up. I cannot endure a month of what this last week has been and yet the coming weeks stretch out before me, an awful parody of an endless summer.
Preparing for this week's lunar eclipse, I realized that there must have also been a lunar eclipse the night that Spil & I saw Sara M and The Chieftans at Jones Beach. Driving home over the causeway we watched the bloody full moon rise high in the sky while lightning flash-danced across the water. Harry, her steady blue Ford Escort, seemed completely insufficient protection against such ominous displays of Mother Nature. Why has she closed herself off? Helene and West have independently been traveling and so are understandably incommunicado, but it is now two months of complete silence from her.
I've decided delegating even more mundane minutiae is crucial to surviving the next few months. And that doesn't just mean at work. I don't have the details sorted out, but there must be something I can do.
Questions of community have again been raised, making me all the more eager to succeed in bringing about some changes. Assuming I am able to find a few spare hours regularly. Perhaps tomorrow will provide an opportunity beyond basic networking, as Alan had in mind when he invited me. The particular concept with that particular company is one I could get excited about.
Retrograde seems to be shifting into high gear. Miscommunication cues itself everywhere and there are new levels of disbelief about the current developments in the Stupid Crap App Show. I am disheartened when I discover there are six more days of Retrograde.
Talking with Alan about taking back my life, the subject of relocation came up yet again. It started as getting off the Island but he rapidly shifted directly to the Left Coast. I don't know what to think at this point, the indications are coming in from all directions now. Or perhaps this is just more Mercury misdirection.
Amidst everything else going on, lunar eclipses and such, what really shakes me today, makes everything else irrelevant and insignificant is a simple and personal reality: the lace bodysuit I bought back in, what? '95, now fits again. It was in the days of Fitzpatrick's and mad Irishmen, perhaps '93. That revelation at the end of the day seems to erase everything else from my mind. I wonder what else sits in my closet that I haven't yet discovered, packed away because I couldn't bear to part with it. Will they fit now? Will they fit by end of summer?
Somehow, I managed to stay awake until past 10 at night. I don't quite know how. It was a long day in every respect. And the idea of another solitary meal at Trio just doesn't sound appetizing, so I forage in the fridge instead, disappointed all around. I want to have a long dinner and talk over the day's and week's events, analyze them in the greater context, share the stupid level of detail that's OK in person but seems silly over the phone or via email. What I really want is a dinner out in the city with Helene.
Two days is not enough to do that which needs to be done and any reasonable part of what I want to do to rest and recharge on a weekend. I reach an uneasy compromise: doing only those things that simply cannot be pushed off another day let alone another week. Rather than spend time really gardening, I limit the "want" side of the deal to doing the preparation. I think the coming weeks will see an increased use in the delayed timer settings of the dishwasher and washing machine. If only there were a similar setting on the dryer.
The morning concluded with a long talk with my parents about serious things, the thoughts and possibilities that have been swarming around me the last few weeks. It was unusual for them both to talk with me that long. Not surprisingly, they were keenly interested in the bit about relocation. Dad suggested that perhaps I was ahead of the curve with figuring some of this stuff out, or at least trying to figure it out, he didn't know anyone over the age of 45 who wasn't trying to sort this stuff out. Could this be my mid-life crisis, come early??
It is a day for surprises, although I'm not sure if the good balanced out the bad. The bad surprises were of course all related to work - outages and problems - the last one keeping me up past midnight. One potential company actually called me because they liked my resume although it isn't clear if there are any jobs; it would mean relocating. Rob echoed my concerns about relocating, that the isolation might migrate with me since I'm not very good at building social bridges, and that if I worked on the Island it might change my social life.
Buffy lives. The hell mouth is gone, presumably forever, in a massive cataclysm that destroyed all of Sunnydale. Spike ended up the symbolic sacrificial lamb, washing away his decades of destruction in a final act of cleansing light. Would that I could sometime soon see a similar conclusion to the debacle going on at the office.
What do I do for an evening's entertainment now there's not a single sci-fi show that interests me that isn't re-runs. Three shows gone in a single year: Firefly, Farscape and Buffy. I'm warning you all now, it's a sign of the Apocalypse. ;>)
Massively contradictory events today, the good, the bad and the ugly. A side-effect of one will increase my isolation even further, removing one of two women at work I could talk to about anything important. Right now, words from Fred Astaire's song in Daddy Long Legs repeat in my head, "
something's gotta give, something's gotta give, something's gotta give.
" I become unnaturally happy and giddy for brief periods at the merest hint of future prospects, which creates a wild boomerang effect in my emotional state - - who needs drugs or alcohol when you can get messed up for free?
Forces of Light are evidently battling against the Darkness and the battleground is my life - a second day of severe ups and downs, with most of the downs associated with work, of course. Some of this is just not making sense but the only way to handle this ongoing situation is to find a way to force it to make sense. The conclusions I draw when it begins to make sense are very uncomfortable, indeed, but they help prepare me for possible future outcomes.
Crimson is my anchor, my ballast, keeping me steady and upright, grounded where I need to be, and yet the music also acts as adrenochrome on my system when I am sapped, fueling me.
In a moment of weakness, tired and wired from a long day followed by an evening OUT in the city, I call Spil from the train home. She doesn't answer, I get the impersonal answering machine and leave a message that is completely true and honest. She can't listen to it and not know the emotional devastation she is causing in my life by her unprovoked and inexplicable absence.
Wired still when I get home, but there is no one to call. I turn to the ever-persistant internet and the threads of an interestingly personal conversation. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
It was so very good to talk to Helene today, even if we just cut directly to the significant heart of any given matter, no lingering over details or analysis, just a straight roadmap of directions to where each of us now is in life. I, for one, a year ago never imagined that we would have talked so little in real time, but the facts of life for each of us this last year have thrown all kinds of barriers in our way. Perhaps the next time - soon, I hope - we can really communicate, not just talk.
Koyannisqatsi: Life out of balance. That is where I am right now, by every indication. I made it to the pool on time Saturday morning and then unsurprisingly slowed down. Unable to take a nap late in morning to recover my strength as I was too distraught by the length of the To Do list that I had created for the weekend. It is insane, there is no way I can do all of this, but to not do something means giving up something I enjoy (not having fun) or letting something important fall through the cracks (let chaos rule).
Amidst a room of reasonably intelligent and nice people, almost all related to each other by blood or marriage, I watch the dynamics and interactions of adults and children. Bits of conversation float past and I try to become part of it, not just my usual passive observer self; my knitting sparks some comments and as I have met all of these people at least once before I have some level of comfort, so there is a modicum of success with that effort. Yet I feel very much different and apart from these people and I cannot figure out why.
A day of hooky spent trying to regain the fragile equilibrium that was mangled by stupidity yesterday afternoon. I realize that this long weekend was not enough to create a stable platform for individual recovery. The raking light of this harsh truth throws into sharp relief the long patterns of days that approach in late June into July unbroken by vacation or holidays. What am I to do then?? I cannot imagine now how I will get through them in one piece if am still coping with the same intolerable situation, a job that has become an insatiable, omnivorous monster.
"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."
What a mantra, a sign of the times, a sign FOR the times. To see myself as a wayfarer, a solitary explorer into the Uncharted Territories. Can I keep the spirit of these words close within me, lit by the fires of my burning heart while I try to find my way to the next level, discovering places of wild beauty in my life, my soul, that I know nothing about right now?
Write a novel, he says, maybe sci-fi. I'm speechless at the thought of it. Yes, I like to write; yes, I scribble entertaining commentary on Life and other absurdities, but no, not a novel, I don't even have any ideas. The result would probably be a Bridget Jones' Diary meets Farscape/Babylon 5, except in my story the Hero isn't a 6' male with broad shoulders and a gleaming smile, but a petite redhead with brains to spare and a spine of stainless steel. Which makes it Heinlein without Lazarus Long. See? Nothing of interest here folks, move along, move along.
My imagination is still caught by his suggestion. The Realist Within persists in reminding me I don't have any ideas. "I haven't YET had any ideas," I answer back, somewhere between stubborn and aggressive. "Perhaps it is time I gave them a chance to develop." At some point in the early morning train ride, I start ignoring the Realist Within altogether.
As a diversion, as a chance to explore that Terra Incognito of my soul, I will try to allow myself the freedom to ponder, to peruse, to play with the concept he turned loose in those wide open spaces.
Family. The people who know you inside and out and yet still they love you. We sometimes speak in shorthand, the arcane code developed over years, referencing family lore and tradition, personal quirks and inside jokes. Everyone has a nickname, our houses have titles, and cars have given names. Deep and abiding interests in music, food (especially baked goods) and obsessions about the degree of squareness and plumb in construction are apparently genetic in this particular branch of descendents from that Scottish ancestor. Every generation has become smaller and I have to wonder, will it all end here with me?
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