Wednesday, April 21, 2004

We've had three warm days in a row here, which always provides such a different state of being for those of us who are affected by our environment. Plus, it introduces sounds that we haven't heard in a while due to people being out more and windows being open. Another change has taken effect for me, in that I'm seeing people that I've never seen before due to my switch to working days again. I get home when it's light, seeing a whole new world in my neighborhood. Pets, people, kids, carpools, bicyclists, wanderers going from here to there, and neighbors.

The longer days have provided many sunsets in my apartment that I'm home to enjoy. My huge windows, which are one and a half times my height, invite the amber rays to cast a kaleidoscope of warm colors on my walls, furniture, floor, tables, couch, and cats as they lie in the window sill and breathe in the fresh spring air, slowly creeping across every surface as they deepen into orange. It's been a much better existence so far.

I haven't updated this week because I'm settling into this new schedule and that will take some getting used to. I've also been busy with a few other projects that have demanded my time. My body is shifting back into being a day person, and there are days like today where it fights back with a vengeance. I groggily wandered around my apartment looking for underwear, my pants, socks, a shirt to wear, and tried to figure out some way for my hair to not look like I suffered an electric shock. My cats swirled around my feet, meowing for their food and tickling my shins.

Before I left for work, I managed to get everything on and right side out, my hair defrizzed, and the cats fed. The time shift is worth it though, as my job has been great and exposed me to so many things in just a short time. Including the part of myself that I've been spending these last two years trying desperately to find. Yes, everything is new and that makes it easier. I can still be safely detached, but involved.

But it's been a long time since I can say even that.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I did double duty this week in the job department. Now, it's my first weekend off and I'm enjoying it with a cat in my lap as I update my blog. It's a beautiful day out, and I'm going to go enjoy it.

This week, as I walked around the store, bits of sadness would poke at my stomach. Not because I was going miss the store particularly, but because I would miss most of my coworkers and seeing them at work. The cafe staff in their aprons, the booksellers and leads in their departments, the music sellers and the lead poking their heads over the bookshelf as I passed by and waving to me.

I will not however, miss the customers. I've made an appointment with the local contracting company to sandblast me naked to remove any bit of them from my person. I may look a little sunburned and scabbed for awhile, and patches of hair might be missing from my scalp, but it's all for a good cause and very necessary.

Speaking of the store, I had an ending to my employment at Barnes and Noble that fell into the "Well, that was FUCKING WEIRD," department. No scene, just a trip into the Twilight Zone that reminded me of the episode, The Eye of the Beholder.

The new job is great, stimulating, eye opening, interesting, fascinating, fun, and really cool. It's going to expose me to things and people, based on the subject matter and the role that I'll play in it, that will I think, rock my world. My coworkers are smart and funny, considerate and writers. Fascinating backgrounds that have evolved into their desire to tell a story and tell it well. Some are very well known novelists who write for the show, as well as ex police officers whose experiences stretch like tendrils all over the city. They can point to a corner and tell me of a crime or murder that happened there. One of them invited me on a casting field trip, as they called it, where they go to the source to find real life people to audition for roles. The trip left me rattled, and saddened. It's so different when you look into the eyes of these people. Our reason for being there broke down the barrier, but I still saw what a delicate tightrope they walked, and the silent heroes who do the best they can to provide them a net.

And it was after that day that I came to the store for my last time. I didn't know it was going to be my last night, as I was supposed to work today. My mind was on what I had experienced earlier in the day, and after being subjected to the utter foolishness of one of the managers that manifested in immature and bizarre behavior toward me, I decided to make that night my last.

So, upon closing, I quietly walked to my locker, picked up my things, crossed off the time on the schedule and walked around to each of my coworkers to say goodbye. I had really busted my hump to honor my two week notice, not to mention, had been a damn hard worker at that store, despite, due to this manager's poor handling of a problem when it was brought to her attention, and what I'd been subjected to by being left unprotected. And to be given such idiocy as a thank you because her inaction had finally snowballed into a major problem, and knowing this manager was closing my last night, I decided I was done. I will elaborate more at some time, but not now.

The funny thing is, I wasn't angry or hurt, just really flabbergasted. My neighbor, who for some reason was up late and invited me over for delicious cooked bananas with chocolate sauce, told me that I had taken control by cutting it off that night, and set my boundaries. We sat at her table in our pajamas and talked late into the evening, touching on the fact that so many people, women in particular let people whale on them and then show up for more.

But not this time.

So when this manager, who was unable to make eye contact with me said, "So, I guess I'll see you tomorrow," I replied, "No, actually, you won't," and after she stopped suddenly in her tracks and muttered a few other odd things, I said goodbye and walked out the door toward my future.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

The winter has begun to release its icy grip and soften into spring. And that has brought the rain, pouring steadily down on us for two days now. It provides for night drives through mist, shiny streets glowing with red, yellow, and white. Clear drops distorting the road ahead before the windshield wipers swipe them away, making your drive home a constant switch between distortion and clarity.

And that is how the last couple of weeks have gone since my return from California. At times things are very clear and I'm focused on what I need to do. Then, there are the days where I can barely walk through the haze to motivate myself to move. Too many choices, too many things unfinished that I want to get done. Too many roads to take or not take. Too many ideas in my head and thoughts to process. So I stand in the middle of it all, confused at which way will take me forward or if I really want to go forward at all. I wait for the switch, and when the horizon clears, I make my steps in haste to reach the farthest point before the view becomes cloudy again. And I worry, that I am a failure for letting the haze stop me in my tracks.


I took this picture inside Starbucks when I noticed that the setting sun was casting a beautiful light on my table. I was writing in my journal and having one of those good life moments. When sights, sounds, smells, and tastes are collaborating with each other. The taste of coffee matched the amber light, the ambient music matched the lengthening shadows, and the smell of coffee soothed my soul. I was at a loss for words that day, and struggling with what to write in my journal. I think it's because the environment around me was demanding attention. So, I put my pen down and took notice.

Lately, the switch to clarity has remained a little longer than normal, where things are starting to make sense and I'm able to look ahead a bit. I've been able to slow that mad dash down to a trot where I can look around and see ahead even. Perhaps it's the fierce winds that are blowing outside that have cleared the haze, enabling me to plot my course ahead of time.

All this during the time that I'm getting turn off notices from the electric company, and having to pay my rent late. In June, it will go up almost $50 a month. I'm not making it as it is. But like I said, I can see ahead now, and am remaining positive. I'm recognizing that it is time to take action when opportunities arise for me to do so, because what I'm living now is not a life. And I can't help thinking that I've once again repeated the cycle of letting things get desperate before I do something about it, which will always have me playing catch up.

And, I have a long way to catch up. But for now, at least the view is clear for me to see the road ahead.