Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Filling the Silo, Part One

Here you have a piece of my lousy fiction.  Be kind, this is a big step for me.

I used to wake up each morning all on my own, I'd just pop right out of bed at the precise moment I needed to pop out of bed with no prompting from an outside force.  My body knew the exact timing on everything.

There was certainly a routine, be sure, but none to speak of.  I did what I did when my body popped out of bed and then I went to my job.

Said job consisted of picking up golf-ball sized rocks from a giant pile full of such rocks, all very similar in appearance, all very grey, and putting them, one by one, into a funnel-type thing on the floor next to the pile.  They'd fall into the middle and drop down to wherever it is that they dropped, for whatever purpose. 

The rocks were always piled high when I got to work, the pile never gone when I left.

I had been doing this for quite some time and there were two things that kept me going. 


Spending the day thinking of the infinite ways I could get the entire pile of rocks down the funnel before my shift ended so I could see, with my very own eyes, how the pile would be replenished.  Or, maybe it wouldn't.  Maybe I would get far enough down the pile that the rocks wouldn't go down the funnel anymore and they'd stop because what I imagined to be a silo beneath the funnel would fill up for once.  I suppose reason one could be seen as a two-parter: either I'd run out of rocks or the silo would fill.  Either/or.  If one of these two things happened, I was sure things were going to change for me in an unimaginable way.  Don't ask what things.  I didn't have it figured out yet.


How to describe it?  Think of a wide rubber band, the kind that's so wide, you can't stretch it as far as other, more normal rubber bands.  We'll call this my "band of determination."  I had a band of determination to infect others with my spirit.  In my job, two people worked in each room on their pile of rocks.  It was really loud in the room, like in any other factory, I suppose (not that I'd ever been in any other factory); yet, there were only two people, a pile of rocks, and the funnel.  To be quite clear and honest, I don't know how many other rooms there were or what the people in them were doing.  I imagine the same thing as I was only I'd never seen them so we're working off a picture I've created with my rather limited imagination.  Like I said, I've been at this awhile and I've worked with nearly a dozen different people in my room.  Not at the same time, of course, since there are only two per room (I imagine).  It seems that my job has high turnover.  Everyone I work with always starts off with a level of dissatisfaction that's probably normal for most but grows exponentially with each passing day until, eventually, I come in to a brand spankin' new coworker.  So, number two is to stretch my band of determination farther than before to infect each new coworker with my spirit until they're perfectly satisfied, like me.

The idea being that if either part of number one or all of number two occurs, things will change.

*if I am very brave, I will post part two

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Avocado and Sunshine

Up until that moment, I had been enjoying my omelette, the company, the day. There's something about avocado, no matter how bland it actually tastes, that is supremely satisfying to me.

Across the table, he had made another verbal gaffe. There had been a couple of others in recent weeks, but it was this third that made me freeze. Experiencing my own unique blend of instant anxiety and resentment, I fought the urge to shut down, and ignored the voice that told me that the only way I would know was to ask him.

I thought about how it felt to hug him from the passenger seat while he was driving, how comforting it was to wrap my arms around his male frame, and how my head always found his shoulder, as if it were home.

Scale. That's what it was all about, scale. Whenever we stand face to face and kiss or embrace, I've always felt so tiny. That feeling is incredible; I instantly attain a level of femininity I don't possess when he isn't near.

Something had to be ignored and, because something had to be ignored, I told myself I'd ask him to explain the verbal gaffe later. Later, he could tell me why he thought it was me he had related that story to. Later, he could tell me who, if not me, he's been having conversations with. For now, I would ignore it.

In favor of savoring the taste of avocado on my tongue.

In favor of playfully touching my feet against his under the table.

In favor of walking out of the restaurant and stretching my legs out in the passenger seat, the sun pouring in while we drive through the mountains.

In favor of feeling tiny in his shadow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Soupy, Soupy

I've taken to bringing frozen meals to work so as to avoid purchasing food while there.  We ran out of forks and I was forced to eat my Lean Cuisine with a spoon (too lazy to run to Target and get more forks), which was okay because the sauce made the "meal" soupy and a fork wouldn't have cut it. 

In any case, since I've not had time for reading or blogging, this is a soupy, nonsense blog.  You might want to blow on it so you don't burn your mouth.

1)  I know I'm a couple of days off schedule here, but I was very pleased by Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama as, I'm sure, were you.  I was pleased, too, with The Onion's man on the street:

2)  My elder child has been having some trouble with organization and has been turning in her work late.  In an effort to help her with this, I have been dedicating each day to sitting with her and developing a routine to get her shit together.  We're getting there.  Today, as one of the options she can choose from to complete her spelling work, she wrote a story using her spelling words.  I thought it was amusing.  If you're pretty sure you aren't going to think it's amusing, you don't have to read it.  Skip to number 3.

The librarian asked if I wanted a particular book.

"I like reading about ancient times," I said.

"We don't have any about that, but we have one about a man and his parachute."

"I saw an advertisement about that book," I said.

"How about one about a revolution?" she asked.  "It is about a young man's determination to make the US a free country."

"Are you mocking me?" came a voice from the distance.  Another kid plunged at him. 

I opened the book and read.  I screamed as I fell into a dark, steep ravine.  Then I stopped reading and heard a kid giving sincere apologies to the other kid.  The other kid had a tissue held over his bloody nose. 

I picked up another book about a resident of Brookstone Apartments.  He was a magician.  I heard the condolences of the kid without the bloody nose.  A kid nearby asked me two questions.  I gave her the best solutions I could.

I continued reading.  The magician was brainstorming what tricks to do at the show.  I came to the word "that's" and there was no apostrophe.  I went back to the book about revolution.  They won the war and now they have sovereignty.

3)  It's like something out of a storybook, ladies.  The man of your dreams takes you to one of your favorite hangouts where he prearranged to have the musician who is playing live sing a song for you.  You share a delicious expensive dinner at a restaurant lined with floor to ceiling windows that looks out over the city, all twinkling lights against a black, night sky.  He whisks you away for the night to the room he reserved, lit by dozens of little candles that illuminate the dozens of roses he bought for you and the scores of tiny pieces of paper documenting all of the reasons he loves you.

This may sound over the top, but it is the stuff of  storybooks for a reason.  If you ever find a man who does something like that for no reason, other than to show you how special he thinks you are, hold onto him with both hands, even if there are obstacles.  Remember, most problems (like tear ducts that never act the way you tell them to, an unfortunate lack of coordination that has a detrimental effect on your...rhythm, or an inexplicable reflex that tells you to jump off at the exact wrong moment) can be worked out with the right amount of determination.