Print Story Random Impressions
By toxicfur (Thu Apr 13, 2006 at 05:27:31 PM EST) Spring, Angry Chick Pop, Navel Gazing (all tags)

If my life were a movie, I would light a cigarette
and the smoke would curl around my face;
and everything I'd do would be interesting
I'd play the good guy in every scene.

It's 5:00 pm. I'm sitting in the Starbucks on the corner of charles Street, across from the Boston Common and listening to the Angry Chick Pop playlist on my iPod. In an hour, ana will be here, and we'll walk down the street to church for the Maundy Thursday service.

You think I'm usually wearing the pants
Just cuz I rarely wear a dress.

Starbucks is packed. I'm not sure wear ana will sit. Across from is a geeky goth girl, maybe 17 or 18. She's doodling in a journal with chalk, listening to something on her headphones. Periodically she pokes at her PowerBook. A man with astoundingly long eyebrows sits beside me, manicly fumbling through the newspaper before finding a crossword puzzle. The hum of random chatter filters through my headphones.

She's not the kind of girl
Who likes to tell the world
About the way she feels about herself

Days like this - when it's really Spring, and the weight of being me seems less - I feel somewhat less shy. Random strangers seem less random, somehow. At the T this morning, I lit my smoke and went to grab a Metro from the bin outside the station. Empty, but I knew I'd find a stack abandoned in the train.

"Here," says a man in his late 50s with blondish, close-cropped hair. We were wearing the same jacket. "I accidentally got two. He looks somewhat abashed, and I smile. I know he's gay, though he's anything but a flamer.

"Didn't want me to get one, eh?" I say.

"Well," he says, smiling, recognizing my queerness and taking a drag from his cigarette. "You smoke, so you must not be able to read."

We smoked our cigarettes and chatted, with a level of intimacy less than close acquaintance, but more than random-stranger small talk. The conversation lasted until we bought tokens and headed down toward the train.

I wonder who he is, and I wonder - if he was a part of the circumscribed area of my life - I wonder if we might be friends.

He said, sun don't rise
He said, sun don't shine
He said don't bring tomorrow
To justify tonight

I walked from Chinatown to here, on Beacon Hill, about a 10 or 15 minute walk through Downtown Crossing, across the Boston Common. It's about 70F, intermittently sunny and cloudy. The rain began, a drop every few feet, about halfway here. The clouds opened as I reached the Common. The rain fell harder, the sun glinting off each drop - a million points of iridescence. I breathed the smell of spring rain and raised my face to the sky. I thought of North Carolina.

We took each other higher
We set each other free

Both people and plants are beginning to shed their distrust of New England weather and cautiously accepting that spring is here. The daffodils are slowly opening. The trees are faintly green, a few of the optimistic ones in full bloom. A woman walks by with flowers tucked into her hair. People jog past me, their t-shirts damp with rain and sweat. A couple of college students stand in the drizzle, their softball gloves dangling at their sides. He looks stoically ahead; she brushes her hair - pulled tightly into a ponytail - with her fingers to assure herself that the rain hasn't destroyed it. The hairspray glistens in tiny circles where the raindrops have landed.

You wonder should you worry
You should be running scared

When I've been working very hard, as I've been doing lately, I have a great deal of trouble disengaging. First, $evil_project, then $not_evil_project. The second went in yesterday. We - the involved investigators and I - pulled it together in about a week. I've worked hard, but I get an indescribable rush from being completely focus on a project, especially when I'm confident that I can really accomplish something.

The downside is that ana becomes a work widow. Even when I'm not pounding away at the computer, I'm not really available. My head is rewriting that last passage, making lists of the pieces that still need attention, rehashing the last email I got from $investigator. Everything else is muted and distant.

The sun is getting dim
Will we pay for who we've been?

I've apologized; now I've got to follow through. I have to stop sorting my inbox and my various work folders while watching stupid television. I have to figure out how to go about my life without that work rush every day, or even every week. I have to learn how to shift my focus. Adrenaline high versus genuine contentment. There's not really any question, is there? Right?

< I smell like a hot dog | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Random Impressions | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
thanks for writing this. by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 02:29:42 AM EST

Can you introspect out loud? --CRwM

work widows unite! by LilFlightTest (4.00 / 2) #4 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 04:54:29 AM EST
I hope you're *more* upset with Breyer's. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 03:58:12 AM EST
In fact, I'm hoping you're organising some form of boycott against them.
Anger can be useful, if you focus it.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

As a matter of fact, by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 04:28:34 AM EST
I can think of few things more offensive than that ad. Posting it was also uncalled for.
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
That was a real ad? by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #6 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 05:08:25 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Spring! by blixco (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 04:55:37 AM EST
Headspace needs seasons!  Our brains need that liminal space.  It is now spring in your head!
Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco
No question by Kellnerin (4.00 / 2) #7 Fri Apr 14, 2006 at 06:29:14 AM EST
It's spring, and the mint is still alive, which is a minor miracle in itself, but it's thirsty. I should get it outside, even though I've looked out the window this week to see frost in the mornings. I think it's safe.

Strangely, I think it may be this diary that made me think it's finally spring.

"later" meant either "when you walk around the corner" or "oatmeal."

work widow by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #8 Sat Apr 15, 2006 at 04:46:43 AM EST
"Even when I'm not pounding away at the computer, I'm not really available."

That line sums up my last year.

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."

It's a relatively new phenomenon for me... by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Apr 15, 2006 at 05:22:28 AM EST
in this relationship. I really do think it's harder on my partner than it is on me, though. Unfair, that.
I've got more than one membership to more than one club, and I owe my life to the people that I love. - Ani DiFranco
[ Parent ]
It always is worse on the partner by jimgon (4.00 / 2) #10 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 05:52:53 AM EST
They tend to not understand what's going on.  It's almost like an affair, except in this case it's not a person you're engaging with it's work. 

Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
[ Parent ]
Random Impressions | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback