Underthecurrent


The One Where I’m Slowly Planning To Quit
April 27, 2015, 10:27 pm
Filed under: when I grow up | Tags: ,

A month ago I had been reading this photo diary about trekking in Nepal, one of the first travel pieces in awhile that made somewhere, anywhere, seem new… funny, given Kathmandu is part of a well worn trail.  And then there was this earthquake, and now these supernatural places that had been vividly bouncing in my imagination are crumpled; so many people dead.

The news is a good way to make today’s work seem inconsequential.  Drops within drops in the ocean.  Because somewhere, something is happening that is stopping everything there.

This is a particular problem if you work in white collar computer land, where vast amounts of effort and mental energy are expended towards almost intangible things.  At best, an end product will be translated into Paperwork.  Which will be shredded, or worse, filed/stored ‘just in case’, like a squirrel frantically hiding acorns for a winter that probably isn’t coming.  You are worried about a deadline, which was set arbitrarily, or some goal point, which is really the accumulation of sufficient intangibles to qualify as ‘productive’.

This job is like selling drugs.

I knew I wanted out when I quit the first time, a few years ago, but when it came down to it – it was the best way I knew to make money fast.  Like selling drugs, the money is generally not quite as good as people think it is.  But the money is kind of good, and you do get the keys to the kingdom, and a lot of people probably stay in the game far too long for those reasons.

I don’t hate work, generally.  For awhile I was afraid that I just didn’t like working full time, that there was something deficient in me that needed to be fixed through one thousand atonements to the holy Protestant work ethic.  But no.  It’s this specifically, this and me, we don’t mix well, at all.  The incompatibilities are more than the above, and I’m greatful for them, because it makes the decision making a hell of a lot easier.



You Don’t Need That Anyways
April 21, 2015, 10:20 pm
Filed under: hypochondria | Tags:

Rest, ice, compression, elevation.

Bodies send wake-ups via injury: you are tired, you are not fit.  This one was loose knees popping free at the first chance, of course when staying somewhere with 40 feet of precarious stairs, of course an hour driving from the beach where the ligament(s) blew out.  You may as well stop at the fish and chip truck, so we did.

Slow down, it said, and fix yourself.

Crutches feel silly.  They draw attention in public.

The good thing about the end of the world is that suffering will end!” the Jehovah’s witness projects, right at me, outside the clinic, at 8:41 am, after an hour and a half of slow pedals and mysterious machines.

Do you need any help?” a man with urine on the front of his pants, and stubble on his face, says between transit transfers.

The worst part was thinking about things not yet done.  Wake up.  Or not being able to do other things again.  Anything can happen, a small thing, a big thing, and the options can change.

The surgeon says the letters we had guessed at anyways, A C L.  His trainee tells me about a bone fragment they can see on the x-ray, floating around where the ACL should be.  He doesn’t pull the surgery scheduling trigger or rush an MRI, rather wait and see if it’s even necessary, it’s not necessary for everyone.



One Thousand Days Later
April 20, 2015, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Canada | Tags:

Or so.

A girl I went to high school with died last week, after a decade of a degenerative disease.  I can’t remember if I liked her or not; I actually can’t remember much about high school at all.  I flipped through about fifty Facebook profiles, the voyeur’s virtual reunion.  Does anyone every pull my profile?  Doubtful.  Looking through the pictures, there was an entire world in that small town that I was oblivious to, which was probably oblivious to me, neither of us at fault.  I think, though, I can generally surmise the trajectories of most of the people I skimmed through – because they still live in that town, married people that we all knew, and started having kids a few years ago.  A lot of them went into the family business, or work for places in town that I grew up going to.  The world turned.

My own profile is deliberately trimmed, probably boring, unclear.  I remembered this place, where you’re reading, right now, and flipped back to it.  It was much clearer.  I had forgotten.

*

What happened next is that LG and I landed on the West Coast, moved into a friend’s living room, made a go of it, and I’ve been living in the same place for more or less thirty-one months (albeit not in someone’s living room).  This is he longest continuous stretch, ever, in any place, as an adult.

It wasn’t well planned but there were pragmatic reasons.  Paperwork, money, and living out a bit of an experiment.  The start was insane, moving to an expensive part of a first world country is no guarantee of success, and on arrival the market for both of our jobs was flat.  I knew what we were getting into, but the come down was still tricky, as was stepping back into a world kind-of put to rest in my mind.

Eighteen months after arriving, we bought a studio, downtown.  The realtor was wary we could live in a studio, but everything felt kind of right.  Considering I had spent recent years living in:  some semi-communes, an ancient motel strip, an unheated fishing shack, and a friend’s living room – zero concerns.  A lot of people have unplanned pregnancies, this was like that, but instead of a baby, an apartment popped out a month later.

Wait, what? Is this how this ends?

Clearly not.  Which is part of the reason the need to add to this repository of thoughts came up.