Underthecurrent


white wine and cookies
May 2, 2017, 8:40 pm
Filed under: work work work work work

Cheeseburger.  Foggy headed and late to start the day.  Last night was a flashback, a wine and whirling room flashback.  Now, the kind of post-dawn bleakness where all the neurotransmitters have spilled out and the one true solution above all feels like: cheeseburger.

Although at the time there wasn’t the old anxiety, the internal fluttering, thinking now something feels off.  Who was in that room last night?  A ghost from ten years past?  Hasn’t all of this been dealt with?

Maybe it just needs a cheeseburger.

This is the last month, four weeks, twenty days.  Every day is still a grind.  The pinging emails, expectations, timelines, demands.  This is why it must end.  Drive is zero.  The money is almost there.

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I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
April 26, 2017, 1:06 am
Filed under: insight, nostalgia

On the street, passing by, is it?  This is about to get Alanis Morisette 1995.

It’s easy to put a lot of the pieces together.  She’s still around, years later.  Did she know, then, who the clothes in the closet belonged to?  Did she know anything?  Since me, it seems, only her.  Almost satisfying.

They’re not married, not engaged, she puts up a picture of a faux rock, makes a joke.  In that way, you know.  The picture stream is:  disposable beverage cups, gym selfies, a Vegas trip or two, some generic warm holidays (but not so many, and nothing too exotic).  Collects stuffed animals.  Posts average plates of food, variable lighting, enthusiastic captions.  Makes fun of his outdated wardrobe, comments he hardly cooks.

This is what’s so strange.

He always cooked for me, sometimes we’d cook together.  Have dinner parties for friends. He was particular about his clothes and holidays, expensive taste.

She’s not much like me.

Everything is as it should be, nothing seems dark, nothing seems private.  No wit, no mess.  She gave up her career, or what seems like a career, to muddle along out here in a hard stream that doesn’t seem to be paying off.  The ultimate supporter.

All this time, I had imagined this fabulous life after me.  Someone perfect, more challenging, funnier.  Someone with her life together, who could carry the conversation at the party that much better.  They’d spend holidays on the ski hills and at expensive island resorts.  He’d buy her romantic gifts and cards, the kind I can’t remember getting, make time to visit her.  They would live somewhere amazing, a perfect house, this remarkable life.  Effortlessly successful and happy.  Everything we never were but should have been on paper.

And there wasn’t much regret, because it went on too long and was often so tepid (why are all the memories this white noise fuzz? Where there should be bright flashes?), but don’t you wonder if sometimes his mind wanders all the way back through those years, to the last wild thing, the crazy one.

 

 



fine.
April 18, 2017, 12:11 am
Filed under: when I grow up, work work work work work

In ten days, finally, finally, everyone can know and the end can begin.

Presently, trying to muster up enough to keep working.  Keep working for three, four, five more days.  The only thing that sounds like a good idea are carbohydrates.  Caffeine does nothing.  Naps are a panacea.

A lot of things are on track.  There’s a spreadsheet with running totals and projections, it says everything is fine.

Everything is fine.



working for the weekend
April 15, 2017, 3:53 am
Filed under: work work work work work

Up in the mountains, beside the fire, on a sort of involuntary holiday, that isn’t really a holiday because there is a seemingly endless stack of work.  There’s still snow this year, making shoulder season into peak season.  Trying to block out the thoughts of what would be happening now but for the looming deadlines next week.

More than ten years ago, different mountains, around this time of year.  There was no snow then.  Cleaning rooms like this, the thousand point checklist, hospital corners.

Everyone looks exhausted leaving for the weekend, strangers in the lift.  For almost all of us, if we are here, this time of day, it’s because the weekend is just a number of days where work will be done somewhere else.

 



April 7, 2017, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Write, erase, write, erase.

 



flashbacks
March 27, 2017, 11:54 pm
Filed under: insight, unrelated thoughts

Seven years ago, almost exactly.  Not so much has changed.  We get into all kinds of astrological mystery calculations for guidance over tequila, as accurate as any career counselor.  A recruiter emails a personal message; it’s like getting hit on at a bar on your bachelorette weekend.

Lately, the body rebels, if the mind was at all being tricked into staying, the body is voting.  It’s a bit easy sometimes to think – just a month more, just a month more than that money would be enough for [fill in the box].  Where the mind tricks itself about exhaustion, the body sends out small aches:  don’t even think about it.  Ping.  The massage therapist says “there’s a lot of tension here” and prescribes things like a heat bag and chiropractics.

The steam room smells like eucalyptus.

 



Friday in this Town
March 25, 2017, 12:54 am
Filed under: nomadisms

The train glides over the industrial zone to the big box stores.  Below, the motorhomes are lined up along roads where no one will care.  Most have cardboard or insulation on the windows, all look a bit worse for wear from a distance and walking by, maybe unloved or just old.  It seems like a few years ago there were less.  They don’t look like nomadic freedom, sitting along curbs in the bleakest parts of the city, all closed up.  They’re more like shacks on the edges of other cities, encroaching on land too sad for anyone to bother to move them off.  Some have open windows with various kinds of covers to keep the rain out, others just have condensation, either way it’s clear someone is inside the tin box.

The store is empty because it’s a weekday, everything is tidy.  Maybe it’s passing the tin boxes, but this place feels sad too, in spite of the spring flowers lined up outside and the pastel Easter candy inside.

I buy maple syrup, pancake mix, cheap charcuterie (literally, a $5 plastic tray described as this), new underwear made in Vietnam, random things like toothpaste and razors.  The total on leaving is somehow a shock, that those $2 pairs of underwear could add up like this.  It’s a strange, joyless spending spree, almost hypnotic.

*

Why do people even live here,” he says.

People live here because it’s safe and the weather is moderate, don’t they?  Everything is safe.  It’s physically safe.  Your money is safe, relatively.  The water and air are mostly clean, for now.

Some live here because it’s the combination of this safety and the ability to not be so culturally lonely.  They can find people who speak the same mother tongue, who eat the same things and worship the same god(s).  Everyone talks about integration like it’s easy if they’ve never tried to live in another culture.

*

“I was embarrassed to admit how hard it was for me,” she said, “you think it’s a country where I speak the language and we share some common history.  But it’s different, it’s very different and it was very lonely.”