Sunday, February 21, 2010

It all began on a Tuesday...

Last week, I drove off the road. Route 100. Going 70. (at least).

I didn't fall asleep or anything. No. I simply lost my way and as I rounded the curve, planning my route across the grass median separating east- and westbound traffic, just in case a tractor trailor lost control and jack-knifed across into oncoming traffic. I heard the whoooomp of the rumble strip and had to suddenly snap my eyes back to where I wanted to go.

Rather than planned to go, in case of disaster.

Though surviving a disaster can make you cool and popular.

That's what I seem to do. I plan for disaster. That I'll trip and fall. That I will get burned cooking. That my hand will get caught in the disposal. And then I will hit the mental rumble strip and snap out of it. And be conscious of where I walk, put the hot mits in easy reach, make certain the disposal is off. Because where your eyes look, your body follows.

I've been unemployed now for almost 5 months. Five. Jobless. Redundant. I still dream about work. Not quite the "forgot to study for my Ec and Soc exam" dreams that followed packed semesters and finals. But instead, I dream about several of the doctors. Eventually, as their dream selves have come to me to assign tasks, they have grown smaller, shorter. Short little Indianmen who are pleasant and treat me as an equal. Eventually as I come to realize how happy I am not to be working (there) any more, they've shrunk right down to my height. I expect they'll continue to pop in now and again, but seriously, I no longer have to listen to what they have to say.

However, without them to tell me what to do, I must find something, anything to occupy my time as I slowly go crazy, reading and re-reading every book I own, perpetually doing dishes and piling papers and magazines and thriftstore finds from one place to another... Avoiding the reality that one day the unemployment checks will stop coming and one day I will be faced with an empty bank account and one day I will have to account for my time.

So, I have decided on a two-week experiment. For 10 working days, I will write. Everyday. I will leave the house as though I have a job and set up at a Starbucks or a Caribou or somesuch cafe, and I will write. I will not look at the median and plan for a disaster. I will not plan to explain why I didn't write. I will simply look down the road of each day, and write.

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