Monday, March 19, 2007

Random Thought

March is the month for maladies.

Eliot had a catchy idea with that whole "April is the cruelest month" bit and all. And I've got nothing against him, what with Prufrock and all. But March is much worse than April.

Of course, I might say differently when April comes.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Temporarily Lacking Parentage

My parents are leaving tonight for a stint in Provo: they are attending a family history conference in Provo and will be gone tonight, tomorrow night, and pretty much all of Saturday. They aren't gone yet, but they will shut the rather squeaky back door behind them any second now. As a girl who enjoys peace, quiet, and a good deal of time alone, I'm looking forward to solitude. In fact, there is no way to duplicate the phhh sound I made with my lips over dinner this evening every time they mentioned they thought I might be scared or lonely or some other similar, related (equally silly) emotion while I spent this weekend by myself.

They seem to have forgotten the following: I will not be spending much of tomorrow, if any, alone. After all, I do work for a living these days. It means I leave the house at 7:40 in the morning, embark on-and disembark from--a bus, enter an office at 8, spend the day there until 5, hop another bus home . . . that kills my day till just before 6. And tomorrow there is a South Davis area singles ward activity I'm debating attending. If I don't attend that, I've got a Gilmore marathon in the works. Complete with Chinese food and Cadbury mini eggs. I won't be lonely. Rory and Lorelai are excellent company.

Tonight will be my solitary night, but I'm perfectly okay being in the company of nobody-but-myself. It gives me time to think. And if you haven't noticed, time to think is a commodity that I enjoy. Besides, I have a task on my hands. Not a big one. But I'm twenty-three and my mom has no faith in my memory, so the house is peppered with yellow Post-It notes for things she thinks I should remember while they're gone: to set my alarm clock, to lock the front door tomorrow when I leave the house. Pull two packages of hamburger down from the freezer. Open the blinds in the morning. Close the blinds at night. Do my Pilates. Walk on the treadmill. Clean the bathroom . . . I watched her post them all, knowing that I would take a quick tour through the house when she left, filing them into memory as I pull them down (I might leave the hamburge note up--she wants me to do it on Saturday, and it's the only thing I'm liable to forget; everything else she posted is something that is a matter of habit).

I had an eery feeling as I watched her post them around the house before she left: the strange sensation that someday, twenty years or more from now, I will walk around a house doing the same thing when I leave for a weekend . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Birthday Memories

Though my birthday was actually last Friday, my family celebrated it on Sunday--as we always do, with a dinner and the exchange of presents. Except my mom decided that it would be fun to mold the topic of the dinnertime conversation. We were to stick strictly to one thing, she decided: my family's memories of me.

I had a pretty good idea of where this type of reminiscing would go, considering I spent most of my childhood curled up in one particular corner of the living room with my nose stuck in a series of books. My mom would start off with one of her ever-famous stories about the difficulties in potty-training me . . . how I insisted on telling her when I was going to the bathroom in my diaper, but refused to do it in the bathroom until I decided I felt like it. (Guess I had my own timetable for things even then)

My older brother? I didn't know if he had any memories of me. When I gave him the chicken pox, maybe. I was almost positive that my sister would regale us with tales of how I used to eat dirt (once! it was once! and I was two . . . people think it's cute to eat dirt when you're that little).

Instead I learned that my family considers me, more or less, The Sickly One. As soon as my mom proposed the idea at the start of dinner, the stories came tumbling: "Do you remember when she had that goose egg on her forehead? It was huge! The size of a WHALE or something! And she got it on the way to school and she wanted to go to school and she wanted to go home" and "Do you remember that chicken fight when she broke her arm?" and "Do you remember when she fell over the retaining wall and broke her arm?" and "Do you remember when she had to stay in the hospital?" and oh my heavens! To hear their stories, it's a wonder I didn't die when I was a kid.

Granted, my right eye is blind. I have been in and out of the hospital a few times in my life. I've broken my right arm at least three times that I can think of. I started a minor chicken pox epidemic in my family. But if that's all that I'm remembered for by the time I die (which, granted, should not be any time soon since I'm not suffering from any particularly malevolent form of ill health), I am going to find a way of coming back to haunt my family.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Happiness in Hermitage

My co-worker thinks I'm depressed. He pops up in my office at infrequent intervals with popcorn, with worried looks, with blonde jokes. (Yesterday's: Three blondes who decide to go hunting come across some tracks. The first blonde says, "These are rabbit tracks. I'm gonna kill me a rabbit." She pulls out her rabbit gun. The second blonde says, "No. These are deer tracks. I'm gonna kill me a deer." She pulls out her deer gun. The third blonde says, "No. These are bear tracks. I'm gonna kill me a bear." She pulls out her bear gun. Ten minutes later, the train kills all three of them.) He asked me today if, in all honesty, I enjoyed my job.

This man does not seem to understand one word: fatigue. I'm tired. Not depressed. Tired. Sometimes busy. But not depressed. Getting vaguely annoyed. But not depressed. Interestingly enough, he is not the first person to think I'm depressed when I am, actually, tired. The symptoms seem similar: a certain lack of social interaction, droopy eyelids, a less lively lilt in my voice . . . When I get tired, I tend to forget my people skills. Or, at the very least, let them hang by a miniscule thread. I try not to get snappish, but I don't make any effort to be welcoming. You know what I mean.

But I have discovered an advantage to my interactional modes when I get as tired as I have been lately. I have more time to write, resulting in a somewhat less lonely and more thought-filled hermitage than many people would expect. Lunch becomes a time for composition. The bus ride home, a unique opportunity to mull.

The bus got caught waiting for a train today, and someone had graffitied on the side of a boxcar: The killer in me is the killer in you. I thought about it the whole way home. I sense several poems coming on. The impact of the statement, in large part, is lost by not knowing who sprayed it across the gravelgrey surface. The me has much less power as a fourteen-year-old than as, say, the Unabomber. (Yeah, yeah. I know the odds of the graffiti being from the Unabomber are about 70 bazillion to .3, but I don't care)

In a very rare moment for me, I envied Thoreau today. I envied him his Walden, his sucking the marrow out of life, his grand experiment. I envied him all that time to think.