Different

Things used to be different.

We used to get in bed early, and go to sleep late. We would wake in the late morning just to enjoy laying next to each other. Begrudgingly we’d arise, make breakfast together, then talk and laugh, listening while public radio hosted our meal. Afternoons picnicking in parks or hiking in woods nearby. Evening coffee outdoors at the cafe, making not too quiet jokes about the hippy fool with the acoustic guitar; or on the couch with our books or sharing what movies the library had to offer. Weekends looking for adventure, or telling stories of our exploits with friends. We were ourselves, beautiful, brave, and in love.

Then something broke. Inside me, or maybe you too. Something between us.The drudgery of adulthood, The stress of parenthood. The disappointments found in a mirror. The myopia of lower incomes. The shame of transgressions against ourselves. The boredom of commitment. Perhaps just a consequence of our nature.

So often now we sit, worlds apart in the small space of our lives. Doors closed tight against some unknown pain that might be on the other side.

I’m probably seeing things the wrong way again though. That’s what I have to keep telling myself anyway.

I still love you but, damn it, things used to be different.

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In need of a Plan

 

The university in the city where I live held graduation recently. That makes it the busiest time of the year for the restaurant I work at. This translates into longer, harder work hours for me, meaning even less time/ energy for my family and practically no time for myself.

Every year I plate and send who knows how many hundreds of meals through my pass. It seems that every year we go through this ordeal with a less and less experienced crew. Almost every year there’s some set of minor, yet absurdly frustrating complications with the scheduling of either the staff or reservations, or both. Every year there is always some inane last-minute problem with inventory. Nearly every year half of the staff shows up late for their shifts. And every year there is some melt down between coworkers resulting in yelling matches, hurt feelings and possibly someone quitting or getting fired.

Every year I swear that this is going to be the last one of these weekends I’m going to work.

It was a long week, and I’ve been in a rotten mood to begin with, so I just decided that when I had a couple of days off I’d just spend it hiding under my blanket and trying to come up with a plan.

Part of this plan involves me finding a new job, but I think that’s been the plan for about eight years now and I see how that has worked out. I needed to figure out my deal with the writing thing, get back into reading more, and get more exercise.

I guess the plan here is that I want to focus on specific writing goals instead of just pushing myself to publish stuff here as often as possible. I need to finish the serial that I’ve been working on, maybe finally giving it a tittle (though I see no pressing need for that) so I am going to make that a priority. This is mostly just to prove I can finish the damn thing really. Following that I have another piece of flash fiction that the consensus among people whose opinions I value needs to be expanded out. So I think I am going to work hard on that. I haven’t decided yet whether to make it an actual  short story or to write a series of related pieces. Right now the latter seems more feasible, we’ll see what happens.

I used to read a lot more than I do now. The problem is that I drank a lot while I read, and largely when I read it makes me think about drinking. Thinking about drinking makes want to drink. That makes me me angry, so I haven’t been reading much. This sucks because I liked reading. I’ve been working on it, slowly. I have a back log of stuff that I want to read so I am going to be doing that as well. I have to do this because I am trying to raise a child who reads. My reading list at the moment is as follows:

  • Under the Empyrean Sky by, Chuck Wendig. I started following his blog for the flash fiction challenges he hosts, which are very entertaining, and I thought in fairness to myself I should read at least one of his books. I’m only about 130 pages into it and enjoy it so far but for the aforementioned reason it has taken me a considerable amount of time to get there.
  • The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind the 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry by, Lance Dodes, MD, and Zachary Dodes. As an alcoholic I am not a fan of  12-Step programs for my own reasons. When I heard about this book on NPR it caught my interest. I have not yet started this book.
  • Screenwriting for Dummies by, Laura Schellhart. No real reason. I saw this on the reshelving cart when I took my daughter to the library, and thought, “Now there’s something I don’t know anything about.” so I picked it up.

I’m giving myself a generous six weeks to read those three books. I’ll let you know how it goes.

As for exercise, I’ve been spending too much time moping in my bed lately and I need to force myself to get out in the sunshine and what passes for fresh air these days. So I am dusting off the bicycle again and re-installing Ingress on my phone and seeing what mayhem I can get up to. Largely this is in hopes that some no work related physical activity will help improve my mood, and perhaps straighten out my sleep issues.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about this past week.

Happy Monday.

 

 

Life as a Three Legged Cat

My wife is kind of a cat lady. In addition to our personal pets she likes to feed the neighborhood strays. She takes part in our local Trap/ Neuter/ Return program. Were currently discussing fostering some kittens from Animal Services. Point is she likes cats. I do too, I guess. Up to a certain extent.

There’s this one cat, she calls him Tripod. Yep, he was born without one of his hind legs, the right one. Watching him do his little hobbled, skipping walk is almost an amusing sight. He’s gotten kind of fat over the years; the other cat lady down the street to start feeding him. When he was younger and thinner he was actually something of a bad ass, as far as cat’s being murderous bastards go. I witnessed that physically challenged ball of homicide pull birds right out of the air, hold his own in wrestling matches with his friends, and chase invasive tom cats, larger than himself, away from his feeding spot.  Now he’s just some fuzzy paranoid Weeble.

The most remarkable thing about this cat is the sad way he keeps trying to scratch behind his ear with that little nub of a leg. Can you just imagine the frustration? When there’s thing in the back of your head and for whatever reason you were born missing that one tool that can bring you relief. And even though you know it’s not going to work, you can’t help but give it a try anyway.

Lately I know just how that must feel.