Saturday, 24 October 2015

october 19, 2015

three things i did well today:

one. i kept calm when i had a hundred different things thrown my way at work. i'm decently proud of this one. when the storm came, i wanted to take my computer and my tea and hide out in one of the tiny rooms with the door locked even though our doors don't have locks, but i resisted the impulse. mostly because i needed two screens to do my work. it still counts.

two. i made good on a long ago promise made to buy someone dinner. a yummy dinner, at that.

three. i made not one but four cups of tea. green tea. (which i strongly dislike.) because i'm sick. so the thing i did well here was: take care of my throat.

today i had trouble focusing at work because i kept getting distracted by my recent typical-millennial internal dilemmas about work and meaningful work and whether or not i should be where i am now and what does it all mean anyway. but that's ridiculous, i think, because God did not mess up, of course i should be here where i am now of course i am in the right place for the right now.

i bought old postcards at a quaint little bookstore in the mission today in san francisco. 85 cents each. i half-wondered if they were actually old or if they were just reprints, copies, made this year with an old date stamped on them to make them appealing to people like me who like old things or who want to like old things. i picked three cards after sorting through that whole box on the counter. one was a 1985 cover of the new yorker (the magazine) - it was a man and a woman leaning against the wall of a rooftop and against each other and looking out and up in to the new york night skyline.

another was an (allegedly) old photograph of a group of fancy looking women, glamorously dressed and fabulously made up, sitting around in an elegant room. there's one lady at the forefront of the scene wearing a gigantic bonnet - no that's not right, those are the old-fashioned quaint little ones with the ribbon underneath i believe - a gigantic sun hat and a coat that's more sophisticated than any i can ever aspire to - and she's got a little smirk on her face and she's walking away from the room like she's thinking she has better places to be. or maybe that was just how she smiled. anyway, i liked that one for some reason. or no, i liked it for no reason, i think. we're allowed to just like things without having any particular reason for liking them, right?

the last one had a man leaning his bike against a signpost in a grassy field with nothing else around except a little old building. one of the pictures that made me pause as i was thumbing through the box of cards. i turned it over. photograph was taken in essex, many decades ago. made sense that i stopped at this one.

i took BART home and halfway home i was hit with the thought i wonder if the man next to me thinks i'm afraid of him thinks i'm racist because my body is tilted away from him. i was consciously tilted away from him because i'm sick and visibly and audibly sick and coughing and wheezing like a hideous gremlin and i didn't want to gross him out or get him sick. but then that other possibility hit me and regardless of whether he was actually thinking that or not or even paying attention to the gross coughing grampus on his left it made me wonder what it must be like to wonder such things about other people and what they are thinking about you because of the colour of your skin and the way you look talk dress sound smell appear

i tilted my body to face directly forward so i was parallel with him. in that moment i think i thought i would rather have this man think i am not racist and risk getting him sick with my germs than let him think whatever he wanted to think knowing that i've spared him a horrid throat cold. i wonder what that says about me.

i think i am incredibly self-absorbed.

either way, he got off at the next stop anyway, leaving me to my coughing and my self-absorption.