You Look Great


But you look tired.

My friend said to me just a few minutes ago in parting.

We haven’t seen each other in about three months, maybe a tiny bit more.

He’s in full-time school and working full-time.

I’m in full-time graduate school and working full time.

Add to that, doing the deal, and well, it feels like 80 hours a week.

And very little time for anything else.

Maybe some panic.

Maybe some anxiety.

I had that in spades today on my way into work on my bicycle.

I kept praying and breathing.

Deep, slow breathes in and out.

There were a lot of near misses today.

A woman ran, I mean, ran, a red light.

I narrowly avoided getting hit, seeing her just out of the corner of my eye, on her cell phone, oblivious to the oncoming traffic or the fact that there was a red light and she was zooming right along, on her way, on her Friday, got her own agenda, don’t mind me.

“Nice!” I hollered, and kept rolling.

I just had a cab almost pull out on me at 46th and Lincoln as I was turning.

She didn’t see me and I think I scared the crap out of her when I rolled up and turned aside so that she missed me, “hello, I’m right here.”

“Oh my God!”  She said and almost stalled out in the middle of the intersection.

I waved and kept going.

“Always, always, always, please look before you open your door,” I said to the woman at the intersection of Church and Market who flung open her door and nearly knocked me over.

“I am so sorry.” She said and blanched, “It’s been one of those days.”

“I feel you,” I said, “I hope it gets better.”

And I do.

I hope everybody out there has a safe and sane one.

Although I don’t think that’s actually going to happen.

It’s Halloween and the weather is nice.

There is no rain in the forecast and I foresee a lot of mischief and mayhem going on out there.

I was happy to get home alive.

I was happy to get to work alive.

As I said, the anxiety was with me the entire time I was riding into work.

I didn’t wake up anxious.

It just sort of over took me when I least expected it.

I had gotten up early to get in some reading before work.

Doing my normal routine, a little reading, a little writing, some breakfast, some coffee, check the e-mails, dress, etc, get my gear packed for work, and then sit and read.

I read and got in more reading than I expected and was grateful.

I’m still catching up from last weekend’s round of classes and I need to write a paper by Sunday.

So, imperative that I get the reading done.

I finished the chapters in the text-book and got onto the ones in the reader.

I took some notes for things I will probably write on for the paper and got a handle of what I need to do to finish the reading before I write the paper.

Then I looked at my calendar and saw that I had two more big projects that I have to do before the next weekend of classes and I have a big inventory I have booked into hear next Saturday and suddenly the feeling of quiet joy I had at getting in the hour of reading went right out the back door and was replaced by the fear of fuck, I don’t have enough time.

I know this is fear.

So I did the fear prayer and that helped.

And.

I know that creating drama in my head or catastrophizing–I just don’t have enough time to get it all done–is not helpful, that having something to fret about is a way for me to feel like I have some control.

I’m doing something, damn it, worrying, therefore, I have control over the situation.

The fact is.

I don’t have control.

And the worry is not helping me be in the present.

I asked to be brought into the present.

I did not mean that to mean that I wanted a bunch of crazy driving to keep me on my toes.

But that is exactly what happened.

I am grateful that I got my attention on the road and off my school papers and projects and reading.

Being in the moment is a challenge.

But it’s the only place I can get anything done.

“What are you doing for Christmas?” My friend asked me as I was unlocking my bike outside of Church Street Cafe.

“Nothing, I have no plans, I’ll be here,” I told him.

“My parents are coming into town, I want you to meet them,” he said.

“I would love to meet them!” I said, “they must be amazing to put up with you, especially your mother,” I teased my friend.

“She is amazing,” he said and we hugged goodnight.

It was one brief hour of catching up and I wont’ see him again until the holiday break with school.

And that is just how it is.

Hell.

At this point I am really happy when I get the opportunity to call anyone on my phone.

The best it seems that I am capable of doing is shooting out a terse, brief text most of the time.

I rarely, if ever, can make phone calls out at work, and today was like that.

I managed two short tiny calls then had to hop off the phone mid sentence.

The connecting is a desire that I have and I need to stay close to my people, but it is exhausting trying to juggle it all.

I’m doing alright.

I remind myself.

I don’t have to do it perfect.

I just have to show up.

I’m getting up earlier tomorrow than I do on my days working, but I need to meet a couple of ladies in the Inner Sunset and do the deal, then off to do some cooking, and hopefully by mid-afternoon or early evening, I will be settling in with my reader and getting it on.

So I can write my paper on Sunday.

So I can go back to work on Monday and do it all over again.

I feel a sense of deja vu as I realize this is very much like how all my weekends are.

Work.

“I don’t have any time off,” I said to my friend, in response to his, you look great but tired comment.

“I feel you,” he said looking just as harried as I.

We hugged again and we both bounced in our opposite directions.

And here it is Friday, again, with the dance music on my stereo being the only party I will be having this weekend.

Aside from the reading party of one I have reservations for.

I may even decide to not nap tomorrow.

I had plans for one, but you know what God does when I make plans?

Laugh.

A lot.

At least I know the joke is not on me.

And I can laugh along with it.

Or at least chuckle as I sip my tea.

Good night my fellows.

May your dreams be sweet.

And your sleep restful.

Oh sleep.

My darling.

I shall see you soon.

Although I shan’t be in your embrace for long.

I know I shall be soothed.

Good night.

God bless.

God speed.

God damn it.

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