Thursday, July 22, 2010

haiku days and ice cream decisions

Well - here we go! The blog post I really didn't think I'd have time for this week.

I worked from 8 am until 8 pm yesterday, staying later than that, not getting home until 9:30. And then this morning I have to work at 8 am again. (When I wake up I'm not entirely sure who I am, much less that it's a good idea to get up. I get up anyway.)

This is not so much a complaint - after all, I'm getting through it, I'll be paid for my extra work, and summer's not that long - as just an acknowledgment of the fact that my schedule currently is quite blocked off, to the point that extra time is rare, and worth its weight in gold.

So even though I've been thinking about this week's blog post, well, all week, and keeping ideas for it on the back burner of my brain, I kept thinking - "OK, if it comes down to sleeping or blogging, I'm sorry, but I'm going to choose sleep."

Anyway. Here I am. I've cooked the breakfast porridge, and it is sitting, gelling. I've yet to take my morning shower, which is more for taming my porcupine-quill hair than for getting clean. The house is quiet, although the others are waking and doing their morning routine too. Between six and seven am we are all zombies.

Haiku days: At work we use a point-of-sale computer system for our transactions and inventory. It's set up on my computer, down at the front desk, and also on the computer upstairs that our office manager uses. (She's also a good friend of mine.) The computer system has its faults, one of which is that when you want to type messages between users, it's very MS-DOS looking, and you can only use the arrows on the keyboard, you can't use the mouse and highlight or anything. The lines don't wrap - when you get to the end of a line, if you keep typing, the words won't appear. You have to press "Enter" to go to the next line. It's kind of like an old-fashioned typewriter pretending it is a computer - frustrating.

This interface has made my messages feel spare and limited, so I've been inspired to write the odd haiku to my office manager-friend-lady. She'll write me back one too, sometimes. Usually they're about work and how frustrated I am by morons who come in. They're not necessarily poetic, but I do follow the 5-7-5 format. It's kind of fun to try and fit a sentiment into this poetic corset.

(Sometimes I'll skip the haiku form altogether and just write things like "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK...." to which she'll write back "That's a lot of U's" or "HAHAHAHHA gotcha kiddo!" She's good like that.)

Here's one for this morning:

cooking breakfast oats
touch my skin and realize
i am here, right now

Ice cream decisions: It's been a CRAZY week. (And oh, it's only going to get crazier, when Regatta Week comes around, August 1-7.) Just balls to the wall at work, as they say. (Good lord, I love that saying. Balls to the wall. It's profane, it's immediate, it works.) The phone rings pretty much every sixty seconds, there are boats coming in over the VHF looking for moorings (and we're pretty much full), there are people coming in with all kinds of engine problems that they want fixed right away - which I totally get, because the summer is short and you want to be able to enjoy it, be out on the water.

So my days off last week were like a walled garden - and I was the only one with a key to get inside. Sunday and Monday - I needed them to be kept separate from the rest of the week, to be a little playing area for my tired brain. What better for that than - a beach on the other side of the island?

I filled my car with delightful things like - a jug full of water and lemon, my Morey boogie board, a big blanket, a sun hat, food, extra clothes. I put on my black bikini - because for God's sake, I'm 26, I'm not getting any younger, and so I'm not going to let a little bit of belly hair and belly pudge stop me from wearing a bikini. (Besides, four years ago, at twenty-two, the last summer that I wore this swimsuit as my main swimsuit, and looking much the same as I do now, a gorgeous Irishman passing through the area, that I briefly dated, told me in his delightful brogue, "Ah, you're a fine cut of a woman." Which has definitely taken top honors in the "Best Compliments I've Received On My Body" category. So take that, insecurities.)

I slathered myself with sunscreen. I put on a cute red dress. I headed off.

On the way, clouds gathered, there was thunder and some lightning, but I kept on driving. And on the other side of the storm, the sky was clear and it was sunny and hot again.

I lay all day on the beach. I swam, swam, swam. My sunscreen came off and I didn't reapply - oops, apparently that's the key - and got a sunburn. I read, and somehow the sound of waves in the background added more texture and meaning to the words I was reading. Each one was juicy.

I ran into some friends and their little kids, aged three and five. We played in the sand and talked. I love talking to kids - it is both nonsense and completely, utterly clear and sensible. Logan, three, handed me a stick. "Dis is for your DOD, " he said, intensely. "Well, I don't have a dog," I said. "Den - BUY ONE!" He said, his little face furrowed up, as if to say, duh!

On the way home we all stopped for ice cream. I was driving my own car there and meeting up with them. As I drove between the beach and the store, about ten minutes, I was singing along with the tape I was playing - Fat Freddy's Drop, dub sounds that have been on my stereo pretty much the entire summer, and I can't see that changing - and putting my mind to what ice cream I was going to have. "Peanut butter fudge crunch was pretty good, or do I want vanilla? Do I want a different flavor on each scoop? I definitely want to get three scoops, I mean summer is only so short. Should I get chocolate, vanilla and strawberry? No, that's too boring. Hmm, maybe mint chocolate chip and... what else..."

Sometimes you need time where the only decisions you make are ice cream decisions.


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