November 10, 2005

The Happiness of The Gobbles

Was I overly cranky last night? I apologize. I was real angry and I think I took it out on you. Honestly, I didn’t mean it. You see, tough week at work. More importantly, it seems my job description is changing a bit rapidly into something I didn’t expect. Well, I take that back, I don’t think I actually have a job description aside from the one I wrote myself when I started over a year ago. And I’m pretty sure that one’s outdated by now. But that's neither here nor there. Well, I take that back, it's more there... not so much here.

And while I'm at it, I got some comments wondering if I was telling the truth yesterday about all the conference calls I had and the projects I had to do. The answer is, unfortunately, yes. Actually, I didn't count the conference calls and projects until a few minutes ago... here's the real breakdown. I said I had 10 calls on tuesday, 7 on wednesday and 4 proposals due on Friday. After careful calculations, I realize I had 9 calls on Tuesday, 6 on Wednesday and 5 proposals due on Friday. I am sitting here thinking about that and the stress level keeps building. And building. And I'm getting angrier.

So I'm going to change the subject.

I know there is more for me to think about. Sometimes I just sit in front of the computer staring at the word document and not knowing what to write. Usually at these times, I have something that I desperately want to write, but I don't know what it is. It's not really at the tip of my tongue, maybe a bit deeper. I think it's still somewhere in the small intestine. Perhaps by the kidney. And so I dig and dig and go over all of the things that happened to me over the past few days, hoping to get even a faint glimmer of a decent story. That's what I'm doing right now as I sit on the plane back from Boston to LA. I'm looking for a faint glimmer of a decent story.

I’m sitting in the aisle seat of the exit row just staring at the keyboard, hoping the letters will suddenly form sentences. But nothing happens. I notice this middle-aged, conservative looking lady get up from her seat about five rows in front of me. She turns towards the back of the plane and starts heading up the aisle, towards me, on the way to the bathroom. You know how people put their hands on the back of each seat as they walk down the aisle of a plane? The mere prospect of turbulence has you hanging on tight, as if a hand on the seat will stop you from falling face first into the lap of the sweaty man snoring in front of you. Well, she's doing that, hand to seat, hand to seat, as she slowly moves up the aisle. She’s two rows in front of me, hands still on back of the chair. Yet, mysteriously, when she gets to my row, her hand does not go onto the back of the chair in front of me. Instead - and get this - she places her hand directly onto my computer. Her fingers wrap right around the top of my laptop monitor. I'm stunned. Shocked even. I mean, my computer is well over a foot away from the row in front of me, and probably another foot lower than the back of the chair in front of me. You don't just mistakenly throw your hand on a persons laptop as you're walking down the aisle. That's crazy, I tell you.

At first I thought this was a mistake – perhaps she slipped. She can't possibly have grabbed my computer on purpose. But as I looked at her cracked red nail polish contrasted on my blank white Word document, and noticed neither was moving, I realized this wasn't a mistake. Then I thought it was a joke, for how can she invade my personal computer space so evasively without either humor or malicious intent. I raise my eyes from her fingernails, past her wrist, up her sweatered arm and into her face. It's blank, the face. As if she were just standing on the street corner waiting for a bus. Nope, definitely not a joke. She doesn't look like the joking type. Which only leaves malicious intent. Which got me confused. Which suddenly had her continue walking back to the bathroom with nary a "sorry" or "excuse me". Which got me thinking all of the sudden about stupid people. Which then left my mind in a terrible whirlwind, as a montage of characters I met, heard or witnessed over the past few days flew through my brain like a carousel of pictures.

Which leads me right back to my job and all the work I need to do. And the fact that I won't be sleeping much over the next four days because there is so much to do. And the fact that I have a client function tomorrow night and all day Saturday doesn't help matters. And that I have to work on Sunday - we all know how I feel about that. And so I'm just getting angry again. You know what, I'm really fucking angry right now. And a bit depressed.

And then I finally remember the one thing that, without a doubt, always relieves my stress and puts a smile on my face: my 3 year old neice. Emily is the cutest thing on the face of the earth. I'm pretty positive of that. I mean, a smile fills my face just thinking about her. What really gets me laughing, though, are the words she says. Sometimes I think about her and just break out in spontaneous laughter. Like the fact that she can't pronounce the word "goggles." She calls them "gobbles."


Doesn't it make you smile? It has to... If you could only see her face when she says it. THAT, my friend, is true happiness.

Now, um... what was my problem again...?

Emily wearing my swimming gobbles