"It is a truth universally acknowledged that the moment one part of your life starts going okay, another part of it falls spectacularly to pieces." -- Bridget Jones

"And that's all I have to say about that." -- Forrest Gump

I'm kind of obsessed with this day last year. More than once in the past year, I have gone back in all my favorite journals, re-read whatever entry was previous to the 11th, in some vain attempt to recapture what life was like before. Me, I wrote about people who make too much noise in movie theaters.

I remember nothing about this day last year, nothing at all. This day last year, we were all going about our lives, blissfully unaware that everything was about to change forever.

That may sound hyperbolic, but that is how I feel. Everything did change, and forever, and I know this in part because I can hear fighter jets overhead even as I write this. I also know that I have no right to say much of anything compared to most people around me, all the people who were here last year and looked into the sky and saw the smoke rolling off the Pentagon, and all the people in this city whose husbands and wives and mothers and fathers didn't come home. The fact that I will be be getting off a bus and onto a train there tomorrow, like I do every day, well, it's ridiculous to even mention, because thousands of people do that every day, thousands of people did it that day, and some of them were in the Metro when it happened, so who am I to talk?

They're doing something at the firm tomorrow, the honcho of the DC branch will speak and then the honcho of the NY branch will speak and then we'll have a minute of silence. They're encouraging people to attend any services they care to on company time.

And then, I suppose, we'll go back to our offices and go about our business, much like we were one year ago today.

It's all a bit puzzling. There are many who would like to pretend that nothing happened a year ago tomorrow, and think we shouldn't pay any attention to the anniversary, and are annoyed that the networks are covering it, commercial-free even. There are others who can't understand why everyone doesn't just get the day off.

And I don't understand where we got this idea that if I deal with it differently than you do, then there's something wrong with me. If you want to act like tomorrow is just another day, fine, but don't scoff at people who want to remember. If you want to take the whole day off to think about it, fine, just don't call me insensitive because I don't need to do that.

So. I don't have any great message to wrap this up with. Moving on.

Work, work is good. I have my own cube now, a secretarial station really, and my own extension and my own e-mail address (sadly, internal e-mail only) and my own duties. I can't really tell you what they are, as I would be all kinds of disbarred and probably prosecuted as well, and it's too bad, because I'm working on some really cool shit.

And last week, after only a week and half on the job, Sally and I got a raise. Another buck-fifty an hour, which, though kind of small, is better than a kick in the teeth.

The next day, though, our cafeteria burned down, which was kind of a kick in the teeth, as the cafeteria rocked. It had bagels, cereal, muffins, fruit, whatever breakfasty thing you wanted in the mornings, as well as hot food, bacon and eggs and french toast. At lunch, they always had one hot dish, or you could have them make you a sandwich, or you could get a salad, and some cookies, and it was good and it was cheap and it was very convenient, as there really isn't anyplace good and cheap to eat in the neighborhood.

But then some dumbass left the espresso machine on, and it caught fire, and we all had to stand in the street for a couple of hours (well, only one hour for me, as it was 6:30 and I just went home) and now we have no cafeteria for like a month.

Frankly, I'd give back the $1.50 an hour if I could have the cafeteria back. A cheap lunch in this town is hard to find, and after taxes, I'm not making enough extra to cover the difference.

So, it's not much of an update, and I'm sorry, but the raise vs. cafeteria fire is a pretty good metaphor for my life at the moment. Some parts of my life are going really well right now. Some parts suck. There's stuff that is making me very, very happy, and stuff that is making me incredibly sad.

I know I have some Zoloft around here somewhere...


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