May 26, 2006

World Enough And Time

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love's day.

What’s that adage, work expands to the time allotted to complete it?
Meaning, if you’ve got an 8-hour assignment, and all you’ve got is 8 hours, it’ll take you 8 hours. Maybe even 7. But if you’ve got 20 hours free, it'll probably take you 20 hours. Because you'll waste the first 12.

Why? Because you can’t start working on that 8-hour project when those sweet peas have grown too tall in the planter and they're falling over. They could die in the next 8 hours. So you drive to Home Depot to buy a lattice for them to grow on. Then you end up digging in the yard to set up the lattice, get bitten by a poisonous spider and have to go buy antihistamines and anti-panic drugs. Then you bleach the sink in case any poisonous spiders are in the plumbing, and sweep and vacuum the entire house for the second time that day and wonder why you didn’t get an air purifier at home Depot when you were there.

Then you stop at Trader Joe’s to get coffee to keep yourself alert for this 8-hour work project that you now have only 12 hours left to complete. But while getting coffee you also stop for some cheese, trail mix and protein bars. And then when you eat too many cashews, which you must have a food sensitivity to, because now you’re all sleepy. So then you have to take a long nap, and when you wake up it’s too late to get your mind geared up for an 8-hour work project at 8pm.

But that would mean you'd be working until 4am. So you leave it for the next day. Whatever you do, DON'T go to Ross first thing. I know, you think you'll just get ONE thing: an air-tight canister for those nuts, so you won't spread peanut dust in the cupboard and get food-allergy sleepiness. I know, you ate cashews yesterday. But many people are allergic to peanuts. Maybe you are too. Maybe the cashews were cooked in peanut oil. You want to be safe.

So you find yourself at Ross. Why? Why why why did you come? Because you've got Retail Amnesia. Every time, you forget how depressed Ross makes you feel. You go in thinking you’ll find a good deal, but you get grossed out by the dust bunnies on the floor, the clothes on the floor … EVERYTHING for sale is on the floor, except a broom and an employee to sweep it. Where are they? They're not at the register.

And then there are the children. The screaming, tantruming, insufferable, future delinquents whose mothers think Ross is a free Childcare Facility; who are either a) deaf to their child’s Baby Nero tantrums, or b) afraid to discipline their child in case the kid says I hate you mommy!, because that child is their only source for unconditional love. Or, c) come from a culture that doesn’t discipline kids. Like Beverly Hills.

I told Larry I wanted to buy a fake security badge, like I’m a special investigator for Child Services. Whenever some kid throws a tantrum in a public place, I can flash it and say, “Ma’am. You need to remove your brat from the building, or we’re going to take him to prison. Where it looks like he’s going to be in 10 years anyway."

Yeah, too much time in Ross. Not enough time on my ... oh gosh my 8-hour project and I've only got 6 hours to complete it!

When I got laid off in September, I thought, Okay: All that time I used to go to my job, I’ll show up for work at my own desk! My biggest task was to finish the script of my solo show.

But all sorts of life happened. I wrote blogs, I got Voice-Over gigs, went to New York and taught, I got a couple writing gigs for DirecTV. I had to do my taxes. And most importantly, I fell in love! Which brought a whole ‘nother blog and other wonderful things to write about. His friends, my friends, our friends together. Friends who wanted to meet one-on-one and REALLY get to know us. I've loved it. But if you want to know who I am in one word? I'm tired. Tired and hours to go before I sleep. Four hours to finish that 4 hour job.

Now what am I writing about again? Oh yeah, my solo show memoir. What was it about again? Oh, being in excruciating psychic and spiritual pain. Can writers write about pain when they’re not in pain? Is the productive but tortured artist a myth? What if Van Gough had taken Prozac?

My story is a memoir about faith: namely, my horrible, painful, harrowing crisis of faith. Only Funny. What happens when your faith gets char broiled and pulverized? What happens when everything your faith was based on: church, friends, community, the faith that "obey God and it will go well with you: what happens when all that gets nuked? And God seems to enjoy doing it?

Obviously I survived it. And I went on to find contentment, and even fall in love. But can I write the pain now that I’m happy?

Fortunately I took notes. But will I be able to relive it and recount it in a way that feel real to the reader?

Thankfully, I’ve got a good memory. I remember events from when I was 13 months old and onward. I sure as Hades remember the pain of three years ago. Pain is pain is pain. If I forget, remind me. Some of you were there.

How many hours do I have left?
Better get cracking.

Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, we should learn to live in the moment and not hide from our lives.

Post a Comment