Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Death comes to tea time

I am the death of the party. In the office, at three, when my boss emerges to make the tea and signal a break from the activities of the day, I am emanating poisonous clouds of forced productivity.

I’m working for god’s sake. Will you all shut up?

My boss asks JF what she’s reading lately and JF responds with a mind-bogglingly long list of titles and subjects. They chat back and forth. I slam labels on course reserve photocopies in deadly silence. There’s a polite air to this conversation. It’s forced and unnatural. It’s trying to beat it’s way around the black hole of my mood which is not only poisonous, but probably smells, on some psychic level, like stale perfume mixed with rotten milk and dog shit. The unspoken sentence aimed in the direction of my tomb is, “You can choose not to beat yourself up like this, you know. No one is telling you not to take lunch.”

The chat goes on. How little energy everyone has. How difficult the transition to the new system makes life. The attempt to normalize and civilize the atmosphere is adding thick oozing layers to the fatigue and resentment I’m trying to fight.

Have tea, for the love of god. Please. Enjoy. Just stop being so aware that my mood is radioactive.
Look, I want to say to my boss, what you need right now is not a human employee. You need a drone, a machine that labels and catalogues and adds things and gets them the hell out there before another student melts down or gets behind. What you need, unpleasant as it is, is a person with Attention Deficit Disorder who can obsess until the job is done. No lunches. No conversation. No looking up until the five foot high stack of files is done. Because, as everyone is pointing out, we all have personal interests and endeavors we’d like to get back to. We’d all like the job to stop sucking the life out of us. And my personal way, sisters, is to get it the hell done and over with so the crisis ends. The more time I don’t obsess, the longer it takes me to get back to my real life.

But then I’m enduring a nasty square of Mars to my Sun, which is making me less than my calm, obliging, underachieving (Okay, I’m only the last thing) self. This, non-astrologers, is not a time to mess with me.

Maybe they should have me work from home until I’m human again. Or maybe they should just shoot me and put me out of their misery.

Right now, my solution is Muddy Waters on ear splitting volume and another glass of red wine. Tomorrow, if the gods are kind, the Scorpio and me will give each other something to live for. Cheers!