Sunday, April 29, 2007

oozing through the weekend

The swoosh-hiss of cars on wet pavement. In my studio, the fan hums, turning its satellite head back and forth, issuing a tiny arthritic click each time it stretches to its farthest point. It jerks gracelessly along in its preset path – front to side, side to front, and back. It’s rather how I imagine I’d look in an advanced aerobics class.

It's an underwater day. Like looking at the world from just beneath the surface of a lake. The sky is diluted Payne’s grey, cloud and mist. The music of rain.

The grass is patching up green. The Red Maples behind my building – always competing with Forsythia to be first in bloom or leaf – have a peach fuzz growth of leaves. An aura of leaves.

I am happy. The story arc is kind of a gently waving line, really. Wake up, sit down in studio wearing only my bedraggled over sized blue T-shirt. Pick up a needle and thread it. Pick up a bead, and another and then repeat for ten hours – less the time to stuff myself into clothes, shop for food and flowers and have lunch with Weedy. I leave the radio off. I don’t talk on the phone. I don’t check email. I am happy. I even like the weather – below normal temperatures, rain, fog. It’s all watercolor lovely and hushed.

Happy begins yesterday. The Scorpio is visiting in the morning. “Ten, ten thirty,” he says. At 8:30, I’ve had time enough to clear the debris from the coffee table, dump the dishes into the dishpan to soak. I've just barely stepped out of the shower when he arrives. “I had to come early,” he said. Uh-huh. And here I am with Hair By Showercap, clutching a towel around me and dripping on the rug. This is more chagrined, sopping woman than sexy, I assure you. “Take your time,” he says, with a big magnanimous grin, thoroughly entertained by my discomfort.

What the hell, I wasn’t going to be dressed for long anyway.

****Interval****Shot of Scorpio putting jacket on****Shot of hands moving on clock****

I slide into the afternoon – where the story “arc” begins to flat line. I pop in a DVD of Running with Scissors and watch it. Twice in a row. And I loll, boneless and lazy. I loll eating ginger snaps. And then I loll drinking wine. I loll right up to bedtime.

I reflect on the week of not complaining. The one big challenge – a three hour, no coffee break meeting, followed by training to change computer tables. Mute squirming on my part through the usual overextended, rambling off-topic blah blah. I note that while I am not complaining, one woman is. I perk up. Oh good – someone to study. She starts by making a relevant point, but it swiftly descends into a pinched thin monologue about how much work she does and how much is still left and how really, it isn’t even worth it to take two days off when you have to face that when you come back. I’m absolutely fascinated listening to her. I sit up straight in my seat and pay close attention. I know it’s exactly how I sound when I complain. And it’s horrible. We are on item 3 of a 16 item agenda, and we’re an hour into the meeting and she is not clamming up.

I decide to extend the not-complaining experiment for life.

Talking to Weedy on the phone, I say, “It isn’t that hard. I don’t complain as much as I thought I did.”

“That,” she replies, “is because we don’t care about much anymore.” And it’s true. At least it’s true of the bullshit things I used to think were important and worth worrying about. There’s something to be said for telling yourself, when your thoughts start to shove you front to side to front, that you might only have a day, a year, a decade left.

It is enormously cheering and makes complaining seem a little ludicrous.


12 comments:

Darkmind said...

This is how I know I spend too much time on the internet. When you said, "I loll eating ginger snaps, and then I loll drinking wine. I loll right up until bed time." I kept picturing you laughing out loud (LOL) while doing those things rather than being indolent. Although I must say, the mental image of a woman slumped on the couch like a throw blanket, with a mouth full of wine soaked ginger snaps, hysterically laughing herself to sleep...it's quite amusing!

LJ said...

I needed a verb that meant "indolent." But your version is actually more amusing. I also loved "slumped on the couch like a throw blanket." Wish I'd said that.

herhimnbryn said...

What a lollylicious w/e.
Hey, wet and wrapped in a towel when you answered the door? I think he must know you well. He knew you would be in the shower, so he knew he HAD to arrive early!!

Oh btw, Mary is back.

herhimnbryn said...

PS.... And perchance you know him well? And knew he would arrive early? :)

Minor Deity said...

I'll be watching the non-complaining part... ;)

LJ said...

H - I know him very well and when he can be, he's punctual. I know him well enough to give him a key - which he generally won't use out of respect for my privacy. However, sometimes the schedule goes awry and he's not above taking delight in watching me spin for a minute when I have to make a sudden shift...It isn't that easy to throw me off-balance, so he enjoys it. And really, I don't mind that he does.
Good to know about Mary!!! Back she goes on the blogroll!!!
MD - Watch away darlin'. I'd suggest September would be good time if you want to put money against me.

jessie said...

So true, the part about not caring about much anymore, when you think back to all the things that used to seem like the pinnacle of importance. Also true that when you stand back a bit from who you generally are, someone is bound to come along and give you an embarrassing demo! That does more to create change than all the willpower in your box of Wheaties. (At least until September!)

LJ said...

Made me grin, Jessie. Recently I heard an interview with an athlete...a runner who, in the middle of a long grueling race, at the point where he was facing a really tough hill, left his body. First he noticed that the pain stopped. Then he found himself looking down on the road and watching a stringy-looking guy run. Suddenly it came to him that he was looking at himself - and next he realized that the guy and paper cups thrown on the side of the road were equally "noble and unimportant." He found that funny and as soon as he did - he was back in his aching body.
I thought - what a joy to lose your big, bloated ego - even for a second.

Ariel said...

Sounds like the perfect weekend, lolling about is good for the soul, as is the absence of complaining... What's the point of complaining - or rather whining as it has been unkindly described in my case? If I can change things then I do, else I just accept them now. Laughing at oneself is always a good starting point...

zhoen said...

(o)

mm said...

You are really being very persuasive indeed about this non-complaining business. In spite of myself I am becoming inspired ....

LJ said...

Hi Ariel..Zhoen..MM.
MM - I think it's in spite of myself, too!