Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ticking Away the Moments That Make Up a Dull Day

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

--Roger Waters

Having spent the last 53 hours without walking no farther than across a Saturday-after-Thanksgiving-crowded bookstore, and back to the kitchen in my parents' house (or to check on the cake I baked), and also to the car after a movie last night, I am a lump. A slumping lump. A vapid, yawny pile of impulses. Eat now? Eat later? Too early for beer? Naaaah: beer now. Beer at 3:15 pm: good. Read On the Banks of Plum Creek for the 67th time? Watch Best in Show, or 1-AA football, or one-star 1999 Hank Azaria flick? (Don't they ever show Remington Steele, ER or, God, TJ Hooker, on cable anymore??)

I thought I was unmotivated back in Chicago, sheesh, I've devolved into a veritable over-nourished, under-stimulated, candy-popping (Dad loves Halloween candy year-round), disaffected suburban teenager since I turned the thermostat down to 63 (please don't freeze while I'm away, orchid-I-have-managed-not-to-kill-for-the-last-month!) in my apartment and left it Thursday morning. I should have an X-Box or Playstation and a bag of Flamin Hot Cheetos (with lime) to play just to make my recreant, newly adolescent self just picture-perfect.

About five minutes ago, I had an actual thought that wasn't about when we are eating again, if I should check Ebay to see if any new Mark Jacobs coats have been listed, or if I could wheedle my mother to take me to Fayette Mall tomorrow, instead of visiting my grandfather in the nursing home and because they hate it when I drive their cars--Christ, I am 16 again! The thought was: ... Oh, wait. Dammit. Damn it. I lost it.

...nooo, okay, yeah, it was: In Chicago, I walk an awful lot.

I mean maybe in the neighborhood of miles per day--depending if I am late for the express bus in the morning. Weekly miles and miles of treading, tromping, trawling necessitated by, well, existence. To work, to do, to live.

Thus and so, even after a couple low bipedal activity days, I feel absolutely stunted.

Because even if you feel like you're not moving, in the city, you are moving. Always going somewhere, about to do something, even if it's dropping off a four months' pile of delicates at the dry cleaners or taking out the garbage.

I miss how difficult life is in the city, because, however minuscule the destination, however much you feel like you're just waiting, waiting, waiting, however smothering the steely grey urban winter or grimy-hot street summer is--each step has purpose.