Thursday, April 20, 2006

I am an idiot

Nothing will snap you out of a maudlin haze faster than almost fucking up at work.

Last night, I went to the weblogger meetup. I talked to some old friends and met some new folks. I stayed later than I intended. I did not drink. I heard some HILARIOUS jokes and almost went salsa dancing.

It was a good time.

I didn't get in a cab home until 11:30pm (or was it later?). The driver took a completely unique route and scared me half to death by:
  • Speeding.
  • Running a red light.
  • Turning right on red where not allowed.
  • Turning left where no turns were allowed.
  • Did I mention the speeding?
He did wait to see that I was safely inside my house before driving away, which is something.

I was home in plenty of time to get a decent night's sleep, but I didn't want to go to bed. I stayed up, fooling around on the computer, going in search of my old comic books and watching an episode of Six Feet Under (damn you Netflix).

I used to collect and read comic books and I still occasionally buy a graphic novel. I'd mentioned Watchmen to a friend and I couldn't find my copy on the bookshelf. I thought it might be in the backroom in the box of the comics I kept when I moved away from Seattle (I sold most of them). And it was. I might read it again.

What I didn't expect to find in that box was another, smaller, box full of letters.

The letters were from the late 1970's, when we lived in Knoxville, through the 1980's, after I moved to Seattle. There were several from my best friend in Knoxville, Carla, with whom I kept up a correspondence for three or four years after I moved. The topics of all of these letters? Boys. 100% boys. Oddly, in one letter she gives me her height (5ft) and weight (90 lbs--she was always skinny). I have no idea why.

There were several letters from my mom sent to me at camp. Reading those letters, I thought, if I am a good writer, it is because of Mom. She set a good example.

And, there was a love letter that I'd completely forgotten about, which I received when I was 15 from a boy who was 18. No, I did not forget the boy, but I forgot how torn up he was and how he'd poured out his heart to me in tiny, cramped handwriting. Unfortunately, I did not return his affection.

I wish I had the letters I wrote to him, to my mom, to Carla. That is the great thing about email correspondence—it's easy to keep both sides of the exchange.

I finally went to sleep and I when I got out of the house this morning, very late, I was feeling sentimental and nostalgic. Walking along, listening to a song on the music player, sadness overwhelmed me.

Then the cell phone rang. "Where are you? There is a meeting at 10am!" It was 10:10am.

"What meeting? The one with the Assistant Secretary? I thought that meeting was rescheduled."

"You're supposed to be here, aren't you? Why aren't you here?"

"I'm sorry; I was running late. I didn't know about the meeting. I'll be there as soon as I can."

So much for a comforting walk to work. I hailed the first cab I saw and was at the office by 10:20am. The meeting was postponed until 10:30—because the Assistant Secretary was running late. I am incredibly lucky.

When I got in, my boss said, again, "You're supposed to be here by 9:30!" True enough. I apologized again, but what could I do?

The meeting was fine. Stupid, but fine.

A little while later, my boss came into my office and said, "Can you go to this other meeting for me at 2pm?"

"Of course."

So. I roll into work whenever I feel like it, make life hard for my boss (he would have had to cover for me at the stupid meeting), and I am still trusted to represent him in another meeting later the same day? What is that?

The moral: nostalgic reveries only lead to trouble. Stick with the now.

Grateful for: a second chance.
Drop me a line.

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