Saturday, August 29, 2015

Picking Cotton

Tempted not to write today.  Work-broke/life-broke.  If Q really wants to quit writing, I will, too.  I feel that way now.

The work week was supposed to be only horrible, but it was as miserable as the week before.  By  Friday, I was just a puddle of mush sitting at my desk after everyone had gone.  I didn't know what else to do having known nothing but work for too many days straight.  Work was now defining my life, shaping my identity.  Outside the factory walls, I had forgotten what I had once known intimately.

The Grind.  It is like war for soldiers, I imagine.  There is war and there is. . . what?  Talk of war?  The VFW?  Overcome the objective.  Finish the mission.  The soldier can lose his life suddenly, of course.  The worker succumbs eventually.  Either way, though, it enters the psyche and debilitates the ability to do anything else.

I know many veterans.  The war is always with them.

For me, it is just the hours and the energy.  I called Ili late Friday afternoon.  I wanted a cocktail at my favorite bar.  She would meet me there.

In the cool oaken darkness we talked.  Another.  I wanted mussels in red sauce, I said, but I didn't have the energy to maneuver that restaurant.  Sushi, I thought, was another matter.  I could manage that, I said.  She smiled.

Late afternoon is early evening, and the restaurant had yet to fill.  There was quiet and music and plenty of space, and some things were even cheaper.  Two people sitting at a table in a quiet restaurant before the crowd arrives.  Happy hour, even.  Two for one.

We ate lightly.  More talk.

Dinner done so early, exhausted but lifted by drink, I thought about my version of pajamas, the couch. . . a movie.

How easy it is to be worn but happy sometimes.  The cat, jealous, joined us in a cuddle.  She made my skin itch and my eyes burn, but she needed to cuddle, too, so I let her stay where I never do.  Purring all around.

There are things you can take, I am told, that will make you relax, that will relieve tension and stress. Interesting.  They can help you sometimes when the night is still early and you want nothing more than numbness and unconsciousness.

The weekend will be rainy, they say.  It is o.k.  I don't want to move.  I don't know how to do anything but work right now.  I've forgotten all else.  There are chores to be done this weekend, and I will do them, I fear.  My life litters the floor in messy piles that must be sorted and addressed.  They demand compliance.  That is what I have at present, the need to comply.  I'd rather sleep through it, of course, but that will only make it worse in the end.

In the end.  That is a horrible phrase.  It is haunting.

When those cotton fields get rotten,
You can't pick very much cotton,
In them old cotton fields back home.