20 September 2004

it's not you; it's me

When I read ďAnne of Green GablesĒ in middle school I was really impressed that Anne did so much writing that the letters A, N, and E were worn off the typewriter keys.

Overcast days like this I sit down to Be Productive, to get Something done. But more often than not, I wind up reading the news online, which I label as educational, and e-mailing copious amounts of letters to friends and families, often with titles like ďP.S.Ē and ďP.P.SĒ and the ever-popular and increasingly obnoxious ďP.P.P.S.Ē

Itís all displacement activity. Itís all form of mental pacing, but instead of my legs walking in circles, my brain does all the work. Itís the pre-work: the work I have to do to be able to work.

Coffee helps, as do the crooning ballads of Fiona Apple (remember her?).

But Anne lived on a rainy island off the coast of Canada. So itís not like she had much else to do besides her homework and putting oil in the lamp on her desk.

I change shirts, underarms sweating one minute, cold fingertips the next. I throw laundry loads into the washer, put wet clothes in the dryer, dry clothes in the white plastic basket. Make more coffee.

This counts as work, I tell myself. Even if I only get pre-work done today, even if I only output a little, intake a lot. Posting in the travel log is better than not posting in the travel log.

What happens, though, as the travel log ceases to record outward observations and becomes, more and more so, a journal?

Thereís not exactly a lot of travel going on right now, as travel requires higher credit limits, which are directly related to higher salaries. But Iím not complaining. Just pre-working.

H,O,T,M,A,I, and L will be the letters worn off on my keyboard.

Oh, hereís one travel log-esque cultural observation: American women always think European women are so fashionable, wearing scarves even in the summer.

Europeans, just like everyone else in the western world, dress for the weather.

Mystery solved: they wear them because itís windy and often cold and sometimes rainy.

Scarves: not just for the Joneses.

betholindo at 13:11

previous | next