Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Jackhammers, Penmanship Drills, And Cabin Fever

This morning I was lying in bed semi-conscious and thinking about how, if I didn’t want to, I didn’t have to get up. There was nowhere I had to be, nothing I had to do, and it was extremely unlikely that the circumstances of my life had changed sufficiently to make the prospect of getting up any more interesting than the prospect of just staying in bed all day, and so I decided that I was going to stay in bed for at least a couple more hours.
That’s when I heard the jackhammer.
It was 8:45 am and someone was outside demolishing the concrete steps that lead from the front of my building to the sidewalk. With a jackhammer.
Recognizing the fact that a jackhammer pounding on concrete just outside my window was likely to make my dream of sleeping for hours longer an impossible one, I reluctantly got up.
As per usual I sat around for a while doing not much of anything, eventually making myself some French toast (and again neglecting to take a picture), and then going back to sitting around.
The other night, as something of an exercise, I started writing something.
The idea behind writing this “something” is that I will work on it, at least a little bit, every day and thereby try to get myself into the habit of writing something (beyond blog entries) in the hopes that flexing my creative muscles a little more will work out some of the kinks and possibly help me develop some kind of discipline.
It’s a very faint hope, but it’s something.
In any case, the “story” I’m working on has no plot whatsoever; I’m just randomly typing whatever comes to mind. It’s sort of like doing penmanship drills, though it’s a little bit more involved than that, as I’m not just typing out random nonsense; I’m actually developing characters and describing events in their lives and trying to create a setting and an internal logic. I just don’t really have anything in mind for the characters to do in their setting with their internal logic.
Ideally spending time every day working on a practice story will prepare me to one day start sitting down and writing a real story that does have things for the characters to do, but looking back on it, the penmanship drills I did when I was in grade school didn’t do anything to keep my handwriting from turning into an illegible scrawl that looks like something a crazy person might have used his fingernails to carve into the walls of the filthy room that he’s squatting in inside of a condemned building, so like I said, it’s only a faint hope that this effort will amount to anything.
The point is, I did devote some time to that today, so my day wasn’t all sitting around and not doing anything; it was at least partly sitting around and kind of doing something.
So I worked on that for a bit, and then after a late lunch I decided that I had two options available to me: I could go for a walk or I could take a nap.
Which one do you think I opted for?
Even though I have the windows closed and the A/C running, as the humidity has shot back up, when I was trying (and failing; I barely got in a half hour) to nap I had to turn my fan on to provide some white noise to drown out the shitty music that the plumbing guys who were outside working on whatever plumbing mishap (most likely related to all of the jackhammering that’s been going on since last week as part of the sidewalk replacement project) had caused the water loss on Friday night were blasting out of their truck.
Said plumbing guys had been here yesterday, though they didn’t arrive until almost five, at which point hey shut the water off and left.
I discovered that the water was off when I was starting to make dinner and was pissed, as I knew that the plumbing guys were gone.
“Nice job, fucktards,” I said to no one, since the guys it was directed at were gone.
Fortunately they did return and about an hour and a half later I had water again.
As I’ve mentioned before, my condo complex has one centralized area for all mailboxes, though it’s not exactly “central.”
In any case, it takes the mail carrier a couple of hours to actually finish putting all of the mail into the boxes, and the section with my box is one of the last ones he does.
This means that as he typically arrives at around 2 he’s not finished until sometime after 4.
Lately, though, he’s been arriving later or just taking longer, as he’s often still in the early stages when he would normally be finishing up, so I’ve just been waiting until later in the evening to walk down to get my mail. Because I’d had no reason to go outside until I went to get the mail on Monday it wasn’t until well after the fact that I found the notice on my door telling me that the water would be shut off for a while in the evening, so my bitching, it seems, was ignorant and uninformed.
Oh well; not noticing things put on your door is one of the perils of being a near shut-in, I guess.
If I don’t venture out at all tomorrow, the odds are that I’ll feel a little anxious when I head in to work on Thursday morning. Spending multiple days holed up (I didn’t go anywhere Sunday and I was only out for a very short time on Monday) generally leads me to get a little bit agoraphobic when the time comes to leave the nest.
Fortunately the feeling doesn’t last long.
Of course, come Thursday I’ll be in my new darker, danker, and more crowded workspace, which could exacerbate the anxiety a bit, what with the whole being cramped in a small room with a bunch of people, but I guess I’ll manage.
It can’t be any worse than being in jail. I mean, at the very least I won’t be stuck in a bunk right next to the toilet.
At least I hope I won’t...


Anonymous said...

Well, you most likely wont be getting assrammed in your new office as opposed to jail.

Heimdall said...

I'm not so sure that's true. Some of the guys in there seem pretty dodgy. Especially that Brian guy.
And for the record, nothing like that actually happened to me while I was in jail.
The bunk right next to the toilet thing did, though. That sucked, though not, of course, so much as getting assrammed would have.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you should watch out for that focker. Especially in the dark.

Merlin T Wizard said...

Since it's dark in there the entire shift, I'm assuming Jon is going to sidle around the walls when walking and remain clenched pretty much the whole day.