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02.15.17 Memory is imagination 

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I remember that night, or at least parts of it. A friend posted a photo on Facebook today and I remember that evening. It made me smile. I remember a lot of that time and those memories sustain me. My memory now is not nearly so reliable. There’s four of us in the photo. My friend Jay and I are pointing at the camera with the wide smiles. You can see the unbridled joy in our faces the other two not so much. Perhaps they were reluctant to go. Probably. It was very late, going on 3am. I probably chose to ignore their reluctance being that one of them was my boyfriend of the time. Even though there was a lot of wine involved a part of my brain recalls it as if it were–well not yesterday–but part of my very recent future. I can tell you I’ve not had a night like this in recent history. That evening was a bit of a blur but when I saw that picture it was as if I was transported back to that time. A good deal of some of my best social memories were forged in my 5 years in Toronto. I know they can’t be replicated and I know that much has changed. People have moved away and moved on but still I am wistful for those times. I tend to the sentimental. I can’t help myself.

We arrived at the party very late; in the wee hours after having attended a couple other parties. As people are wont to say, we were well lubricated. The cab arrived to the address and we spilled out, laughing and carrying on fresh with memories of the gatherings we had just left. It had been a fantastic evening. It could have ended there but none of us were ready for bed just yet. We had left the previous party before we intended so we could get to this address, thinking that party might end before we got there. We were on a mission.  It was destination number 4. Regular social butterflies we were.  The address had been given to us verbally so we questioned that we had arrived at the right place; none of us were entirely sure especially since the home the cab pulled up to was shrouded in darkness.  Undeterred we strode up to the door and rang a bell hoping it was the right one. It was. The party was in the upper rear of the house explaining the why of the darkness. We joined it in apparent full swing. The small loft was packed with people and I confess the names of any of them I was introduced to didn’t stick including the vague bit of memory of the host. I was in a little bit of heaven when I saw there was a karaoke machine, but I couldn’t get my hands on the bloody thing. After a some serious merrymaking and laughs, the two less than enthusiastic compadres called it a night so we piled back into a cab to ferry us home. I’m sure I fell into bed and asleep in moments. Yes, those were the days.

working for a living

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took the slow train in to work today. it was as if the driver wanted to enjoy the sunshine on his face awhile longer. myself i prefer the drivers like i had friday, who push the metal behemoths so fast they begin to rock on the tracks. it used to be that i liked the slow pace of the streetcar, but now i don’t have the patience. it didn’t help that i was running late. only by 10 minutes but he was making it worse.  i had intended to walk to work once may came around, because it wouldn’t make sense to buy a metropass for the 15 days i had left to work. like that is going to happen. if i can’t seem to claw a paltry 30 minutes into my pocket for transportation, how would i possibly swing an hour? for a protracted fast-paced walk? i need to arrive in a generally timely manner because i am training a new girl to take my place.

i don’t mind passing along information to those who come after me, but some people require more attention than others. this is one of those people. even though i have created a comprehensive "manual" containing most everything anyone could possibly need in the way of information and labeled everything explicitly so it is easy to find, she asks me questions that i have just answered. now i know there is no thing as a stupid question, but i don’t like singing the same song over and over, in a work context, that is.  at the end of the day i am bored with the sound of my own voice, so i don’t like to have to say things that really don’t bear repeating. it might be interesting to note that when i transfered to the accounting department, i was shown my desk and that was it. i barely had a grasp of the software. however….that was then and this is now. as acting hr person i am the one who enrols new employee into the extended health benefits program. i was a bit chagrined to find that she has just come on board and is making a chunk more than me. if she were blowing out of the blocks and seemed to know more than me aside from procedure, no problem, but she isn’t diving in as one would expect and it frustrates me somewhat. afterall, to get what i make took serious scratching and clawing. however, the world is like that, i know.

are we there yet?

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i’ve got one word for today….fuckit….oh i know you think it’s two, but it’s not. not today. not for me. 

this morning i was up with s. (i am tempted like colleen to just say who the people are because they and everyone know who they are anyway….) but i digress. so couldn’t even lie in a bit because my body simply wouldn’t relax even though i was bone tired. (what it is doing during the wee hours to make me this way is a mystery to me.) i thought i might simply just roll up in the covers and watch the last bit of star trek but there was an encore presentation of speaker’s corner instead, which was remotely interesting because it featured celebrities before they became famous or celebrated or busted for the umpteenth time. madonna was the last one and she delivered her few words to the camera as if it was painful to pull the words out. it was then i decided to get up and do some errant cleaning up and puttering around the house. i couldn’t sit still enough to do my pogo crossword.

my body really wants to return to that place now, though, and has been trying desperately all day. i had to retreat to the bathroom to do the sit-in-the-stall powernap. which i have to tell you is no fun at all. and not just because i am sitting partially upright with water flushing automatically under my arse and it smells vaguely of aged body waste. the worst part is that i usually wake up with the imprint of my watch on my face.

right now it feels like there is an invisible force around me, spinning me quickly clockwise, so the room has the feeling like it is moving around me; but my body is still, sort of vibrating in place.  i don’t know how to describe this, the sensation is so specifically unusual and transient. maybe some day i’ll know how. this isn’t the first time it’s happened. counting the minutes until i go home. they’re just not passing fast enough.

oh yes, can i get a witness…let me hear you say it!

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given the alternative, i’d rather be busy than not. the volume of work sets and maintains the pace of the day. the struggle then is to prioritize and manage time efficiently, and to get what needs getting done by the end of the day done. when you are lacking in work, it becomes another sort of battle. 

i’ve been feigning a dedicated industriousness all day. it’s tiring. propping oneself upright staring at the screen with an intent, interested gaze takes it’s toll. i did some surfing the net, some of it work related–perusing our affiliate companies to see what they are about–both out of curiosity and boredom. something i usually don’t get a chance to do. there’s a lot of talk about acres and veins and lodes and….well, suffice it to say, i didn’t linger long, it isn’t crafted as the most compelling reading at the best of times, and i need something stimulating. and the rest of the www, as i know it,  lost its sheen as well. like candy, afterwhile, the overabundance of it is simply too much for the constitution.

it’s friday and the office is deserted, save for a few stalwart souls who don’t golf or have cottages, holiday time, kids, or all of the above; or who like me are required to fill a seat 5 out of 7. it’s a welcome relief in a way, because i don’t have to worry so much about how idle i appear. if i could get away with it, i would hide in one of the unoccupied offices and steal some naptime.

i discovered that in times like these it is important to make sure you drink as much requisite water as you can, because pausing to heed nature’s call is a welcome punctuation in the day.

f*@! me

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as i neared my apartment the smell of lilacs wafted to me. a smile curved on my lips spontaneously. i felt it there like a comment; as a brief, caressing joy. i couldn’t help but breathe deep and become lighter. one of my favourite aromas is that of lilacs, and it usually comes out of nowhere, unexpectedly.  this was, hands down, the best part of my day.  the fragrance those modest clusters of purple flowers gives off is both novel and nostalgic. it is an evocative memory of my childhood, in calgary, where lilacs grow practically like weeds. here, it is an unusual encounter, rare even. the only other part of my day worth any merit was that part when i was out in the sun; under my $ store hat, in the 3o minutes or so that i inhabited the life of detective
alex delillo in the pages of my latest easy read. her life is fraught with a lot more drama than mine, but
at least she is respected and sure of herself and her purpose. i know, it’s fiction, but being there is better than being anywhere lately.

it was one of those days…you know. i wanted to swear at someone, cry, scream or quit on the spot. it wasn’t today necessarily, but today was definitely the straw; the tin hat; the wall. enough already. i’ve had so many days like this lately. i’m of the mind that if you revisit the same bad place over and over again you lose a little bit more of the ability to deal when you find yourself there again.

okay…being a bit dramatic, but my days as a bean counter are well and done with. i need now to formulate a proper escape plan. back from whence i came, most recently, that is. back to my city on the sea. back to the place where essential oils are found in abundance and birkenstocks are commonplace. yes, that’s the place for me.

slap down

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the problem with public space is that it is public. i forget that sometimes. this is just one girl’s opinion; her life. some readers may not agree with the writer, especially when she gets salty. a rant by definition isn’t a sweet ode to joy. and something written in the moment doesn’t necessarily apply once the moment has passed. you can’t please everyone……i’ve been told. and i’ll be good girl, even if it goads me.

day three of the cleanse. i’m bored and i’m tired; really tired. i think the lack of food coupled with the medication is completely doing me in. i want to eat something, i really do, or rather, i want some variety. the craving for food by smells alone doesn’t appeal. if anything the smells are too strong, almost repulsive. strangely though, i’m not really hungry. i’m just longing for the ritual of eating itself. i really want to make it at least 5 days, preferably 7-10, but seems like an incredibly long stretch. even if eating was on the agenda i couldn’t really do it right now; the beast is afoot.

i’m counting down to april 3rd, the day of my gamma knife procedure. i am trying not to pin all my hopes on it, but i am really hoping that once it is done this will be the end of it. the beast will be gone. i can go off these drugs and return to normal life, however small.

and then and then…..

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a few of us in the office got these space age ergonomic keyboard trays installed yesterday. you can manipulate and adjust the board up and down; tilt it up and down some with the two paddles on its undersides. the mouse has it’s own attached circle satellite of an aerie. i can’t quite jack up the tray up as high as i’d like and the ergo mouse pad proves to create too much friction, so my  square venetian scene lays over top of it. at first i was feeling "not so much" about it, in fact it annoyed me. over the course of the day i’ve become used to it, and i’m coming around to liking it. to make the whole setup work i also had to find a box to jack up my monitor as well. it could be more efficiently and organically designed, to actually work for the human using the space. but like all this modular, generic furniture, it goes to a point and then simply falls flat.

the station juts out into what used to be the negative space of my pod, like a cockpit waiting for me to slide into it. this wee bit of wild imagination, kind of thrills me. afterall,  it is about whatever makes the day go by faster.

i called it a day and walked through the eaton centre, maneouvring through around and past the clots of slow and indecisive walkers, popping out at shuter to continue my way home outside. in my ears donna summer sang over and over " i feel love", the extended version. 9 minutes long. played it twice on my way. i kept up to the pace of the throbbing beat with long strides; my shins protesting and aching. even though it was -6 i began to heat up to almost too warm about half way home. i approached my door at 6:13. i started off at 5:53. 20 minutes walking on the nose. not bad.

home on the range

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i’m flying. maybe it’s all those vitamins i took. i don’t know, but TGIF. my  head is elsewhere altogether. swimming. it’s too fucking bright in here. sun is glancing off every sharp edge and surface and hitting me smack in the face. i don’t want to complain, but can someone up there just dial it down a bit? i took an extra lyrica today because my monster has been biting back something fierce, even though it really isn’t a drug that works in that way. all i’ve probably accomplished is giving my liver some added toxin to deal with.  (so much for shedding myself of the drugs completely.) before the beast was a somewhat bearable annoyance, but after a prolonged period of time it has begun to feel like water torture. anything to make it go away and allow me to go about my business in peace.

i am actually managing to clear some stuff off of my plate that has been malingering for some time. so even though i am high, i am productive. *give the girl a pat on the back*. it is hazy and glarey outside. a few hours ago the whole sky was as blue as can be.  a pause to reflect after last night. it was quite mild as i slogged through the recently fallen, heavy snow to meet the boys.there was about a foot of it. quite a storm blew through. there was that hush that comes when the blanket of white cold settles itself down over the city. not many people were about. on the way back however we were pelted with a slashing, icy rain and battered by an unrelenting wind. cars were covered in a thick coat of ice. as i passed with my glovetips, i vaguely wondered how the owners of these cars might get into them if they were silly enough to attempt driving later on. and this morning, the morning news was all about fallen trees, downed power lines, small fires and power outages. just another day in paradise.

the boss is away, but no time for play. i’m attempting multitasking, but given my state i tend to forget midway what i am trying to do.

altered states

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our cubicle configuration was altered because someone from the other side didn’t like the looks of the small walled city created by our modular office systems. if the furniture people had gotten it into the space when they were supposed to, at the time of the move, no one would have been the wiser. we all became accustomed to the luxurious aesthetic of the vast expanse while we were in transition, while making do until the new furniture arrived. my space was affected the most. i now have not a single wall to delineate me from anything and no absolutely privacy. I sit at a corner, like a figurehead on a ship going nowhere. back, front, side; everything is exposed. even the space under my desk is visible to all. as a private person this goads me. depending in which way i sit i can see into any one of three of the surrounding offices. i could give it a positive spin and say i now have three views to choose from. the best offered is through the office immediately in front of my monitor, but the gent in there often closes the door.

now my world is wide open for everyone to see and it bugs the hell out of me. whether anyone cares or not i’m not sure. it eats at me. it moves me one step closer to the door.

6 days and counting

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friday. spring greeted me as i left the apartment. the air that hugged me mild and inoffensive, the narrow channeled path to the gate filling with melted snow. the weather gods are smiling.

i am trying to adopt an "i don’t care but i will still do my job really well" sort of attitude. whatever gets me through the day. it is painfully apparent, after 40.00 years or so that my skin will never develop a tough hide and i will always take these "perceptions" of poor performance or inadequacy personally, even though they are perceptions and completely unfounded.

we gather in the boardroom for a meeting. most of what is being discussed is not part of my realm. frankly, most of it is completely news to me. i don’t even know why i am there. well, i know why i am there; because i am part of the department, but all this stuff. T- something this and consolidation that. blahblahblah…. i couldn’t remember any of that information that my workmate pulls out of his head, on the spot. he is knowledgeable and informative and does this with enviable ease. i am simply not wired that way. i’ve got stuff crammed into my head that really only comes into play during a game of trivial pursuit; when my brain is leaping around from factoid to factoid at random. i hardly have this information at my fingertips.

as my boss speaks he looks intently at me as if i might be able to supply the words and information he is searching for. i meet his eyes and slide by. i am not uncomfortable under his gaze but i am left to wonder about the why.

i’m working at appearing engaged, but my brain is restless and wandering. once i pull away from his focus i begin to study the profile of the magnificent building that rises immediately in front of me.  it doesn’t appear so much a building as it does a severe rock formation jutting into clouds running across the sky behind it . through the light filtering screens the clouds seem to slow down in their diffuse formation across the sky. my brain perceives this as a sort of slow motion passing of hours. the sun hangs off of a corner of the building, glowing softly like a nightlight against the backdrop the the pale blue winter sky. i am asked a question, which isn’t really pertinent and i am jerked unceremoniously back to the here and now.  i had been passively hearing what was said but it may as well been charlie brown language. somehow i am able to answer intelligibly.  i simply plow forward. keep going and don’t stop. momentum. my workload is determined by what lands on my desk. there is no progress report to give. it is always work-in-progress.  i am reminded of the most remedial of facts. my first impulse is "what, you don’t think i can bloody read?". i let it go. some of what comes across as rude is simply his way of speaking. no point in getting all prickly about it.

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