Wednesday, June 24, 2009

San Francisco sensations

The following was something I wrote a while ago that I am intensely relating to today. When I wrote it, I was reading Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar and it was enticing me to stay up late with it, fingering the pages, writing and drinking coffee. I had flown to San Francisco to run a half-marathon, and was feeling a tingling energy at the tips of things, as if all my endeavors had nerves. If you've read the book, you can see the influence in my sentences.

I have been pining for San Francisco lately, the San Francisco I discovered when I flew there alone in July of 2005. The hot rays of sunlight that puncture the city fog some days, most days, rays like lasers on my stomach as I lay in the grass reading Lolita at a jazz festival, surrounded by people doing whatever they wanted with their Saturday afternoon. Sipping mojitos at a bar while reading about Mormon fundamentalists — and being able to tell a woman that and have her not think me strange and instead invite me to hang out with her group of friends. Riding on a motorcycle through the Castro, to bars as foggy as the city, getting lost in the tangled marriage of novelty and good conversation. Stepping on buses without the slightest clue where they'll take me, ending up at various parks in the Haight. Talking to people with no expectations, exchanging smiles to those walking around the city with bags from the running expo, as if we wore the same badge of ideas and actions, as if we had the same past, and we acknowledge it with eyelids up, down, up again and a curvature of the face saying, yes, we share this piece of the universe. The excitement of movement, running, legs like pistols, and breath, the air invigorating, like peppermint.

I went to San Francisco in March 2009, and finally, I felt that same connection again.

I wasn't meant to move there in June 2007, when I tried to go there with Ian. Maybe I needed to do some evolving first. And maybe... maybe I'm ready now.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The elements as awkward metaphors

The rain here lately is constant. It is plump like grapes, fat with a tenderness that allows the sun to keep shining while the engorged droplets hit the ground. They smack themselves against the pavement, popping back up like childhood bouncing balls, too swollen to fit through the street sewers.

I am doing things I never thought I would.

Boulder is morphing for me, because I am forcing it to. Because I have lost the ability to live here peacefully without making a drastic change. Because my emotions are a completely unpredictable kind of weather.

I have squeezed so much writing about you out of myself and yet I am still soaked with it. There is still more, there is always more. You hardly have to do anything and there will always be more, because it is intense emotion that fuels me, and pain is one of the richest sponges.

I read a fiction piece in the New Yorker recently in which a woman says to her lover, "We are like mayflies. We live only for an afternoon."

To have you is to have the warmth of steam.

Monday, June 1, 2009

6 reasons my job rocks (even though it's not my intended career)

The lease to my Boulder apartment expires in early September. This is no secret. I could decide to stay in Colorado for another year, or two or three, or I could move to another country. It's all up in the air; it's all possible. And the beauty of it is that I don't need to decide (i.e. give notice to my apartment complex) until early August.

But since I'm going to be at my current job for at least another three months, I have decided to make a list of reasons why my job absolutely rocks. Because I've been here for over a year, and if I don't make this list now
as I listen to the bird-chirp filled, almost-summer Boulder day carrying on outside without me, the Flatirons begging me scurry up them I might go insane.

I work in downtown Boulder.

Not in some office park where my only lunch option is Quiznos. In fact, the problem I have most often (and have elucidated to others, to their disdain) is that there are so many wonderful, independent, local places to eat that I have no idea which one to choose.

I work a mile away from where I live.

One mile. Which means I can not only drive to work, but bike, walk, and if I wanted to, skip. Because it's really that close. (If distance is a good enough attribute for Penelope Trunk, it's good enough for me).

I get a free permit for a downtown parking lot.

This is so very useful when needing to carry large things home, when I need to go to the Denver airport (it's across from the Boulder bus station), and quite frankly whenever I'm wearing high heels. However, the most important aspect of this is the ability to say snobbishly to friends, "I never pay to park downtown."

I only work from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

If I were the sort of person to get up early, I could do quite a lot of things in the morning. I always leave work when it's light out, even in the dead of winter. Also, friends who don't wake up until 2 p.m. think that I never work and can just materialize money from nowhere.

I am actually enhancing my resume.

I manage and edit print projects for our company. I write the company blog. I grow and cultivate the online branding of our company image through social media networks (hi, Facebook and Twitter). This will all help me when I get back to the journalism industry.

And finally, I work with a small group of people who, if they found and read this post, would not really be insulted by it at all.

I believe they know me well enough that when I say that writing is my true passion, it does not come as any surprise. Really, I don't think I could make it any more obvious.

A quote I take solace in is this:

"You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer."
— Stephen Leigh


Are you working at a job that isn't your intended career but want to appreciate it anyway? Tell me why you love your job. I know you can think of something.