"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Four Days in November

Even most of TBL's closest friends did not know this until now: aside from all the story writing and blogging, TBL also keeps a journal. A traditional, handwritten journal. A diary, if you will. And while most of the contents are extremely private, TBL would like to share with all of you a few recent entries.

Do pardon the diarists' shorthand--they were not originally written for public consumption, and TBL does not bother with trivialities like grammar and prepositions when writing solely for herself. Proper names of people and companies have been redacted because they are nobody else's business.


First entry in weeks. Will shortly lose lack-of-time excuse as have been laid off. Do not expect to work between Wednesday (first day unemployed) and new year.

Announcement of layoff (19.Oct) followed by three weeks solid depression. Cleanliness of apartment has yet to completely recover. Will shortly have time to rectify that, as well.

Looking for new job downtown. Being there would go long way toward making up for recent events.

Hope to finish revisions of Catch Me in December, since will have all that time. Ask A____ for advice how to find right agent?

Severance package quite good. Jobless December not worrisome. Trying to view time off to write as gift. When else might have chance at whole month off? But still hoping to win Hot Lotto.

Have been reading up on Buddhism. Idea of "right thought" and seeing things as they really are very appealing. Also concept of mindfulness, opposite societal worship of multitasking. Meditation very difficult, though--brain not wired for stillness.

Knitting lots lately. Also reading and watching movies. Distractions sans interactions.


Tomorrow last day at job. Have r
ésumé in for 3 positions--1 @ K____, 2 @ C____. REALLY want job at C____. Excellent benefits, everyone who works there seems to love the place.

Not sure how to make it through tomorrow with dignity intact. Have been known to cry at commercials.

J____ coming to pick me up, bless her--will not have to face teary bus ride clutching box of lost-job detritus. Have better friends than deserve.

One foot in front of other. No day lasts forever. Got through divorce, will get through this.


Last day @ G____. Plan to hand off key card and bolt before could cry foiled by sudden appearance of half of team. Somehow managed to joke around with them several minutes before making exit. Cried in car. Professional dignity intact, passenger seat slightly damp.

Spent evening watching DVDs with J____ & printing out r
ésumé for job fair tomorrow. Résumé paper should go out, find job for me, given exorbitant cost.


Am now officially unemployed. Yet, still got up before crack of dawn, because job fair* at 8:30. Insult, meet injury.

Got all tarted up in best professional-style outfit, went to ass-end of Bloomington to beg for employment. ("Tarted up" prob. not best phrase; actually looked like Republican convention delegate. Very disturbing.)

Turns out, rumor that are more jobs like mine than people like me in need of jobs is true. IT recruiter from S____ tried to get me to give him all my r
ésumés so I could not hand out elsewhere. IT recruiter from P____ wanted to know if could interview this week. Both companies, unfortunately, in locations that suck, also known as outer ring suburbs. IT recruiter from T____ downtown asked ton of questions, scribbled notes all over résumé and mentioned specific job trying to fill. HR types with W____ and U____ downtown made interested noises but unsure what openings were in IT. Left résumé, will be forwarded to IT types.

Really want to work downtown. If find job there, will be magically transformed into super-cool single girl about town. (Realistically, will prob. continue as awkward, knitting spinster with cats, but firmly believe that rich fantasy life is good thing, esp. in troubled times.)

Cat suddenly behaving very strangely, perhaps in odd feline attempt to cheer up the biped.

Is working.

* Not sure why called "job fair". "Fair" implies bright lights, food on stick, atmosphere of gaiety, possibly beer. Job fair had none of above. Also, facial muscles sore from excess of fake smiling. Should be "job gauntlet" or perhaps "employment roulette".

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Half an Hour

This morning, I was half a block from my bus stop when the bus went whizzing merrily through the intersection.

I was not late. It was early.

With a few choice words on the probable ancestry of bus drivers who can't stick to the schedule, I struck out for the nearest coffeeshop to wait out the half hour until the next bus came along. On the way I passed beneath the overhanging branches a tree festooned with leaves faded to a glorious shade of chartreuse. The sidewalk beneath was carpeted in those leaves, rustling as I walked over them.

A breeze kicked up just then and knocked a bushel of them free from the branches. I stopped and stood there laughing like a crazy person while the leaves whirled around me. I wasn't slumped in a bus seat on my way to my rapidly-disappearing job. I wasn't trying to coax resume-worthy phrases out of my sleepy brain or calculating for the hundredth time just how long my severance package could be expected to support me.

No, I was standing on the sidewalk on a quiet street being pelted by windblown leaves on a crisp autumn morning when all the colors of the world were just beginning to turn winter-bright. Half an hour that normally belongs to my obligations suddenly belonged to me, the unexpected gift of an early bus.

The breeze died and the leaves settled around my feet and I continued on to the coffeeshop. When I asked for a jacket for my cup the guy behind the counter and I spent a minute laughing over all the funny things he'd had customers call those little rings of cardboard. My favorite was "mittens".

Then I sat and drank my coffee and read my book and watched the dry red and brown maple leaves skitter across the road outside. When the next bus came, I got on it and I went to work, where most of the cubicles are empty now and everything I do comes with a countdown clock attached.

But when I close my eyes, I can see brilliant green leaves swirling in the wind.

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