Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I left my energy on the Perimeter

I realized it was nearly 10 after 4 and began to panic, hastily shutting the works at my desk down and running to the bathroom one last time (no telling when I'd have that chance again.) Merging onto the giant, ever-harrowing city bypass we call The Perimeter, I nearly collided with a fellow commuter who just happened to be in the blind spot I didn't know I had. "Sorry sorry sorry!" I mouthed and pantomimed my most heartfelt apology in my rear view mirror. It was too late, though. My late exit and near-accident ruined my traffic instant karma and my 19 mile trip to fetch the children took me a full 90 minutes. 'Was there a 15-car pile up?' you ask. No. 'Construction?' No. Nothing like that. Don't you see? The Perimeter is a circle. When I caused that driver to slam on her brakes behind me I slowed the entire flow of traffic for the rest of the day. And possibly into tomorrow.

The slow ride home, surrounded not just by exhaust fumes but also by the hazy smoke from a long-burning forest fire in southeast Georgia that hung so heavily in the air in Atlanta today I had to cut my morning walk to a mere 1/2 mile jaunt, half of which was spent coughing and reaching involuntarily out in front of me for the door to my house, robbed me of every smidgen of energy I had left. When I reached daycare Kate and Sarah were both in fine spirits. They hugged me excitedly and chattered on to me, to each other, to anyone who would listen, about their day. I, meanwhile, struggled to keep my eyes open.

Why is it that a day of slothlike desk work, followed by a commute so long my butt hurts by the end of it will suck every last drop of energy out of my very soul but a day spent outside, walking around and playing or doing yardwork leaves me feeling like I could just keep going forever? (That's a rhetorical question, I understand the chemistry, please don't send me the answer, it's just weird is all.) More confusing, such an exhausting day of sedentary behavior will find me in bed at a decent hour, unable to turn off my brain and drift mercifully into restful sleep, but the energized me of the day spent moving will keep me lively for hours until my head hits the pillow...and then I am out, dreaming of firing the President.

Right now I can scarcely recall the whole hour and 1/2 I got to spend with my kids today. Somehow dinner was prepared and served, clothes were changed, stories read, hugs and kisses distributed...I'm sure of it. They're snoozing in their beds, cute little cherubs, as I write. This cannot be the way I spend their collective childhood. Before you know it, I'll be wearily calling them both Billy. "I'm Kate" Sarah will say (I can already tell she's going to be like that) and I'll say "whatever" and glaze over while they head out the door in my car. Ugh.


Brooklyn Volunteer said...

hum a little gangsta rap

RFKeith said...

There it is. You need a new career.

Anni said...

Ouch -- that sounds really terrible! This helps me appreciate why we live next to the undergrad ghetto and I had to pick up an empty 40 from my flowerbed yesterday... But work is right on the other side of their lazy asses.

Farrago_NW said...

Here in Portland, Oregon, I drive 7 minutes to work, or I just walk to the train, a quarter mile from my house, and get off a quarter mile from the office. It's really nice here. Have I mentioned that? Also, it's a buyer's market. Steve and Joy said they'd move here if you will.

Well, gotta go catch a salmon for lunch!

Kicking N. Screaming said...

I do need a new job, but I like what I do so new career might be pushing it. Yes, the traffic sucks but no, I'm not moving to Oregon. And thank-you, Laura, for my daily dose of Office Space. Did I mention my new office is in the basement? I keep a can of Raid with me.

RFKeith said...

The MAN is keeping you DOWN.