Thursday, September 1, 2016

Over the Hump

Wednesday was exhausting. It was my route day, the day I traipse around River North, Chicago with a little green bag on my back, an apron, shears, loppers, leaf bits and stems, a towel, a spray bottle containing mild castile soap, mint alcohol, and leaf shine (so calming), a copy of Clarissa Pinkola Est├Ęs’ Women Who Run with the Wolves, a water bottle, ibuprofen, and a two gallon water bucket.

At the end of every Wednesday, I am sore, I am hungry, insatiably, and I am content. For the most part. I love working with my hands.

It’s hard to be away from social media on this day because it can be a bit of a lonely day. Despite the sweetness of the little fellas (plants), they don’t say much. I tried listening to music in between my accounts, and that helped a bit, but all in all, I felt a lot more connected with my surroundings and at peace. Dangit.

I felt a little grateful too. Sometimes I dread this day because I’m tired, or stressed, but today I soaked it up. It helped that it was about 75 in the sun with no humidity with a pleasant wind by the river. I took bigger mental pictures of the towering shrines to corporate America. It’s such a remarkable panorama from 57, but the buildings are so close, I feel I could wrap my arms around them on 43. On 25, I’m inside a photograph, surrounded by mirrors, flashing in the sun, and beneath them, there is a river, and on the river, there are boats and kayaks, trees and tables under umbrellas, buses and cars, cyclists and pedestrians, but on the other side of the double paned window, it is silent and still.

A lady at the front desk of a hotel I service asked if I would like a bottle of water, and I responded with wide-eyed disbelief, a pause, and, “yes.” “Well, get one,” she said, “you deserve it.” Well done, front desk lady. I totally did deserve it. I gulped it down on my way to my last stop, this company that edits media: commercials, film, lots of commercials, all sorts of different people on computers. It’s probably my favorite stop. Mostly because I have a crush on every boy at that office.

They all have beards and tattoos and stare at computer screens watching the same millisecond over and over again until it’s perfect. Hello? I mean, even the guy with the ponytail is hot, especially the guy with the ponytail. It’s work, y’all, so I gotta just enjoy it for what it is, but I’d marry any one of those nerds if they asked.  

The woman that produced the “like a girl” ad campaign...I think, also works there. She introduced herself to me on the elevator one cold day back in March, said she admired that I worked with plants. She was everything a powerful creative woman should be, mostly because she told me to eat whatever I wanted when I was there in front of the interns, who then had to hound me to eat waffles every day after that. I treated a pest problem in one of her plants and revived her Jade.

Then there’s the office manager, who has a desk in a closet and dresses like a QUEEN. She is fierce. She’s got this 1950s pinup girl thing going on, and her hair is almost always done up. Sometimes she’s got a killer face on too, and she’s lovely without makeup.

It’s the fun stop.

Then I hopped on the Grand bus heading west and squeezed myself into my spot amongst the sardines. Look. I’m not railing on babies and kids and stuff. I love em. But I hate...with a passion reserved for very few…those giant SUV strollers. At 5:30 P.M. on a Wednesday going OUT of downtown Chicago. The front half of the Grand bus was overtaken by a slew of precious children, a wagon, and an SUV.

Every time the bus pulls aside to pick up new riders, everyone looks around desperately for a way to squeeze five more people, and they all look butt hurt the whole time, as do I. We were surrounded by a sea of traffic as well, so it took a good half hour to get the half mile out of the center of town.

I finally acquired a seat, after watching a little girl try to pretend she knew how to tie her shoes until a standing woman helped her, and she hugged her knees to her chest with a satisfied grin. I took out the huge book I’d been lugging around with just enough time to read about three pages before pulling the “let me off” chord. It’s a dense book.

I listened to music the whole time, too. Billie Holiday and Fiona Apple, Sinead O’Connor and Tori Amos.

This morning, there are dark grey clouds in the distance, and I am going to a Cubs game tonight, so I hope they clear up.

I'm starting to think that maybe taking a week long break from social media is a good idea once a month. After all, who am I beholden to on the internet? Who am I beholden to in the world?


julie best said...

do all the editors have beards?.. even the chicks?? because maybe that's what I need to jumpstart my career.. a strap on beard. BTW--you are beholden to Linus and Linus only.

caroline allen said...

Not the chicks, but the chicks are definitely our kind of people, ya know? A beard might help you, but what would help more would be living in New York, Chicago, LA, or Tokyo (where this particular company has offices), and who wants to do that?