Friday, March 7, 2008

miss midwest midnight checkout queen

A cold steely day, the temperature hovers above winter. I’m riding the bus to work again these days. Wrapping myself up with warmth, winter layers down to the boots, except today I risked shoes as the clods of blackened ice has shriveled to a hop over. Ears plugged into music – McKweon, Feist, Dresdon Dolls, Ellis, Bathgate, Ezra, Dercy, the list goes on – I pause at Wig in the Box, that song from that movie.*

Bus rides are funny things, at least in this town. Usually I ride internal, listening to music, watching the moving canvass outside the window. Sometimes, something interesting happens, usually every few rides, there is something to note. Like one time, this bus driver made the lot of us get off the bus and wait for the next one. Apparently in the front of the bus a gentleman came on in a wheel chair. These boys began to make fun of the guy, loud enough the bus driver heard. No one. No one, not even me, sitting in the back listening to music, did anything to stop these teenagers use their angst for malice. So, the bus driver decided the whole bus had to go. Each and every one of us filed off, except for the guy in the wheelchair. We had to wait 20 minutes for the next bus for silently participating. I remember feeling very impressed with the bus driver as the crowd callously proclaimed them selves the victim to her cruelty. I could have argued I myself did not know what was happening, conveniently disconnected by earphones, but personally I didn’t mind being booted – I was present after all, even if checked out.

Today’s ride is quiet though. I push repeat for Wig in the Box and suddenly I am Miss Beehive 1963. I’m trying to maintain consciousness until I can get my first cup of coffee at work. I’ve been pushing myself these last few months. Trying to do it all and be it all. Working out, working three jobs, plus maintaining a social life so that this single gyrl doesn’t feel so isolated in the world. Music helps. It always does.

It’s the end of the week. This means nothing to me since I work at the farmer’s market tomorrow and Sunday is the mental health job for 16 hours. I don’t feel too bad for myself. I am very aware that this tiredness is the residuals of time off for a road trip to Ohio this week, and it wasn’t like I didn’t take last Sunday off so I could wake up late and drink coffee while reading the newspaper. Poor gyrl has to work? Poor gyrl has to make the money to maintain a life style.

Still here I am riding the bus to the St@te job, the temporary gig that has extended itself another two months OR until I find that perfect social work job I am looking for OR until I get hired in London. I push repeat again and wonder which will happen first. I wonder if only I could sow the feeling this song gives me into my actions so I can get wherever the hell I am trying to go already. It’s the routine in life that freaks me out sometimes. I can get so caught up into the things that make me feel good in life that I forget I’m not happy. It isn’t until I am standing still with only me at my side when I start to get a little nervous. We want more, remember and then I list all the more’s I want.

Except today, I’m beginning to see that to really get where I want to go – physically to London, mentally to a quieter process, emotionally to a place where this internal stain can finally be clean, and always trying to get better at writing – I need to finally accept the who I am at any given point. Silly simple, right? I’ve learned from experience though that it’s never the simplest things we figure out first and don’t we just make things complicated anyway. I make things very complicated most times. And that’s the thing about right now for me. I’m enjoying life. What? Even the working too much and being a secretary. With its time and place as impermanent, this St@te gig has been a good thing for me, teaching me all about this legislation of ours. Connecting to folks with power. Learning that red tape is sticky and pointless, they really should use duct tape. So, why is it when I am alone with me, I still feel this need to run? It’s not about going to London. I’m getting there and that’s about location. I’m talking about something more here. I guess I’m finally measuring up to this standard I’ve carried about this self and here I am still freaked out.

But then it’s too early to philosophize this life spurred by a feeling that something is missing. Or whatever. How about just being me, as is, without figuring out how to change it….we will, my internal dialogue offers kindly to that part of self who could work myself into a freak out while sitting internal on a bus. Having been there and done that, this one time I just acquiesce. So, I put down these thoughts, push repeat on my shuffle and let myself suddenly be Miss Midwest Midnight Checkout Queen.



*You can click the link, to hear the song. Its from the movie Hedwig and the angry inch.

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