Cafe Hitch-hike


To roads unchartered and unknown

So here I am, in mi trabajo (my job) and I'm in the building. I was completing my annual reports for my department and also my individual one. I was listening to some Herb Alpert which then gave me a nice, random selection of 70s light jazz instrumentals which included some Grover Washington, Bill Withers, and now... Chic (but with lyrics). I decided to take a little break from the reporting. It feels like a miracle to see how productive I was able to be despite the confusion and mayhem that we all felt on so many levels during a worldwide pandemic.

It feels like we're all gradually waking up. Contagion is still high in these parts, according to the CDC, but everyone wants business as usual and to go back to normal. Everyone seems to think the damn virus is like a person that can be strong armed into following our will, but alas, that is not the case. We can go out and about, and some are choosing to be immunized, but we'll still be stuffed thanks to those who don't want to be. Just as I thought in the thick of last summer, it's living at our own risk. Even if we choose to be cautious, we can't assume others will. It's like defensive living; with defensive driving, we do what we must to avoid getting smashed cos someone can't stay in their lane, and it's the same with COVID.

It sure felt great to see more family and friends as the 2020 went on. I'm even more thankful I didn't get sick in the times when I let down my mask (hahaha).

I got my second jab last night. I tossed and turned all night, and was serious gassy (TMI) with a wicked headache. The dog probably wanted to kick me out of the bed like I do with her when she gets restless. Ibuprofen helped me and waking up didn't feel nearly as terrible as the night.

I have all these grand plans in place once I pass the 2-week post-jab mark. I'm itching to travel, but let's see what happens. Huck has wicked travel lust, but let's see what really happens. The uncertainty is from the demands of his job; its politics drive him batshit nuts and I don't know how he's gonna hang on 'til he can reach his early retirement. Then, he has his mother who he's close to and is in fragile health. Otherwise, he likes to travel and has been to a lot of places in the US and abroad.

I'm a bit afraid of making the drive to Texas for some reason. I still have this fear of dying. I didn't have that fear as an adult (if anything, I almost welcomed it), but it's still there. I guess it's because life got so much better and I didn't want to leave so easily. I know the choice isn't mine, though. I also suppose seeing others pass away pushed me out of that space.

My boss's mother died 3 weeks ago, and she vented to me the other day. No, really, I was good for it. I knew they were very close. After our talk, I felt something I didn't expect-- love. Her loss didn't make me feel happy, but the talk touched me and I felt a softness inside. Maybe it was love because I willingly listened, and maybe it was hearing about her transition and sensing the love they shared under the words. Her mother had to make some tough choices and stayed amazingly strong after being abandoned by her husband, and the family turned out all right. Maybe a part of me was able to admire that.

I also had better news that my friend CO in London responded well to his surgeries, and they will be sending him home after a 3 day stay. We talked a couple of times in the week before, and we talked about everyday things: cooking, beverages, and kitchen tips (he was in hospitality for most of his career). He finally exchanged his ancient flip-phone for a smart phone last week, and was planning on buying new furniture for his flat. It was a better tone that the 'curtain call' reference he made. Yeah, it was a little like that before Remy died; although he spoke plenty about his treatment, he still made plans (and so did my Uncle Joe). It was something because although they knew their prognosis was fair (at best) to poor, they all had plans.

Oh, yeah, the interview from earlier this week was brilliant, it really was. I was actually going to cancel it, but something in me didn't budge. As it turned out, the head of the search committee was a former colleague and she recognized me immediately (and seemed quite positive about that). I spoke to their grand pubah and we seemed to speak a mutually intelligible language. We were enthused about certain aspects of our professions and what got us in them, and spoke a bit off topic about them.

Some people are warning me about starting a new job when the chances of a layoff is high. True, and I also looked at other matters. The job appears to be much easier than the ones I've had these past 6 years. The pay is likely to be nicely higher. The commute and workweek, hour-wise, is near-identical to I work without the commute. I felt encouraged to see, before the interview, the cohorts I knew there went on to good things or got additional credentials; I can't say the same thing (at.all) for where I am now. If anything, a lot of my former colleagues from my building left the profession. It was refreshing to see the mobility was a hell of a lot better there than it ever seemed to be here. Maybe it is true that the place itself crushed more spirits than mine.

Just as my friend CO said, what a weird and wonderful life it is. Here's to roads unchartered and unknown.

downwind | upstream