Monday, October 3, 2016


I wake before my alarm like my body knew there was trouble in the night. People connected to me had bad nights, and my empathetic conscious turns in the night. It's October, so it's fully dark at six am. Oh how I could sleep forever. I'm up before my alarm by three minutes, and that means I get to make egg burritos for breakfast and lunch.

I drive in silence. Across the bridge I turn on my phone. A voicemail this early, never a good sign. I purposefully procrastinate turning my work phone on this early for just this reason. If my day's going to ruined by someone not showing up to work, I at least want the peace of my 20 minute commute. But it's never peaceful. My anxious conscious turns before I unlock the gate to the yard. My foreman's called in sick, lingering dental problems causing no sleep. My empathetic conscious turned all night with him. I wonder how or if I'll be able to deliver today's job. It's ok, I had a great weekend. I'm resilient and unfazed at the Monday morning bump. I even laugh a little.

Before I get through Mill Valley I receive a text. A text before our 7am safety meetings is never a good sign. Someones going to be late or boss is adding to my to-do list. Working this early is high on my list of least favorite things. I should be running at this hour, not working. The text is a forwarded message from my climber. His son has an emergency heart transplant. He will not be in today. He had to fly down to LA in the middle of the night. My empathetic conscious flew with him last night, keeping me awake. I feel for him despite the business to which I need to tend.

It's my turn to lead the safety meeting. I forgot. I stumble through it, summarizing the history of ANSI safety standards. The morning passes. I can't focus on one task because there are fifteen to do. I don't really get anything done. I like the taste of my tea, but the flavor reminds me of when I was depressed last December.

I sell some work and meet a nice woman. Her tree's declining, is over-mature. I can't help but draw parallels to the people of this town and this city on the rainy morning. We're going to cut this tree like we're excising tumors. Cable the tree like we're stitching broken joints or broken hearts. I'm pessimistic in this automatic association, but I'm singing in my car which means I'm pretty happy.

I get back to the office. I forgot I had an online meeting with a company big wig. It's an hour of more red-tape. It's always more red-tape. Never-mind, I suck it up. The meeting ends and I go back to singing Modern Baseball so I'm pretty happy.

I get called into my managers office. High-strung woman complaint. Can I continue to work with her? I'm fazed by the question, like I'm unable to deal with her and I need to turn her over to one of the more seasoned vets in the office. I can deal with her. I can deal with anything...if I want to. I wonder if I should tell manager that I don't want to deal with this woman but I elect not to. Her headaches still make my salary. That's all work is. The more headaches you deal with the more money you make.

The phone rings for the twentieth time, interrupting my tenth task although the list has grown to twenty five now that it's 3pm. I get chewed out by an old militaristic customer because our prices are too high. It's not me, he likes me, it's the company. We're pricing ourselves out of business and there's nothing I can do about it but I have to listen to him lambast my company and my selling techniques for fifteen minutes. On top of it I have to give him a discount because he refuses to pay for my crew's travel time.

I'm starting to feel beat down. I tried to leave the office at 4 but it's now 5:30. I get back in the car. The Modern Baseball I've been singing has turned from happy to cathartic. My climber calls. He's almost crying. No health insurance, he has no idea how he's going to pay for his son's heart transplant. His country from which he emigrated was covering 70% of the expense, but two years has passed and they will no longer pay. He's having the worst day of his life. How am I supposed to stay positive? I tell him everything is going to be ok and he doesn't have to worry about losing his job right now. Just focus on your son.

I call my mom. I feel like I'm 16 and just got dumped by my prom date.
I flop down on my couch thats firm-comfy but I kind of hate it because I bought furniture and that means I'm permanent and can't run away. I am fully aware that if I continue to sit my mental will erode until I go to sleep frustrated and sad.
It's misty-raining outside which I normally hate. It's fitting for my mood so I put on my running shoes. I feel like I'm moving through quick sand. Oh yeah, I ran a 100 less than a month ago. I don't worry. I listen to music and run for an hour.

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