The lake level has gone down now and there are kayakers and fishermen out early — the same lake I came to with my dog in the winter months with my German tapes on an iPod shuffle and my notepad, hoping for something brilliant. We live 10 minutes from this lake and don’t come to it enough, so I resigned myself to daily walks since I left my job, six months ago this week.
My wife clocked enough hours for her contract work last month to annualize at $300,000 USD. It’s no kind of life though, working 80 hours a week — and while I’m quick to point out that I’m doing everything else and itemizing my tasks, it’s nothing like getting 32 session owners to get their decks in by the drop-dead date, which means nothing to anyone, the term “drop-dead.”
So there is a stark imbalance in the household with Dawn online most of the day and much of the night, batting back IM’s and managing 2700 open emails, worrying over what might be in the in-box if she’s slept normally and not checked-in for eight hours.
But we pretty much got everything done with our lives and our assets that we could die a tidy death now, and it’s a goal of mine in some ways, to disappear for a year.
Since I left Starbucks, I’ve been in touch with a few people and thought about many of them lots, but haven’t reached out to them. As a friend and former boss of mine said last night, there really aren’t any jack-asses there because the jack-asses don’t last. Really without exception, I liked everyone I worked with, so leaving had a feeling of finality that was both sad and liberating.
I wrote it out and told my friend I believe there are lessons and insights in my story others could relate to and find meaningful, but I’m unsure if I can pick it up now or need to let it sit for a while. Unfortunately, there is a filter in my memoir-writing that sanitizes out a lot of what’s real, and that’s death in any kind of writing — and not the good kind of death, that’s fun to read about.
I think we need to write and sing about what pisses us off or makes us happy and do it with gusto. I have to figure out how to do that with my manuscript, and it seems the first 50,000 words aren’t the hardest, but what needs to follow for it to be finished.
There’s an elderly man I met months ago on my walk to the lake and he pointed in the direction I’d come, down a Dead End street, and asked if that was a good walk. His wife has dementia and he’s moved to a home to be closer to her, even though she doesn’t recognize him.
Neil Young had it better in his song “Old Man,” but there is something in that, to see ourselves in others; it allows me compassion.
He said he’s a thousand feet from the Assisted Living home in a different place, because he doesn’t need any assistance with that for now.