This time of year the mountains

"Punctured bicycle, on a hillside desolate"

“Punctured bicycle, on a hillside desolate”

When the girl at the Whole Foods asked how my day was going I paused and had to laugh, how much I wanted her to know, she should read my blog. Leaving the office at 2 PM and stopping for a six-pack, a carton of cream: the trees along the road with the last of their leaves have the same frail, papery look of an old animated film about to fall the next frame: and the mountains with their first coat of snow, just a thin band of light beneath the deck pink-orange, the rest of the clouds fanned out and furrowed, folding in on themselves; it leaves me prone to afternoon naps, dark beers, solemn prose, day dreams.

Loren, on the day he left standing in line with me at the Starbucks looking nervous, startled, trying to make what he could of it, all the sales cues, the stimuli—like he’s betrayed someone, himself.

Me, leaving the lobby at Microsoft today, how odd it all felt at first but now, almost normal: parking in the same spot, the queer routines we cling to then rebel against: the fact those who were hardest for me to work with I probably learned the most from. And how things repeat themselves, why experience matters. How Finance people seem to have the same traits, the value of knowing their favorite terms.

Microsoft employs half its workforce as contractors, and while they’re expected to work mainly from home, they’re also expected to come in, and ironically it seems everyone wants their contractors in the office and everyone else’s not, so they implement restrictions that cut off badge access after a certain number of days, and cut off access to the network after 18 months. So from the get-go, it all feels temporary, impermanent, and I like that: it leaves no illusion of attachment for me, it frees me to do my best work, to just go day by day.

I’ve made a habit of eating there in the cafeteria and sometimes try to find someone to join me but most often prefer sitting by myself looking out the window at the parking lot, trying to resist looking at my phone, where there’s rarely anything new.

I got home and had the house to myself, and it was cold and gray; I changed my clothes and lay on the couch with a Smiths album, took off my glasses and caught myself with my hand on my forehead and what must have been a pained, blank look, noting the last of the uneaten berries on a tree, thinking how all this is just perfect right now.

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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13 Responses to This time of year the mountains

  1. dave ply says:

    Interesting the difference in tone between this one and say, two months ago. Life is good. (Mostly)

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Yes, and let’s keep it that way. No need to get too happy about anything , right? Might as well move to Florida or something.

      Like

  2. walt walker says:

    I like this one, feels focused, getting a real good picture of you right here at this time. I don’t think this is the real you, and what I mean is the writing feels like it’s capturing you as you are right now, and that is it’s own good and powerful thing, but I don’t think this is who you are. Those are two different things, you know. I know you do. Also, on a side note, while you are listening to The Smiths, I’m listening to the new Metallica. Two very different things there, as well. You probably wouldn’t like it none too much, which is okay, but as Wooderson/Matthew McConaughey said in Dazed & Confused, “It’d be pretty cool if you did.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • pinklightsabre says:

      You’d be surprised, what I like. But if go back to that $5.98 Garage Days Revisited release, start there and work forwards, with some beer probably. I have to reread your comment in the morning man, it’s dense. Glad you liked it and I think I’m starting to get it already

      Like

  3. ksbeth says:

    this set up does seem like a good fit for where you are in your life right now, one foot in and one foot out, love the image of the hand on the forehead, i was reminded of a swooning victorian woman, whose corset was a bit too tight, lightheaded and lying back on the divan.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. byebyebeer says:

    Don’t get me started on finance people. And as someone else said, it’s good to read the lightness in these posts. You show real gratitude too, which you always have, but it pairs nicely. Happy thanksgiving, Bill!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rossmurray1 says:

    How far we’ve strayed from the job-for-life ethos.
    But that pained expression? Inner concern or, as I like to tell people, “That’s just how I look now”?

    Like

  6. I can really see you in that cafeteria scene … Writing in your head.

    Speaking of The Smiths, I was just listening to “Reel Around the Fountain” the other day, then learned that Johnny Marr has a new autobiography out and Morrissey did an interview with Larry King of all people – http://goo.gl/MMBH5c. Surreal.

    Like

    • pinklightsabre says:

      Wow, I just watched that whole Larry King program — had never seen Morrissey on screen like that before or even watched him perform, so that was a humDINGER! His voice sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing Kevin. Put on some Meat is Murder now and have a nice time.

      Like

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