AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 7/13/2004 11:21:00 AM ----- BODY:


Worked a 15 hour day yesterday. 18 if you count meal breaks and commute(s). Planning board meetings never cease to amaze me. You truly haven't had a moment of Zen until you've listened to an hour-and-a-half-long argument about sidewalks. No, really. Or how about a deep and bitter Hatfield-and-McCoy style feud over drainage easements? No word of a lie. All of this after the first nine-hour workday of trying to pretend you know about marketing, cranes, or marketing cranes. When I was in the nuthouse, the first thing we'd do each day after Bob (Bob! Haven't thought of him in a while. Man, he was a bastard) woke us up with the flashlight would be to gather sleepily in one of the day rooms and state our goals for the day. One of the nurses or social workers would write the goal next to our name on a white board. It was hard for me not to laugh when I looked around that room, watching schizoaffective semi-retarded single mothers, hopeless anorexics, and deeply psychotic self-mutilators state the great things they were going to do with their day in a locked psych ward. Myself included. Some days all the sadder sacks among us (myself included) could only muster the standard, minimal response: "Just keep thinking positive." The past few days, when an invisible fist isn't rhythmically squeezing my stomach, it's punching me in the head right above my left eye. Just keep thinking positive. I can't choke down much food, but I remain dizzy with hunger late in the day. Just keep thinking positive. I forgot to pay my cellphone bill and got slapped with overdue charges. I forgot to call Heather on her birthday and ended up leaving her an incoherent message last night at about 12:30 a.m. I get the sense that I'm still only going to see Steve on weekends even though we live together. I haven't talked to my mother in three days, which is still weird for me. I have to meet with a financial planner today and I forgot all the paperwork I was supposed to bring at home, which means I have to use my lunch break driving up to Lowell to get it and back to work. I can't think of the number of friends I haven't talked to in a week or more. I had this pipe dream of getting up this morning early to write creatively, even had an idea for a short story last night, and instead ended up sleeping till 7 and had to rush out of the house without coffee, breakfast, or aforementioned paperwork. Which means that I won't be able to buy Heather a birthday present today because I'll have to use my lunch break for paperwork recovery. But I can make it work. I can make it work. I keep telling myself this.