the only thing i got in the sack this week was my lunch, and i even messed that up

Yesterday, I forgot my lunch.

It was no surprise. This summer I've been working four days a week. Of those four days, I'd say on average I'm not prepared enough to pack a lunch at all on about two. Of the other two, on average I forget to actually take my lunch, which is packed already, to work half the time. So I actually succeed in taking my lunch to work about once a week.

But I didn't realize that I had fogotten my sandwich yesterday until I had actually left my office and walked down across the construction zone no man's land to my occasional lunchtime solitary sitting spot in front of the fountain. I sat, opened my bag, pulled out my lunchtime reading and my Cheez-itsĀ®, then rummaged about in my bag a bit, convinced that my sandwich must just be smashed underneath my walkman or something. I was incorrect.

To compound the problem, I was in the midst of one of the more serious low blood sugar attacks I've experienced lately, and it was about 1:00pm on what was probably the hottest day of the year. So, rather than stress about where to get a significant piece of eating, I stayed right the hell where I was, set out to finish up Burn Collector 13 (finally), ate my Cheez-itsĀ® and ended up thinking about a few things:

1. Why am I feeling the manifestations of my hypoglycemia so strongly right now? Oh yes, because I had barely anything for breakfast, then at about 11:00 decided to get a honeyed-up iced chai (the bonus being that this drink also contains caffeine, another no-no.) Why do I do stupid things like that? I know exactly what sets off my pancreas. I've studied this a lot. I spent a good several months in 2003 as a hardcore sugar-free dude. Why haven't I been able to go back? Why do I cave to the pressure? (To be fair, there wasn't even any pressure involved this particular morning; I got up of my own volition and walked a few blocks to get this drink. I put forth a good bit of energy getting to this state.)

Sometimes my friends tell me things that they do that they and I both know they shouldn't. I sometimes feel like I'm hitting my head off a brick wall with said friends. But I guess I do the same thing sometimes. But instead of putting myself into dangerous social situations or bad relationships or drug habits, I tear down my body with sweet shit. It's not that different, I guess. I can relate.

2. I recognize that girl on the bench across from me. I've seen her right here in this same place at lunchtime, reading her book. This is a revelatory moment in that I don't come here all the time, just now and then, and I hadn't until this moment thought of this spot as somewhere where I see "regulars." The point of lunch at the fountain is to go somewhere, all of 200 feet from my workplace, where I don't really know anyone. There are days when I get lunch with my friends and hang out, but honestly these days when I slip away and read for a bit on lunch break are the ones that are most satisfying to me. There's a rotating cast of unusual people--the group of older folks with binoculars, presumably watching the falcons that nest on the Cathedral of Learning, the people with dogs, the homeless bench sleeper dude, the man in pajama pants (on this fine day) splashing himself in the fountain then crouching over a bench to write in his notebook.

But now there's one girl who comes, presumably from an excruciatingly boring office job like my own, and reads in the early afternoon for a bit, sometimes takes a short nap in the sun. Same as me. There's a distance between us, and though I recognize her I don't--and don't want to--talk to her. Recognizing her itself is a bit unnerving. Talking to her, or even acknowledging her, would be like that day when I become friendly with the coffeeshop worker and, while I appreciate gaining her or his conversation, I also realize that I'm sacrificing my anonymity in this place, and I can't treat it the same way again. Much of the mystery is gone.

By the time these ruminations were in full swing, I realized my break time was getting on and I needed to scrounge up some real food and head back to the office. So I left it at that and returned to the mind-numbing task of wrapping yellow paper bands around books and creating item records in the circulation sytem (skills that could prove useful if you're considering, say, hiring me for a library job sometime soon!) I bagged myself a burrito and returned to work, not much further along in Burn Collector, with a sandwich in a baggie in my refrigerator at home, and feeling particularly fulfilled.


Post a Comment

<< Home