In a Room, On a Beach   Leave a comment

April 16, 2009

I’m reading a Superman comic book at my workplace.

I sit in solitary silence, in the spacious Eigo Room. This is where countless students have been taught English. The room is empty. I’m sitting near the front of the class, away from the windows so no one can see me. The door windows are covered with paper, giving me an added touch of privacy. I close the comic book for a second and close my eyes.
In moments like these, I remember why relationships are necessary.
Many jobs have a monotony inherent to their inner functions. Twice a week you have meetings. You teach the same classes every Thursday and Friday. Happy hour is on Wednesdays. Your mind gets programmed to this routine, and your emotional expectancies are aligned to your job. But then, one day you go home and you get horny.

Or bored, idle or frustrated. You realize that your rigorous schedule is sapping a portion of your life experience. The work you do to ensure that you have a place to live and eat is also the bane of your existence. Some days might be fun, but they all won’t be. There will be days you want to toss your files into the air, throw your tie in the toilet and hit flush. Then you’ll want to run outside, smiling gleefully and run naked through a public park. You won’t do this, but you’ll think about what you want to be. Your’e still young, you say. There’s still time.

Maybe you’ll be  a rock star or a famous writer. Maybe you’ll spearhead a new tech company and be a billionaire in a manner of months. You could be a travel writer that does dangerous assignments, and joke in broken Portuguese with guys you barely know about that girl you slept with in high school.  Or you could take that really interesting route–TV personality. You could be the next Howie Mandel or Chris Rock, getting a thousand hits on a grainy YouTube video where you chat about that time you got booed at a comedy club in Philly.
Or maybe you’ll be a game programmer, like those MIT kids who came up with Guitar Hero. Maybe you could just be a bum after winning the lottery, sitting home idly buying whatever you feel like, and only date women in Paris, even though you live in New York. Maybe you could do all these things, but then you wake up.

You are at work, and you’ve been fantasizing. The voices around you coalesce into an onorous din. Closing your eyes doesn’t help, and thinking about escaping wont’ help you either. Someone walks beside you and taps you on the shoulder. “Hey, we have a meeting in ten minutes,” they say. You smile and nod, but inside you want to be in Bali, walking with a cute chick on the beach.

You want to be in Senegal, snapping pictures of dancers with crystal dark skin. You want to be in Germany, running your hand across the Berlin wall, snapping pictures with tall blonde people and asking questions from a five dollar phrase book.
Alas, you can’t. You are at work, and you have a contract.

The most you can look forward to are holidays and weekends, and you eye the calendar with anticipation as each day crawls along. You can plan ahead, and squeeze some trips into that three day week, or that five days of sick leave you never take. You sit happily and fantasize about that two day trip to Disney world you’ll take, but know you’ll probably just sleep in. You sigh as inevitability hits you. This office is as much your home as your actual one.

I’m not at this point yet, but sometimes I fear reaching there. A relationship can make that easier. You go through your day of repetitive activity, but out there, somewhere is someone thinking about you. She wants to feel your touch at night, and smell your body next to hers. She wants to have those fleeting moments with you, even if work is at 8 a.m the next day. For her, you will be a priority, and that might make things more palatable.

You’ll sit in a meeting and smirk inwardly about the comment she made the night before when you went out to dinner. You will blush when raw sexual memories spring up at not-so opportune moments.  You will let out a heavy breath when something happens and you get pissed off, but you know that your baby will be there to make you feel better. You will wake up at the crack of dawn, ready to work, knowing that under the stillness of the morning sky, when we come to life, she’s out there, and maybe after she brushes her teeth, a thought of you will pop into her head, and she’ll smile. This keeps you going.

Sometimes.

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