11 September 2007

Dawn 'till Dusk

Watching and Yearning.

I get up, check the weather on the Internet. I could just look out the window but, you know, official temperature, wind speed and barometric readings are far more convincing than the sweat on my brow or wind in my face. I check the buoy reading because I'm eighty odd miles in land and decide whether I can dash off to the coast in my automobile for a surf or not. Probably not. So I go to work and get back in front of the screen. Maybe an email from someone I have not spoke to in years will greet me, but more than likely there will be one from someone I met online. I think about all the people I do fun things with these days and people I correspond with. I met about ninety percent of them via the Internet. Check the bank balance, read a film review, order a book, get into a futile debate, watch a video... all in front of this screen.

Dinner time, I force myself out of the office and into the world. I force myself to interact with the couple who run the cool burrito cart ten blocks away but then back to the office to chomp my burrito while checking my email again. Read people's blogs. Your blog. I get inspired by what you are doing, your art, your photography, your writing but then I realize I've never even shook your hand.

And then.

I get interrupted by a young person in crisis and I actually get to do my job for an hour or two. A real person. Perhaps they've slept under the bridge for the past week. Perhaps they stink. Perhaps they are coming down from a meth binge. Perhaps they haven't slept or eaten properly in days. Perhaps they are damaged. Perhaps we can't communicate but its such a relief to meet them. We might eat stale bagels, and take our time to sit in silence for awhile. Hopefully, I can offer them something they need because they will certainly offer me something crucial to my own sanity.

I can't go back to the virtual world after that. I wait until I clock off and grab my bike from the storage cabinet. It is late now and the streets are empty. The air is cooling and feels so damn good. I hit the first traffic light and as soon as it turns green I'm in sync with all the other lights downtown. I know when to speed up, when to slow down so I don't have to stop at lights and get out of my toe clip. I might have to rip a big skid here and there to keep my speed in check, controlling the bike purely by the crank, chain and locked cog. The kids hanging outside the late night coffee shop might think I'm posing and maybe I am but I need it. I need the wind in my hair, the pain in my knees, the sweat in my eyes, my heart racing, the abuse hurled at me from drunks stumbling out of bars, the close calls with cars, the caught glimpses of the mad world, the real world in the summer night city. I finally feel a part of it all and I never want it to end.

...and then I come home and write a blog about it...

accompanied by Joy Division's 'Disorder.'