Saturday, November 06, 2004

Me, Myself, I

I sat for a few minutes on the side of my bed, listening to the familiar tick of the clock in my hallway that always says it’s a time that it rarely, in fact, is. The secondhand clicks rhythmically but doesn’t move, like my thoughts trapped inside my body, palms on my knees, wondering what to do with my day. It occurred to me, not for the first time, that it was entirely up to me. “WHAT do I want? What DO I want? What do I want? What do I WANT?” A seemingly simple question, sometimes empowering, sometimes almost urgent. Today, without the influence of a morning phone call from a friend or acquaintance directing my path or any obligations to be dealt with, it left me feeling temporarily lost. So I sat.

It occurred to me that I needed to return the video I’d rented the night before. It occurred to me that I needed stamps. It occurred to me that I needed cash for stamps. It occurred to me that writing has replaced television as my default activity. I rose, aware that if I didn’t move I’d find myself trapped in my apartment watching a movie I’d already seen countless times, avoiding household tasks. I packed my bag and struck out into the beautiful fall day on foot, thankful that I’d chosen a path that would allow me to enjoy one of the few remaining days of sunshine before the bleak, sunless winter sets in any day now. I made my way under the highway, walking past the familiar faces and businesses of Lyndale, keeping time with the mix of music that falls firmly in the guilty pleasures category. I walked up 24th Street to Hennepin, feeling high and mighty over the rich trendsetters that have made that section of Uptown their second home. I overshot Blockbuster by a few blocks and decided not to backtrack. I found the customer service desk at Rainbow void of assistance and decided to forgo the stamp buying for another day. I landed, predictably, at Bob’s Java, rejuvenated by the purposeful, if unproductive, walk. And I sit. And I write. I take ownership of my day and go on, while the clock in my apartment ticks steadily on, stuck on a time that it isn’t.

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