It's amazing how frequently a tiny moment can reverse the flow of an entire day. I've been in a bit of a bog since returning to work on Monday. I think the time off did an incredible amount of good, it's just that I find myself struggling for stamina around midday.
You never realize how much energy it takes to get through a day. You build up adrenaline and it seems to course through your system, injects itself at different intervals throughout the day to get you through. With the hours I work, it's not a shock that my body would respond in such a way.
But 11 days off can do wonders to strip you of that endurance. And, in case you hadn't paid attention, I have recently come off 11 days of me time.
After work I met up at a bar with a friend who edits for another downtown magazine. I've known him for about 2 years now, though only within a professional context. Still, from time to time we would talk about things going on in the culture. Bands and film stars and activists and people involved in politics. We'll just be on the phone, chatting or laughing about the myriad absurd situations we find ourselves in within the context of this job. Usually one of us will bring up a pop culture figure.
"On, I interviewed him/her!" One of us will say. "You're not going to believe the shit that went down." And then one of us will tell our little tale, maybe exaggerating ever so slightly because things are just funnier that way. You'd be amazed how many stories we editors, we interviewers, compile over the years; how many hilarious and humiliating moments we've seen and been a party too. Things that no one outside this industry sees. Sometimes you have to laugh about it.
I've been moving towards something at work recently, and I guess it's not as big a secret as I had thought.
"I've got some freelance work that I'd love to give you," he said.
"I'd love to, but I'm not the best story pitcher in the world. It's like there's this disconnect between what I know is a good story, what I do when I sit down to write up a piece, and the ability to succinctly summarize why I think someone makes an interesting tale."
"Yeah, but I know what you can do. I've read your stuff. So let's suss it out. If you want it, I'd love it if we could sort this out. But it'd do neither of us any good for you to write under a pen name, so can you use your real name."
"Yeah. I'm not bound by that at this point. I've freelanced before."
And that was that. We went back to our tales and anecdotes, examining childhood loves of Pearl Jam (me) versus Nirvana (him)-with a mutual admiration for each; just a preference for one-and talking about bands we were looking forward to hearing coming up.
We sat there for 2 hours, drinking Dewar's and talking. And when I walked out, cigarette to my lips, I had to stop and smile and just listen to the perfect song on my iPod. It was a way of reminding me that sometimes it's the individual moments that matter to me more than the day they're couched within.