Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Commitment

I am a whiny, busy bee.

Things have been on fast-forward lately, and my life has been a blur.

Thursday was the shimmering blonde’s birthday fete. Atop the shaded view at 230 Fifth, the lower floor was most aptly described as:

“A strip club.”

“No, no, a casino without the gambling.”

But on the roof deck, nothing but sparkly skylines, happy glows, and smiles.

Her crowd is a literary one, everyone’s name and glasses are more interesting than the last: Avalon, Jordan (a girl), Julio, McCain.

The blonde was spinning beautiful and lithe as blondes are wont to do, and though it was her birthday she provided bottle service by lanterns, latticed fences, and potted plants. This made me think another one of my defining mental notes.

When you become older and you reside in Manhattan, your birthdays are celebrated by you giving to other people, not the other way around…

Friday night we drove to a rehearsal dinner for a traditional Indian wedding replete with golden and ruby saris, plates upon plates of fried okra and moist, spicy chicken, dance performances, a flowered altar, and henna tattoo artists.

She held my hand and drew in tiny, black spots on my palm. While it dried I tried to keep the boy from picking it off of me (“Stop or else it won’t dye right!”) and drank wine and caught up with friends from college by dancing to Goa trance.*

Saturday morning we had to fly to Rochester for a different wedding and we began to grow wary of the steady motion. What solidified it was missing our flight because of a mix-up in long-term parking. We scrunched up and scowled at the situation. Grumble. I wanted to be asleep. My days seem to frequent with the celebration of others’ nuptuals and I have a sneaking suspicion that the stolen summers will not fade until forty years old. Grumble again. Soon, the feeling was pushed aside, replaced by an overwhelm of panic. We arrived with five minutes to spare, dressed in the airport bathrooms and cabbed it to the church. The reception was at a picturesque spot on a green vineyard, the sun glaring hot as it set into a breezy night. We held up sparklers as we toasted the newlyweds, retired to our room at midnight, and promptly passed out, feeling lucky to be there, and by the skin of our teeth, but spent.

Sunday we came home just as our roomies were leaving for a going-away party we’d feared we’d miss (airport congestion had caused us to return home hours later than we’d like, oh and the A/C is broken in the car still). Again, lucky but spent, as we sat twelve-deep to a table and toasted our friend.

Yesterday I sat at the bar of a new tapas restaurant and sampled cod fritters, manchego cheese balls, and olives in garlic brine. This was all merely to compliment the Brazilian drink tasting (one of mashed peaches and tarragon was my favorite). All in the name of research, I scribbled notes, shuffled home and fell to the couch. There it was again. A bratty little feeling of “this is too much” while indulging in fortunate things.

That nagging, nagging feeling that there was far more to do, whether it was fun or not. And that no matter what we picked, we were forgoing something else that we wanted to do, or someone else wanted us to do, and no one was content.

Today, two deadlines, one half-finished but very important, packing, tons of incidentals. Tonight, class. Tomorrow, round two of the going-away, more incidentals. I forgot how exhausting this season is and also how to appreciate it. I'm rushed, and I'm barely making any of it work. It's crushing to live in the nick of time, only to feel that it's never adequate.

This is summer, damnit! Enjoy every second. Barring that, make every second count.

I guess I’m one of those people that doesn’t feel right unless I’m busy and clawing out from a self-dug hole. I feel the pressure of my schedule, my wants and the actions I pursue to obtain them. I feel unproductive unless every moment is crammed with work, self-fulfilling projects, extra assignments to show I’m young and hungry, events with friends, obligations with coworkers, good books, bad books to learn about what makes a good book, classes, the gym, packed quality time, traffic to get to weekends where I spend too much and never relax.

It’s tiring and only seemingly necessary. How funny that it seems I need a break from all the things I choose to do. Even my upcoming vacation has us running all over the west coast to meet this friend and see that site, this hotel and that dinner. I chose this, I know, cause when I’m bored or lonely, I throw myself into a spiral of activity, hoping to find something else in the process. Worth, self, even purpose.

The more that I do it, the more I lust after the couch and a trashy magazine. A vacation from leisure, because my leisure is work.

*At the office now, I feel ridiculous, a poser who only needs a Kabbalah string to top off my fakery, but at the time, it couldn’t have been more fun.

6 comments:

StephanieKlein said...

Busy isn't the worst thing because on all trips there are lulls, breathing spaces of calm, unscheduled, for you to complain "are we there yet?" There's no reason to chase away bored. Usually when we're silent, and quite frankly bored, we have an opportunity to hear what's really going on inside. Take the opportunities when they come. Revel in the bored, my sweet.

And by the way... THANK YOU for being busy enough to send the twins the bibs and things! Sooo damn cute!

Anonymous said...

I totally understand about being busy but being exhausted instead of grateful.

Kay said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog - please try to come back and I'll do the same... I'm always on the lookout for more good blogs to read outside of my little comfort zone. :)

themarina said...

I do this constantly. Never enough stuff going on to keep me busy. I must ALWAYS find more to fill the time. That's probably why I'm always tired.

Spo said...

we park our cars in the same garage - totally relate to what you are saying - world spins so fast but sometimes don't realise we are the ones spinning it - you need a lazy boy chair!

Anonymous said...

Hi PH.
Thanks for mentioning my little party. You always make me sound so much better than I actually am. Call Stephanie in SD.
Love love love, SB.