1/5/19

With grades handed in, the semester floats away from me like an abandoned buoy or side-boat, or decaying dinghy.  In office, dark and quiet, safety from outside, from that wind and rain and airborne leaves that somehow find a way to follow you.  Co-workers from other department file in, slowly.  You can tell they’re in a mode of settlement.  I’m in a position and tone of settler, settling into my Sonic role for day.  We’ll be walking in this, this weather, the sharp talk of rain and the more elephantine curl of winter Bay Area wind.  San Francisco.  More than likely will be colder.  7:53…. Need to start on list, soon.  Keep lights off for the time, for this time, making now and the entire day mine.  Normal proclamation from Mike Madigan’s normality.

Coffee.  Will walk across floor to get, from the office area on the east side of this structure.  Lights above me still off, lights behind me in meeting room on.  Another person walks in.  I think of what to do next.  Working and not, thinking about where I am in my story and how this fits in.  I need to run more, not getting out last night has me regretful and on an evaluative sword’s mercy plate.

Quiet, and then the settling noises.  Of any workplace I’ve been at this is by far the more interesting and enveloping in terms of characters and general theme, progression of story.  Other offices, like the insurance office in the early 2000s, and the home warrantee operation of ’04 (which as it happens used to be in this very building and I used to sit not far from where I now this type).  Then, of course the box of 2011 and into January of ’12.  None of them had life, none of them had any promise.  How do some employers expect the people working in their walls to be animated and progress to any profitability?  I have to ask self this.  What do some of these employers think when they design positions then offer people jobs?  This is why I’m taken by Sonic as I am, as it’s nothing like them, nothing.  It’s a loving and perplexing morass of more volume, more sound and music.  You find YOU, here.  A definition and intonation of self you don’t in other folds and office buildings, assuredly.

Submitting the semester past’s grades last night, I think of what Sonic’s taught me, what I’ve gathered and learned and upon reflected.  Who I am and what I’m doing right now, in from rain and wind, safe and collected at a desk.  Desks used to repulse me now I’m renewed, taken to a higher arrangement of character and story adjustment, the Now of it all here in this office.  And, me here, what I do here, what I observe and what assembles into my assembly of perception.

This year’s one of study.  I’m a student.  I’m studying.  I’ll receive a grade in the form of opportunity, opportunity I provide self.  So I’m grading myself.  I’m with the grade book and submitting for sakes of the grade in the book, with a book of my own. Being written here, at Sonic.

 

8:32.  Got a couple cereal cups from market here in office, down this row of desks and then a left, ‘nother left, then a sharp left then sharp right.  Back at desk with coffee and cereal, daily tasks I had set for self done, now I collect and ready for day.  Ready self for readying and rallying team for a day in the field.  Again I don’t know how inclement it is in SF, but I’m sure it could affect mood and morale, if allowed.  How some go to jobs they hate, over and over, year after year, astonishes me.  Fills me with sadness for them and a virulently loud intent to never let that be me.  At none of my other “jobs” was my own pace endorsed, encouraged. Never was I encouraged to this degree to find more of ME.

The jazz of this office reminds me of the thesis to this office and my story here.  Sip coffee after bite of cereal, and what precisely the next paragraph holds.  This right here, the meta of this magic, magic in the plain, in the so often dismissed and ignored.  The singularity of where you work, what you want from it.  This building directly addresses and I would say challenges just that.  IT tells you that this is more than a simple place to work.  IT’s not a job.  That’s profanity here.  IT’s a missions and edifice of explorative hue.  All for you, YOU, whatever you want to do.  You heard what the owner said, “Use it as a platform to get where you want to be.” He said that, in a room full of new hires, those impressionable, those possibly still seeking conviction and assurance that this was the right move.  You know it is. You have no doubt, question, demand for explanation.  You’re hungry.  Finally, you think, finally this happens.  Finally this is what’s before the day, for me, for what I want and what I’ve always expected a place of employment to be.  You know this is more than simple employment, that a simple clocking in and clocking out and getting a check and doing the same thing all over again next pay period.

Even teaching doesn’t do this for you.  Teaching, you thought the only career path for you but you found so many caveats and conditions, so many variable and so much chasing.  You’d grade that career choice, or more choice as it’s certainly no career, an F.  F.  F.  It failed you in so many manners and immediacies that it’s hard to even entertain inventory.  So you move on.  You move past it.  It’s only an it.  One easily replaceable and you have replaced it with life, not a to-do list but LIFE.  More invitation for Self and what you were before you even heard of this place.  Your normality’s abnormally loving and supportive, enriching and enlivening.

Clocked back in.  Two minutes early. 

On speaking, you should be to-the-point, but not depriving audience of anything.  Tell them what they want to hear.  Have the words be kind and heaping with life.  So… don’t just say ‘I’m here and this is what I’m doing and this is what I have…’ Rather, speak more to the point of YOU, the person in the audience.  Use ‘you’ in your language, loud amounts of it…  This is for YOU… this is YOURS.. I’m here to tell you this, or invite you to this, and this is why it’s incredible…  Sales entails sales techniques, but not sales voice, not repeated repeats of something not interesting.  Entertain your audience…  Don’t sell, ever.  Sales is not selling, it’s speaking, it’s sincerity, earnest echoes sung in impassioned fastidiousness.

Just noting ideas passing through head, for sales team and next semester’s course.

Office a bit quieter.  Think some took a late lunch.

In office, today.  Getting things done and thinking of new ways to approach what I do.  I’m overthinking.  This is consequence of the inspiration I attain from just walking around this office as well as going from idea to idea.  Today I focus on speaking Sonic.  The language of this place.  If this is a conduit or bridge for what I want in my story, then I need throw self into the singularity of this Sonic story.  The office has you going over idea and another idea… speak what we do in as few words as possible, I say to myself.  At my desk not bored in even a microscopic morsel but ever active, animated in the possible ways to adjust and shape this business and how I speak about it.

Encouraged, exhausted from my own passion in this office.  This place that’s more than a place—like a parallel and utter juxtaposition to everything that we’re used to.  I call it an antithetical workplace, but maybe that’s wrong.  Maybe this is what the work place should be.  It is.  It is, that I know wholly and wildly, now.  This is a place for creativity and whim, and lucrative lunacy and revolution, but… more.  Something beyond denotation and connotation.  Talk about deconstruction and examining dichotomies and dualities, this is its own plain.  A text, a subject, a set of vocals that not only persuade but impassion beyond normal human norm.

This isn’t an office.  It’s not a colony.  It’s a language.  Its own speak.

So then halfway through my Friday, in office, not with my sales team, I have time to collect for sakes of being with them tomorrow in San Francisco, to bring what’s here to the Sunset District’s upper-40 avenues tomorrow.  I’m enriched, today, again.  Supplemented, turned around made more a voice of this place and what it speaks.

Looking through to-do list.  Everything done.  I know so.  I do.  Been through list, each item, 3 times.  So I give myself new items.  Prep for tomorrow.  Timeline for tomorrow.  Keep busy.  This new coffee cup has me especially energized and alive, written fire and fire to be written.

3:10.  Feel self getting tired, even with the coffee.  Yawn…. Phone interview/screening to prep for.  At 4, and I’m more or less ready, so time for exploratory thinking, let mind wander to whatever and wherever what—

3:18.  Coffee not working.  All work done.  Now what.  Not panic I feel but something in the same flavor isle.

May need a break.  Air that is fresh.  Break from desk.  Talking around me and my head’s in the car, on Road, in classroom, possibilities compounding in delirium-inducing shapes and plateaus.  I don’t know what to do, now.  I’m going mad, but a forming form of mad.  Nothing hindering, nothing detrimental, not at all.  This is a profuse health contract.  I’m rebuilt in my readiness as a writer.  This time in my story, where everything around me is me, for me, telling me to write something to myself that would benefit readers, somehow.

3:32.  Student life.  I’m a student here, as I am everywhere.  There never a non-learning place.  Every scene instructs.  Not sure I’m providing or depriving audience, writing this.  Work all around me, people working on what they work on, telling something to someone, educating and educating themselves whilst doing so, and me learning about what I do, here at this desk at which I everyday sit.  Back from lunch two minutes early but now I reach a point in the day where time is a self-voiding send.  So… look at clock, then at phone with its black screen, pen between forearms on desk.  ‘Nother sip of coffee, or get more coffee?  Don’t know.  Don’t think, I tell myself.  Just move.  Thinking, becoming a bit of a foe, one formidable and crippling.

This office, Sonic, with all its sounds and quick movements and people writing notes to themselves and others and logging what someone says to reference in the future, notes on transactions and occurrences in their departments…  Mom was right, everything I need is right here.  As I’ve said in class but never myself appreciated adequately—Magic in the Meta.  I won’t lie… this place fascinates me.  On multiplying and befuddling levels.  Transfixed in my fixations on and in everything from the voices I hear, to my own desk.  From the conversations between people in the meeting room behind me when I can hear them, to the laughs that are distant, on the other side of the floor, in some distant department.

I pity my past self, honestly.  Working in a tasting room, or going from campus to campus to campus—a freeway falcon—as an adjunct, or even further back working at the store, or before that in the insurance office.  I’m not even “home” here I’m just me… how I wish be seen, a writer.

4:12.  Called, no answer for phone screening.  Now I close day, prep for tomorrow which I actually already did so now it’s just a countdown to my running life.  Wondering about ten miles.  If that’s even smart to do on a treadmill.  Maybe just do an hour, then an hour tomorrow, then longer one Sunday, then back to a shorter run on Monday.  Again, more thought than needed.  Just write, just run, do both, live madly… bottom from the bottomless, or bottomless from the bottom.  Can’t remember what Jack said.  I’m beatifically introspective at this desk, hearing everything, everyone celebrate their weekend, what they’re going to do, what wine they’re going to drink.

Me, to run.

1/1/19

My beat isn’t as sped as I’d hoped it be for this first day.  But I’m here, present and done with grading.  Didn’t go as slow as I wanted but I’m not concerned.  It’s over.  Now I move on and prep for next term.  The class I teach at Stanford, or wherever will have me.  Philosophy or Reasoning, Thought and Overthought, thought of in differing ways.  Looked at clock and it reads 11:50.  Earlier than measured.

Emptied backpack.  Now the trick, keep it empty.  No more carrying laptop around like an unneeded part of me.  It’s not part of me, so unneeded entirely.  Re-shaping self from Literary character to one just of thought.  Plain thought.  Act of thinking, understanding where I am and why— What brought a writer here, what does he see, what does he want.  Is he being honest with himself in doing what he does or is he acting, doing what’s perceived to be “mature” or “professional”.  Not referencing anything in particular, but I will give more focus to …. Don’t say it.  That’s when you get into trouble, when you promise.  And, that’s when you get bored with your writing like you are right now.  Bored with this sentence… then the next one…. This one as well.  Fuck, I think.  Thinking of what to do with day to not just spice it up or garnish it with some unexpected electricity, but….

Quiet house.  No kids or wife, just me and this stack of submissions that are anything but bewildering in quality from last term.  There’s a couple, yes, that I guess you’d call impressive, or even strong.

My beat starts to pick up.  It does.  I notice myself start to feel like a student, again.  Like a “teacher”, even.  Part of me wants music, the other not.  The silence of the house notes its own notes and anecdotes for me in a new year that’s not all too varied from last, but still distinct in composition.  My composition changes.  I realize—  You realize where you’re headed when you change little attributes of your day-to-day.  Teaching Philosophy, starting with deconstruction and postmodernist qualities in the Now.

12:02.  Already half way through this first square, inaugural step.  Anxiety grips me, angrily.  I ignore it, or try.  It’s there from my acknowledgement.  Then I choose to not give it any sight or reaction.  Turning attention to when I was in graduate school, my thesis on Carroll’s Alice works.  I decide to start there, in this new beat.  The child finding herself in an atmosphere where the logic is anti-logic, but that itself is sound, it constitutes a form of reasoning that must be learned.  She attempts to adjust and she more or less does, finding herself in immediacy of too many pictures and too many conversations, as she wished for at the books very first utterances.  Not sure where my copy of the book is, where my grad notes are if I even have them anymore.  Doesn’t matter.  Start over.  That’s what new years are about, no?  Renewed self, renewed sight, renewed power of self-renewal.  And, ahead…..

Three days left in year.  Today counted.  Coffee in nook at work.  Break before work, or work before work depending on how it’s looked at.  As I noted yesterday, again I caved, having lunch at a nice spot actually on I believe 4th and Balboa— sorry, 5th and Balboa.  Don’t regret the chicken sandwich and fries I had with co-workers, friends.  But I should have gone to café.  Of course today I set out for same, but I dismiss the dilemma and set self in now where I’m set in this nook, at this new table and chair, writing spot for a writer going into a new year, on his second cup, made in the back office where you proceed down a somewhat sizable hall with glass offices on either side, then that one magical room with the coffee.

Phone, journal on desk, or table, right now it’s my desk or that’s what I have self convinced of.  Writing meditation, the morning, Saturday, next three days off with the new year cartwheeling toward my pages.  Not only learning, I always say that— but instructed by the intersection of one year, then another.  Me growing in story and character… we all grow, or don’t.  That’s a decision.  Yesterday at California and 7th, “Not everyday’s a treasure chest but work feverishly to get what you get.” Jotted before crossing street to next block where reps were speaking to people at their doors, remembering Plath’s words in Bell Jar chanting ‘I am I am I am’ in every street pavement square and at every stoplight. 

Music in everything.  If we don’t see IT that way, then we’re only living, going to work then coming home and sleeping.  The worker shouldn’t see work as work— they shouldn’t work, they should be passion explorers, and if they don’t like their job, their “work”, make it something’s that not only liked but layered in love, loved.