Monday, December 7, 2015

Tumble Dry Low

Have you ever put a pair of shoes in the dryer?

Or overalls, with all those extra metal pieces. Or anything really that makes an irregular bump, thud or clack as the cycle tumbles round and round.

This is an analogy that fuses well with my brain. All the normal thoughts, the day-to-days, the mundanes, the what-will-I-wears and the where-are-my-keys and the did-I-pay-the-bills, just spin smoothly around in a predictable loop, sorting themselves out a bit at a time as they fluff and expand. And then, there's the odd bits and pieces, the ones that thunk against the side and make a bit of extra, uncomfortable racket.

I tend to always have a topic, or two, or three of that sort bumping around up there. Little irregularities, which altogether make a sort of regularity by their shared inconsistency, albeit different details filling in the spaces. And these are where I fixate. These are where I drift when a night is quiet or a plane ride is long or traffic is sitting still at a red light on a gray morning or post-sunset commute or I have a spare minute perched on a couch outside a meeting room with my laptop briefly, quietly closed.

Bumps. Thumps. Thuds. Clacks.

The things that manifest themselves over time and take up residence for varying leases and varying taxation of my mental real estate. Both goods and bads. Both joys and stresses. Taking up space, knocking about in my head cavity and consuming my idle brainwaves.

Grad school. Thump. Work-life balance. Thud. The pursuit of happiness. Clack. The pursuit of love. Bump. What classes should I take next year. Thump. What's the difference between working hard and working smart. Thud. I feel fulfilled. Clack. I feel dry as a desert. Bump. I want to be a good friend. Thump. When is it OK to turn down invites or ignore emails or messages or not return calls. Thud. I wish you'd call. Clack. Why'd we ever go on walks in this neighborhood. Bump. MY neighborhood. Thump. The one I have to face every day, for hours. Thud. It always gets better with time. Clack. I always get better with time. Thump. Where will I get the money for this. Thud. This is what I want. Clack. Am I aiming right? Bump. Should I do more? Thump. Am I doing too much. Thud. Should I do less. Clack. Who has time to do less. Bump. Who has time to do more. Thump. I have time. Thud. I still wish you'd call. Clack. I shouldn't care. Bump. I do care. Thump. I still have the last of that small bag of  your mom's granola. Thud. Silly. Clack. I'm ridiculous. Bump. No. Thump. Own it. Thud. Swipe left. Clack. Swipe right. Bump. No. Thump. Yes. Thud. Maybe. Clack. Check your work email. Bump. Set boundaries. Thump. Work harder. Thud. Things are going well. Clack. Don't let it wear you thin. Bump. Shhhh. Thump. Already cracked. Thud. Slow down. Clack. Breathe. Bump. The thrum of Silicon Valley. Thump. A quiet cabin somewhere in the PNW. Thud. In. Clack. Out. Bump. Keep up. Thump. Slow down. Thud. In. Clack. Out. Bump. Shhhh.


3 comments:

Myke Olsen said...

I feel this. Well said.

Camille Millecam Whiting said...

Fahrenheit 451 this scene where Montag rides the subway as he runs away from his life. I feel like I just write a new chapter of this well said!

Rachel said...

I love this.