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Meditations - Art History with Power | 2013


The first thing is coffee. But before that it’s the alarm. I tried everything: Apex, Bulletin, Chimes, Cosmic Crystals, Playtime, Presto, Ripples, Slow Rise, Stargaze, and Twinkle, but now it’s just this intense buzzer as loud as I can make it. Right by my head. The cord is just long enough to reach from the outlet, so my phone is right there with me. And when I can’t sleep, but I don’t want to wake my boyfriend, I turn down the brightness and check my Facebook feed or something.

 

The buzzer works. Mark hates it when he sleeps over, but it has to be done. So I’m up and I slip on my robe and I put the coffee on. I bought my machine before I got this job. I would have gotten one of those machines that makes the coffee on a timer, but the one I wanted was too expensive then and I’m afraid I wouldn’t wake up without the buzzer.

 

So I have to start the machine myself. I use beans from the good grocery store. Not the super fancy coffee, but decent stuff, the ones that come in the satin black bags. I was buying the fancy stuff for a while but I can’t tell much of a difference so I figured why not save a little.

 

I usually have it on ice so I can drink it faster and go to the gym. I just got some new workout shorts. I try to reward myself whenever I meet a new goal. Getting to the gym three times a week consistently for six weeks, say, or beating my best on the machine. A little encouragement. These new ones are cute, I think, and have a little pocket on the interior for my phone.

 

I can’t listen to the same music every time. I get bored. So I’m on the lookout for new stuff. Hip hop is good for the machine. I don’t like all the “bitches” and “ho’s” but it’s good for being on the machine. The intensity is good.

 

I like running on the machine best, but my knees are weak so I mix it up. But by 8:15 I’ve got to be in the shower. It’s a half hour drive to the office. I could walk to the old job which was great but I actually like driving. It gives me a chance to think.

 

I drive a cherry red Acria. I like my little car. I always wanted a little red sports car. I know, I know, the cops stop you more often, but I figured it’s not like it’s a Mustang. I couldn’t afford that anyway. And I’d have to learn to drive a stick. And I then there’s the maintenance. And it’s not like it’s bright cherry. More like cherry wine. It’s good with the new job because I should be able to pay it off in a few years.

 

I’m at my desk by 9ish depending on traffic. It’s good because no one really minds if I’m a few minutes early or late. It’s pretty chill about that. It’s such a big place so no one’s really watching. And I usually stay late anyway so if it came up there’s that. But it’s generally pretty relaxed. My last job was really strict because it was really small, it was really just me and two other girls and the boss and I was there for so many years I got really used to being on time so it’s not a problem for me.

 

The new office is huge. It takes ten minutes to walk from one end to the other. It’s a much bigger operation. At least two hundred people just at this office, but there are offices pretty much just like it in 26 states and then the central office.

 

I’ve got my own cubicle. I was sharing with another girl when I started but they gave me my own cubicle once I was here for three months. It’s nice because the filing cabinet locks and my chair – oh my god you wouldn’t believe this chair. It was designed by NASA or based on a design by NASA. It really works. Which is a relief. I think I did permanent damage to my back from my old job.   

 

I think they pump white noise into the building. It’s so huge and there are so many people and everyone is on the phone all day but it’s still really quiet. It’s weird. But it’s good because the time just passes. I end up working late a lot because the glass is tinted so you don’t really know what time it is outside. It’s kind of always the same time.  

 

But I’m good about taking lunch. It’s too far to drive anywhere. It’s a half hour to the restaurants and a half hour back so there goes the hour. But there’s a cafeteria here that’s pretty good. There’s a hot food line and a cold food line and it’s good because I can just take something back to my desk and check my email. I’m good about taking my hour. You have to. Just take a minute to tune out, catch up on my email or text with Faustina.

 

Mark is out of town a lot for his work. We thought about living together maybe. Get a bigger place with the two of us. But with his work we just thought it would be better to each have our own space. Better not to rush into anything. I just moved into my new apartment a month ago. Still moving in really. I’d been living with Faustina from college for a few years. But she got married.

 

I’m liking living alone for the first time, having my own space. And it’s a pretty good place – lots of closet space and the appliances are all fairly new. Finally some room for my grandmother’s chest of drawers. And Mark is over whenever he’s in town.

 

I meet up with Faustina for drinks after work. And Mark and I go see a lot of music. I love live music. We actually get a lot of good bands here, because of the university. Faustina’s trying to get me to go to karaoke with her, but I don’t like it as much with the machine. We had this bar in college with a live band and it was serious, I mean, you’d give them your song a week in advance and they’d rehearse it and it was serious. I mean, there are some seriously talented singers around here. That was my thing. We don’t go there anymore because of all the college kids. But I’m just not into the machine.

 

Faustina and I lived together since college. We were part of the same study abroad program. I went to Germany for a semester. International Business. I haven’t been back. I’d like to, but I can’t really take vacation yet with the new job. But someday. The beer there is really good. You can drink it warm. The bar Faustina and I go to now is pretty good actually. They have a lot of local stuff on tap. Craft beers. And her husband is a really great guy. I like him a lot. We’re a crew, the four of us. I don’t really think about getting married. My best friend from high school got married right out of college and already has two kids. I like being an aunt.

 

I don’t have any pets. Maybe some day. I like cats. Just don’t want to be tied down.