Through the glade of the windshield I see a big banshee of a sky looming overhead, constipated with clouds but not unlovely for it. The strife between sun and clouds for dominance has its own poetic beauty and - I sigh to myself - the life of striving is the life I lead. And ought embrace, if only so that the homecoming will be better. To quote Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins:
I feel a surge of deep satisfactionStrife is always easier on a full night's sleep but then it seems something less than strife, as if the true meaning of conflict is primarily the fighting of fatigue rather than some foreign entity, and thus rest merely obstructs the issue. Then I banish my inner stoic and remind myself that love is the issue.
Much as a king astride his noble steed
When I return from daily strife to heart and wife
How pleasant is the life I lead!
The radio is playing a magisterial rendition of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and I dream about how cool, if cramped, an office in the car would be.
I park the car, or "pock the cah" as the Bostonians say, and make the familiar walk into the sweeping grandeur that is our cafeteria and where I struggle against my natural tendency to just get a donut and coffee. I think it was Kostrubala's The Joy of Running that so vividly described the bodily wreckage caused merely by the daily consumption of a donut and coffee for breakfast. Apparently the caffeine and the refined sugars of the donut make your blood sugar level dance jigs and reels for the hours until you get the calming influence of protein in your system. So I choose a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on toasted muffin, mostly because I'd eaten a light meal the night before and there was a residual hunger.
I walk past a vague acquaintance. He's an ambitious sort, having recently completed his MBA, and he's wearing a tweed jacket over an open-collared shirt sort of like a cross between a college professor and a Hollywood actor, and it strikes me how different that get-up is around our workplace. Some wear suits and ties, some business casual dockers & such, but here's a guy wearing an ensemble that suggests he actually likes clothes. For me to wear clothes like that it would feel like I'm dressing up for Halloween. Normally the only time I notice clothes is on an immodestly dressed female, although occasionally I'll notice clothes on a modestly dressed female. Rare indeed are the times I notice the clothes a guy is wearing.
The elevator doors are closing and I reflexively thrust my forearm in, the doors closing briefly before opening. There's only one soul on board and I apologetically push "door close". I'm surprised he says nothing about the late entry; normally such elevator heroics provoke comments. He must be so jaded. :-)
It is nice to work on a remodeled floor, a clean, well-lighted floor indeed. The cube walls are short though, like those of Safety Town. One young lady has pinned a monopoly "Get Out of Jail Free" card on her wall. I walk by the familiar offices and read again, for the hundredth time, the sayings on the markerboards. One says, "Jason Rogers - when can we quote suck?" Another has a bumper sticker that says "I like me", illustrating the truth that you can't love God or others if you don't love yourself. The far floor walls have single words placed at regular intervals: "Sustain", "Protect", "Trust". Typically I never notice them since I'm always distracted by the words scrawled on the markerboards.