Sleepless in the Springs

Curious-er and curious-er, as Alice would say.

I’ve been furloughed indefinitely. Co-workers, friends, and family are all reaching out with sympathy, but I’m honestly not too upset. My situation is not abnormal, and frankly, it’s not very tragic in the grand scheme of things. I do wonder how I’ll bide my time, hoping to return to work, and how different the organization will look when and if I do. What’s tragic to me — or perhaps disconcerting — is how much everything seems to be changing around me.

I’ve always hated change because it usually means things are coming to an end. Right now, the biggest change is happening day by day in my house in Colorado Springs. When I arrived, we were a group of six. Now we’re down to three. In a week, we’ll be down to two. New tenants will arrive, and I will go.

I’ve lived with a lot of different people and in a lot of different places over the course of high school (boarding school) and college. The end of the year is always a bittersweet time — relieving to be done for a few months, but sad and sentimental as rooms are packed up and roommates are bid farewell.

This time around feels different — more jarring — because of the future. Yes, I am leaving the Springs, but I will have to return, either to work or to gather things in storage. And when I return, I will no longer know anyone. I don’t have friends who will still be attending my college. I won’t have former housemates living in the area. If I’m moving back, I’ll need to find a space alone. Now that feels tragic.

Life is pretty peaceful otherwise. No work, unemployment claim filed, all the time in the world to read, play drums, trail run, bike, and play with the dog. But I fluctuate between savoring this bliss and swallowing lumps in my throat as each of my housemates departs, as this chapter of life comes to an end.

During these emotional swells, I’ve been trying to capture some thoughts — thoughts I have when the world seems to stand still …

There are some songs that capture a moment so precisely that I simply cannot do anything but stop and listen. The world turns just the tiniest bit more slowly, and I think to myself: things just don’t get better than this.

I can’t stand the hours of 3:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon. Everything feels like a garish shade of orange, and it distresses me.

I remember watching practically every Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen mystery video as a child. The two of them always rode their bikes to the location of their sleuthing. Sometimes, I wish things were that simple.

Every so often, I just want to breathe hard running and blast my ears out with music. It can be surprisingly difficult to do.

I wonder if we’re less prone to smile by wearing masks all the time. But it’s kind of beautiful when people’s eyes and masks crinkle when they do.

I’m not combating the change, as I usually do. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

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Living in the Present

June 5, 2020