Monday, August 18, 2008

Farwell, my dear friend, Time.*

I like to think I have a sunny disposition. That I'm happy, warm, lovable.

That I spread my joy to all who know me.

Until this week. (Don't worry, next week I'll be fine.)

This week, though, is my last week of summer. And today is the only day that is going to be totally mine. Therefore, I must make it count. I will cross off these six things on my to-do list today: swim, finish reading Rachel Zucker's The Bad Wife Handbook, finish the first draft of a new chapbook, dry the Blue Basil leaves I have no idea what to do with, wrap FD's bday presents while snacking on cheddar cheese and NutThins or raw baby carrots (I'm not much of snacker but I LOVE cheese, to put it mildly), oh, yeah, and complete this blog tag** from Stokes.

Easy enough.

10 years ago I was entering my 4th year of undergrad, just taking filler classes like yoga and ice skating because I finished all my major classes in 3 years and I was going to the gay bars to dance my off ass because I didn't want to be worried with being assaulted by drunken frat boys and I was discovering the world of poetry. It's funny to think today I'm the teacher, preparing for the first-year writing students, who dances around my house while dusting, a Swiffer as my imaginary microphone, and who knows full-well that the world of poetry isn't all that magical.

It's this last week of summer, though, that makes me wish I was a billionaire. That I could teach a few classes here and there when I felt like it. And set up a pretty fat retirement plan for me and FD as well as for both of our families too. And build my prefab dream house with a guest house and two detached offices (one for me and one for FD) all with the arty, expensive appliances and furniture I see in Dwell each month. And give money to worthwhile foundations like Alicia's Voice. And travel to cool places like Japan and India. And do yoga whenever and whereever I want. And hire a cleaning staff, a chef, and, because if I was rich why not have kids and hire a few nannies. Finally, of course, I would be a shareholder of The Grey Colt and wear extra fabulous clothes all the time.

Yeah, that'd be the life. But then if I was billionaire, would I really appreciate the days when I cleaned residential construction sites, sweeping wood and dust into piles and shop vacuuming it all up? Or when I cleaned model homes, how I adored making perfect vacuum lines in the never-used carpets? Or when I worked for a cleaning service and scrubbed the settled cigarette smoke off cheap vinyl floors in some office that could totally be in a 70s sit-com, even though clearly we were in the 90s? (God, no wonder I'm a clean freak!) Or when I managed Hons' clothing resale shop & every Thursday Stokes & I would go to Applebees for dinner & drinks b/c she got a discount there. Or how about when I was the women's clothing department manager at Off Fifth & I went into debt buying hoity toity designer clothes. (No wonder I'm a label whore!) Or my days struggling as a TA, trying to figure out what kind of poet/teacher/woman/person I wanted to be until I finally figured out & became the poet/teacher/woman/person I always wanted to be.

Really would all that be lost if I became a billionaire? How would my values change? Or how would I teach my children values, that is if I decided to have kids?

Maybe it's simpler knowing I start teaching again next Monday and life will regain it's schedule, a schedule that I know & have come to love.

That doesn't mean I won't dream of living on Captiva Island, FL; or in Portland, OR; or Martha's Vineyard; Napa Valley; Boulder, CO; Ireland; Scotland; or even just plain ol' Clevelend, OH.

I guess as much as I don't want to, I need to look on the sunny side of this summer, the good times had, the time that I wasted doing God-knows-what.

Last week of summer, please treat me well. Be kind to me. Help me accomplish my to-do list in the best of moods. And help me smile when I wake up in the morning of the 25th, ready for school to begin again.

*Said in a unbearably tight hug that turns into a sloppy sob fest 08.
**I tag SEM, Chop, & C.L. Jones.

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