squatting the scrapheap

June 10, 2008 at 8:45 pm (simple pleasures)

i haven’t written here for a while, maybe i should get back into it. today was the first day for a while that i’ve had lunch at work. not just eating, i do that all day, buty going out to my little lunchtime hideaway along the train line.

when you sit down in the long grass the sund is warm, the air is fresher, the traffic is almost invisible and slightly quieter, and the world is green. it has been summer and i have used my hour to pay attention to my own life and soak up sun i’ve never appreciated more, before returning to the harshly air conditioned office. but now it is june, and as i drive through the rain on jobs which allow me to leave the office and so supposedly negate the need for lunch, i’ve been worrying how i would survive when my haven is inhospitable.

even in winter there is sun, at least if you time your escape well. the grass is all wet, but the junk pile i usually ignore boasts a three by four foot slab of perfectly good plywood amongst its pallets, nasty fragments of chipboard, general rubbish and an old washing machine. if the lizards can enjoy it then so can i, so today i settled down to watch them, lying on my front in my almost-suit, with my feet kicked up in their grey socks to warm the soles. i feel like i’m on a beach. it’d have to be in russia. 

the grasses are decked out in fluffy pinkness around me, with little beads of water held carefully in the fuzz. the lizards stop taking fright as as i read a book about someone else’s hitchhiking adventures. i feel a little nostalgic for my own, for what i saw and did, and for what i didn’t and would’ve like to do, but really, i have what i want right here, more or less. with these stories as a reminder to look for the undersides again, i keep having moments of joy break out through the day at my dubious job; i take pleasure in small interactions, giggle climbing the stairs. there’s satisfaction in tying my tie, a little spot of reclaimed colour that i certainly am not obliged to wear, often a surge of excitement approaching the office as an employee and elation in driving away – the thrill of travel whether at the beginning and end of the day or right in the middle, out on even the most tedious of jobs. resolving to read my book rather than nervously trying to look busy when noone will give me any work to do, staking out my full lunch hour. i count the containers on the train that passes metres from me – fifty seven. some of the names on the sides are unfamiliar, others put me right back on that ferry from copenhagen to oslo, sailing out from my new home past docks and amphibious windmills, glued to the rails by the wonderful view from above, even when i finally start shivering violenty from the icy water washing around the deck and over my bare feet. must’ve been march or april.

the urge may well return, but i don’t have to leave everything behind again to be able to observe the world. now that i know it, it comes to me.


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