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Tuesday August 14, 2001, 23:53

Working is hard. This is the new realization. The one that I come to every once in a while when I start to work again and realize why it is that I don't like doing so. It's like when the end of the summer rolled around between my sophomore and junior years of high school when the cross country team asked me to join them, telling me that I was a valuable asset to the team and such. I went back to one practice and during the short, three (or was it five?) mile run, I discovered why it was that I had decided not to run again that season; namely that I really disliked running.

The realization that work is hard and that I come home every night totally exhausted is quickly offset by the alternate realization that not working means that my brain works with much less frequency and that not thinking is almost as little fun as working. Arguably, not thinking is even worse than working because I feel guilty for getting dumber.

And all of this offset by the fact that I realize, when I'm doing it, that I enjoy working. It's just hard.

So this weekend found me sitting on a sidewalk outside of a theatre waiting with my friends for tickets to a free theatrical event to be performed the following evening in the park. Big name stars littered the bill and people were lining up beginning the evening before for tickets that were to be given out, first come first serve, the day of the show. While I was not about to wait the eighteen hours that they would eventually wait, I did go by to show my support and to bring refreshment.

It only seemed fair as they were going to get me ticket as well.

For my efforts (that is the time spent on the line with my friends and strangers) I was rewarded with the surreal experience of watching my life on stage as the a character speaks of the perils of being a writer; of needing to write. That every event, every action in his life may very well find itself into one of his stories. And me, sitting there, in an uncomfortable plastic seat in the middle of the great open air in the middle of a park in the middle of the greatest city in the world (for the sake of argument), listening to this line as my elbow brushed, repeatedly, against the fingers of the girl to my left, thinking how true it was, how, as my arm touched her fingers, as I folded my hands to either touch, or not touch her hand and wondering if she, too, was doing the same thing or whether she was actually hoping that I would stop moving my and and touching her fingers and thinking, as well, that I would then be writing about the experience of hands touching hands (almost) and skin touching skin and of two strangers and, as well, that I would be writing of thinking about writing of it while watching the play and thinking, while watching the play, of writing about the thinking.

Well it was a bit too much for me to think about which is why it's taken so long for me to actually be able to put myself together enough to actually write it all out and even still, I'm fairly certain that it makes no sense.

Additionally, I've been working rather hard and, as a freelance somebody, have found myself continually in the throes of work and nowhere near being able to separate my life (that is the section of the living room that does not contain the computer) and my work (that is the section of the living room that now has a nice large desk that holds the aforementioned computers). Which is something that I am going to have to work on if I would like to continue down this path. Also: business cards are needed.

Remarkably, through all of this, I have found myself remarkably happy, be it the existence of work and the fact that there is something now in my life that occupies my time (albeit in a short-term, non-permanent, highly-taxable sort of a way) or simply my recent comfort in the city in which I reside (read: the greatest city in the world) due in part to the fact that the weather has been a slight bit nicer than it has in recent days and also to the fact that I can feel myself slipping into this skin that happens to be me, whichever me this happens to be at this particular moment in time. I seem to be wearing it nicely.

Work is still hard. But it's kind of good. You know?

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