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Tuesday March 09, 2004, 01:53

Falling often takes a lot less time than it actually seems like it might, when watching someone else do it. As I think about how long it would take for someone to take a flying leap off of the roof of a building to actually hit the ground, I am reminded of jumping off the scaffolding and set pieces in the theatre and remembering that the air really does rush quite briskly around your head and the ground does really come up quite quickly to meet you and when the ground finally does contact your feet (or vice versa) you do hit with the knowledge that you really were moving quite quickly.

I have never had the experience of having time slow down for me enough that I could do all that was required to gracefully recover from some catastrophic event, like the people who begin to drop a stack of dishes and describe the sense of complete detachment from reality that allows them to snatch every plate and glass out of the air as they tumble to the ground and lay them all out on the table, one at a time as they are falling, letting not one drop to the ground and thus avoiding what would otherwise have been a loud and messy end. No, generally my reactions are retarded enough so that I am on the ground before I am even aware that I have stepped off the edge of a platform.

Such was the case the other day when I was cleaning the dirt off of my bike chain and slid my thumb into the mass of gears attached to the pedals. My hand immediately jerked back, but not before I was able to punch a small, square hole in the tip of my thumb. I quickly got up and cleaned and bandaged the wound, knowing that there would be a world of pain as soon as my thumb wore off from the shock of having a sharp piece of greasy metal driven into it. Now, two days later, it still hurts when I have to pinch anything, like my socks to pull them on over my feet, but typing and grasping larger objects, like my phone, don't cause any discomfort at all. And there is pain in my finger, which is far better than it being numb, so all told, I can't really complain.

I do miss coming home from the theatre and taking an inventory of the new injuries to my body, however. I miss the pain that comes as evidence of an honest day's work, a pain that is quite different than a paper cut or tendonitis from typing too much.

Taking a break from the typing (to avoid the aforementioned tendonitis), I notice that the city seems darker and more orange this evening. The pumpkin coloring I can't really explain, but the passing of the cloud cover from over us seems to be providing me with a more night-like backdrop to the close of my day. It's disconcerting to look out the window at one in the morning and see the sky lit up like mid-day, even with the understanding that it's just a reflection of the regular city lights and not some sort of Arctic Circle migration bringing with it eternal days. No, even secure in my understanding that night is night in this town, the Canopy of Bright was still a bit much for me to handle.

And now, with the waning moon, we'll see how well I sleep. The other night I had a dream about Britney Spears, and before you say anything, understand that this was not that kind of dream about Ms. Spears. Far from the what one might want from such a dream, I, instead, had coffee with the pop star, sitting at a cafe and discussing nothing at all. I remember waking up and thinking what a nice time I had and how nice it was to have someone so friendly to talk with. And then I woke up at six in the morning and could not figure out for the life of me why it was cold out and why I wasn't talking to Britney any more. Failing to go back to sleep I go up, puttered around the apartment for a touch and then went out for a bike ride.

I've been keeping up with my bicycle riding. Every morning I have been trying to get up and go for an hour long ride before getting going with my day, and it has been going remarkably well, other than today, when I gave up the ride in favor of sitting inside and not heading out into the rain (and while some might have argued that the precipitation falling from the sky was snow, they'd be wrong). I hope to continue this activity as it is a form of exercise that I can actually stomach and it gets me onto a schedule of actually doing something with my (largely unfilled) time.

Yes, weather, sleep, working out and Britney Spears. Derive from that what you will.

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