It was a holiday weekend, here in the States, and I almost got through it without accomplishing anything at all, which was my quiet, unstated goal. I didn’t even make a pledge to loll around bonelessly and do nothing productive, but I felt somewhere deep in my heart that that was the kind of weekend I wanted to have, and some part of me engaged to make it almost exactly so. My notebook with all my lists mysteriously disappeared, and I did not go looking for it.
Friday afternoon, instead of checking off bullet points, I went shopping for a dress to wear to a friend’s wedding, and became growly at the state of retail today, especially unhelpful, bitchy salespeople with hate in their hearts and great, cavernous swaths of dark emptiness in their heads. It was an inauspicious start to the weekend. I left empty handed, but in E’s car, early in the day, to head up the mountain to a ski resort where we were about to be fêted by his completely insane company.
They bought us passes to all the activities all over the resort (which,
as far as I could tell, numbered in the three: an alpine slide that
will kill you dead if you go too fast and don’t let anyone tell you
otherwise; a zip line; and a mechanical bull), and then offered us
dinner, and then, there were free drinks. From 3:00 p.m. until 3:00 in the
morning, there were free drinks, and some people took advantage of
that. Everyone took advantage of that. How do you not take advantage of
an open bar? I could have drank a lot of diet soda, I suppose. But I
was trying to ease the pain in my thighs from the mechanical bull.
Then there was dancing, because there was a guy and his guitar and a guy
with drums and they knew some good songs but mostly not, and then we
were shooed away out of the public courtyard into someone’s room, and
then shooed out of that room, and then shooed out of that room into the
employee lounge. Somehow, the alcohol followed us. At some point, I
stopped bonding deeply with E’s coworkers and ended up bonding deeply
with the carpet and wishing for death.
I died. The next morning, we went to Chili’s, where hangovers go to
die, and then I spent the day covered in dogs and reading and trying to
not die, and the night covered in dogs and playing computer games.
Sunday was much of the same, with a brief stint out the door and a firm
goal: teach me how to drive a stick shift. Except the sky exploded and
people were driving poorly and the clutch kept sticking, so we called
it a day and went back to watch movies on the giant television. At some
point, I realized that with very little effort, I had accomplished
absolutely nothing, and I was strangely okay with that.
Or maybe I wasn’t–I got home yesterday, which was Labor Day, and found
myself with the great and inexplicable urge to finally get moving on
putting together the furniture I had bought from IKEA. I had been
waiting for someone to come rescue me from it; no one was going to come
rescue me, and I pulled out the electric screwdriver and the hammer and
I carefully worked my way through several Eddie Izzard standup videos
and the mime masterpiece that is a set of IKEA instructions and ended
up with a giant bookcase that I love. I unpacked all my books–I think
I’m missing some.
Then I set up my television and hooked up the DVD player and the Wii
and fiddled with Wii Fit a little bit, and then unpacked my office for
a little bit, and then gave up in the face of overwhelming floods of
undifferentiated important papers, and got back in bed with my book and
the realization that I am not allowed to not think about things,
tomorrow. That I cannot be moved by inexplicable urges any more–to
shop, to ride a mechanical bull, to eat baby back ribs, to lounge on the
couch–but I have to pull my notebook back out (if I can remember where
I left it) and write out a careful list of everything I am supposed to
accomplish, even the stuff I don’t want to accomplish, and then
accomplish it. My holiday is officially over.