i work weird hours. i always have. ever since i left the structure of high school i realized there was no helping my erratic sleeping habits- i just needed to find a world that would support my lack of rigidity when it came to sleeping. college was a beautiful time for this, unfortunately i almost went crazy and found myself often roaming the campus alone at 3am 'just to walk out my thoughts'. then i found work- ahh, what a torrid love affair it has been.
the field that ive dedicated my life to up until this point is one that has really fostered a lovely little environment for my adventures. i always seem to be running into the dregs of society whilst walking to my car or picking up the tipline at work at some ungodly hour, and if you know me even a pinch you know that i LIVE for situations like these. i thrive in those awkward, difficult, or just downright interesting life happenings.
my mother always told me not to talk to strangers. being the smart ass child i was, i would always retort something to the effect of, 'but how am i supposed to make new friends?' or 'how would the world go on if no one talked to strangers'. needless to say, its not shocking that i had a problem with talking to those who i havent met yet. im just genuinely fascinated by people- and i think its wrong to assume because i dont know you, that you are going to gut me a la drew berrymore in scream.
last night, i was getting off work around 11pm and was walking to the parking garage about a block from my work building. everyone at work suggests i take one of the security guards on my walk to the garage, but honestly- the walk is very well lit, and its in front of a courthouse with cops probably hiding in the trees (that may just be in my mind). but ive walked it for 2 years and never had an issue aside from a few drunk creeps who follow and talk to me who are leaving the metro.
last night as i was headed to the pt cruiser i noticed a group of gentlemen walking across the street. i slowed my roll a bit so that i would be a few paces behind them, but other than that i didnt really pay them much attention. i crossed the street, and one of the fellas stopped to talk to a friend in a car parked at the curb. now he is in stride with me, he looks at me- and my glowing white face and says 'dont be scared of us'. i, obviously offended that he would think i would jump to a conclusion such as that said, 'pfft, im not scared of you guys' as soon as the words come tumbling out of my mouth a flash of well that was stupid ash glares at me like a neon sign. then i realize that there is a chance i could be in danger as its 5 big dudes on my skinny white adorable ass.
so as i normally do, i thought it was a good time for zingers, 'its clear you all havent seen my pythons' the men look at my arms pathetically and laugh. 'stop laughing and feel this cobra, its something you dont want to mess with'. they are now giving me the typical white girl, you be crazy as hell look, which can be given to any white girl by anyone who isnt white. i rarely let this look phase me, and last night was no exception. i pressed on- we are now almost at the parking garage and i have 5 men encircling me, one who has his large hand wrapped securely around my toothpick of an arm.
the man who feels my muscle beings to laugh hysterically and motions for another fellas to come feel. he says 'girl whatchu got in there' in reference to my arm. i chirped, 'in all honesty, its mostly bone- but that could hurt too in hand to hand combat. dont you sweat fellas, if you need me i got your back.' i continue skipping to the garage and my new friends continued their trek towards the diner.
moral of the story being- well im not entirely sure. id like to say something about not judging a book by its cover but then again i can admit that my talking to strangers often leads me down bad paths. i used to be notorious at work for attracting the creepiest humans on earth. of course at the time i would see some redeeming quality in them, and feel as if everyone deserves a chance (im very much pollyanna on my veiw of human nature, and yet im realistic and educated enough to know that people are capable of real evil- i just believe deep down we all have good inside of us too, its what we allow ourselves to tap into that denotes what type of person we will be).
there is a homeless man who lives in the parking garage at work. most people dont see him as they are long gone by the time he emerges. during the day he sits by the 7-11, then the metro station, then wanders around downtown...i dont really know what he does in a day- but i would love to shadow him, just to see his life. hes one of the most fascinating people ive ever encountered. i assume he has some sort of mental illness as i often see him feverishly writing on scraps of paper, filling them up with words- but as he writes hes not connected to what hes writing. ive watched him, his mind is never where his body is. only when hes sleeping is he centered. i dont know why i have such a strong connection to this man. hes never talked to me, or seen me to the best of my knowledge. i know his smell, i know his favorite stairwells. ive seen the messes he makes, and ive even taken photos of his writings that hes left behind.
admittedly, when i finally got the opportunities to read what he wrote i was a little disappointed. idealistically, i assumed he was writing down the secrets to life. that he had reached a higher level of consciousness than i and knew something profound. what he was writing seemed more like rhetorical statements and lame jeopardy questions. one paper i found was all about the length of basketball shorts. should they be longer? should they be dresses?
i guess somewhere deep in my mind, i want to believe that one person in this crazy fucked up world has it all together. i keep thinking about the theory of 'no original thought' as of late- its truly one that boggles my mind. i can agree that most thoughts are not original, that they have been thought of before- but how does one capture a thought if they dont write it down or in some way keep a record of it. but on that line of thinking, wouldnt it also be safe to assume that there are a handful of people out there who are constantly giving birth to new thoughts? or are we all capable at one point in time of coming up with one creative new thought? or is there one person who is constantly spewing new thoughts into the universe?
id like to believe that artists are those people, anyone who does something creative. art to me is so many things, but at its core- it is birth, it is life. think of the artists you know (or the artist in you) almost across the board, those who come up with the most captivating, engaging, beautiful, dynamic, pieces of work- are generally very broken inside. the life they create using their minds comes from a place of death inside. its incredibly poetic.
with that said, i also believe art can come from a warm place thats full of life- but at its core, some of the most emotive things ive ever seen have come from the dregs of ones soul. my best friend jill, whom i reference often, is a photographer- and a brilliant one at that. she is a hippie to her core, very much born in the wrong era. we both share such a strong bond because we are old souls, with young minds.
some of her best work came out of the worst time in her life. sure- the best is yet to come in regards to her ability as a photographer. but nothing makes me feel like the photos she took in her darkest times.
tying this whole post together will be tough. i feel pretty scattered as of late. our parent company is offering furloughs or layoffs and our union is trying to protect us, but everyones scared. i can feel the winds of change on my face, and im not sure whats going to happen to me. i was terrified with the rest of my coworkers yesterday, but then i talked to my own personal shaman (or the Buddhist woman i work with, who acts as my surrogate mother) and she reminded me of a simple truth-
whatever is meant to be- will be. just because a path takes a sudden turn, doesnt mean that all hope is lost- it simply means its time to take a new direction. things will work out- dont you worry.
she is brilliant. have a great wednesday everyone.