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Anticlines


This is the part where I tell you about why I haven’t been writing.

I haven’t been writing. I have noticed this. You might have noticed this.

After two weeks working full days at the pro se assistance office, my brain began to rewire itself. I knew that my brain was rewiring itself; I could feel it happening. Of course I could. The dreams, you see they were a dead giveaway. Lots and lots of docket sheets. So very many docket sheets you would not believe it. Docket sheets have filled my dreams more than any person ever’s, maybe.

There was a night I awoke because, in this waking world, Astro was leaping off my bed and my dreaming self feared I’d neglected telling him how and where to file an answer to a lawsuit. But cats are sued only rarely and even more rarely represent themselves in court. It was just my brain rewiring itself. Like I said.

After three weeks working full days at the pro se assistance office, I stopped commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s just there wasn’t time: Forty interviews a day, angry people crying out when I cut off the line. It was as though I worked on an old-timey assembly line. I lost track of whether Beach Bum had posted Chapter Six of his “Misanthrope” story. Of what word art Magaly’d made out of a doily and some leaves.

Life changes – don’t let them tell you otherwise – but for better or worse, who can tell?

After four weeks working full days at the pro se assistance office, a moment never came when I was not tired. Weeks slid together. I fell asleep eating at a restaurant when my family took me out for birthday dinner.

I stopped planning blogs.

I told you this was the part where I’d tell you about why I haven’t been writing. Or, rather, precision is important here, I’ve been writing sometimes, but I have not been planning the writing. Thinking about what I’m going to write. You know what I mean. This explains if not excuses recent posts about staring at fences and, I don’t know, whatever the blazes that was two weeks ago.

Those posts were not yet ripe because they were not planned because I was too exhausted to plan because for the past five weeks, I have worked full days at the pro se assistance office.

I feed Astro. I feed myself, or most of the time I do. I fall asleep in a chair reading The Brothers Karamazov and listening to Lucrecia Dalt’s Anticlines.  I work full days at the pro se assistance office.

And then I repeat.

And I repeat.

And repeat…


Comments

  1. So were you just working part-time up until two weeks ago and now you're doing full-time? Or did a co-worker quit so that now you're working his/her job plus your own? Or has there been a huge groundswell of self-reps knocking down your door? I don't understand why the past two weeks represent a big change in your life. Pardon me for the cross-examination!

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    1. I always leave out the important bits.

      My job description has changed, basically. We've expanded the project and I got chosen to take on the extra hours it's open. I used to do a lot of other things, back at the main office, all of which allowed me to have multiple windows open on the computer and do a lot of different things.

      All that has changed...

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  2. I take great exception to your statement that "cats are sued only rarely and even more rarely represent themselves in court." Being litigious by nature, I myself sue and am sued constantly. Why, just last week a court had the unutterable gall to ban me as a vexatious litigant from bringing any more lawsuits against my human, Debra She Who Seeks, for maintenance and support at the financial level to which a royal feline such as myself is accustomed. Great Goddess Bast, I wish Debtors Prison still existed. I'd see her rot there.

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    1. I'm not fooled. Cats make notoriously poor witnesses.

      We had an incident at the house last week where a book got chewed up, and I was trying to ask Astro questions about whether it possibly could have been him or whether another cat had snuck in and chewed up this book. He had a hard time focusing, wandered off from the witness chair and at one point actually walked back over to the book in question and started chewing on it.

      I know what you're going to say: "Not all cats!" but yes, I think all cats are bad witnesses and a bad witness is a bad client.

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  3. If you had asked I would tell you that I would be happy to rewire your brain. My method may be a bit harsh, but relatively pain free. The results will speak for themselves. Now, what did I do with those testimonials?

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    1. Does it involve being thrown into a dark place and told that listening to your every word is the only way I'll escape alive? Because I'm familiar with that method, having already been to law school.

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    2. It's just like evangelist school, isn't it?

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    3. brainwashing does seem to follow a definite pattern.

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  4. When you find you're dreaming about work, that's a clear sign of needing a lengthy vacation. or perhaps you should find a job with a less demanding schedule, like being President.

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    1. Ha. I have been fortunate in that up until now, I've managed to spend a lot of my time reading up on the President and other current events while at work. Maybe I just need to get used to the way things are now.

      But I definitely need a vacation.

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  5. Be very careful about your health if you work more than you usually do. It was at the end of a three month long streak of long work days brought on by the company I worked for being bought by some nice Canadians and merging with a similar business across the bay that I awoke one evening having had a stroke. I was 47.
    That was ten years ago, and I still walk with a quad cane.
    Or at least get your blood pressure checked.
    I remember right before my stroke I was complaining about not having any free time to play my guitar or do anything with my newly acquired music software, but I was still gonna take all of the hours I could get and maybe save enough to replace my stolen SG.
    At least you are providing a crucial public service, and I very much admire you for that. My mother was a legal secretary for criminal defense attorneys for twenty years or so, so I have somewhat of an understanding of what that's like... also my sister is a paralegal, but I don't talk to her about her work much, anyway, please try not to wreck yourself if you can help it.

    -Doug in Oakland

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    1. I turned 45 last week. I don't know what kind of shape I'm in. I'll find out in the next few years.

      I get my 8 hours of sleep in every day, pretty much. My complete lack of a spouse, kids, a significant other, friends, or hobbies that take me out of the house means that my time at home is really low-stress.

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  6. "I have not been planning the writing. Thinking about what I’m going to write."

    I firmly believe this is the stage of blogging that directly precedes sudden and complete abandonment of the art. Luckily, it can last forever (I'm living proof), and should be possible to reverse. Maybe one day, when circumstances are more favorable.

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    1. I'm going to keep trying. I hope I don't quit. I mean, it's been sort of an addiction that has zapped precious years of my life that could have been spent on people. But when I'm firing on all cylinders, there's not much else like it!

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  7. I so understand what you are going through. I used to dream about pro rating premiums, working out the math for cancellatons on seasonal vehicles and arguing with agents about coverages. I would wake up with a headache knowing I was going to have to do it for real all day long. Well, one must pay the bills and sometimes we just have to wait for vacations and long weekends in order to put words together in pleasing sequences. It will be a case of 'less is more'. Hang in there.

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    1. I should point out that i really LIKE what I do most of the time, too. I'd much rather be here at my secondary office helping people than at the main office crunching numbers for grants or something.

      It's just exhausting.

      New routines take time. And as I said above, I really need a vacation.

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  8. I was wondering where you were Harry! Thanks for writing! Just make sure you are taking care of yourself and Astro! That's important! We will be here, when you write again, or you come around to say hi :)

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    1. Thanks, Stacy. I'll post at least a couple times a month no matter what, and I'm really making an effort to get around to everyone else's blogs. It's all going to come together...

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  9. I feel for you. I've been putting in overtime at the elections office. I leaves me with little energy for anything else. Luckily I know it will pass. Eventually the polls will close.

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    1. How have I made it to this age without learning how exhausting hard work is before now?

      It's going to be okay.

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    2. Yeah, I keep forgetting what a pain work is. Then something comes along to remind me.

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  10. I know the feeling. I've almost quit blogging several times because I didn't have to the time to think beyond the next hour. It was sort of that way when my wife was on her business trip. But since I was off from work and my screwed up schedule didn't really allow me to sleep until much later in the night, that was when I could write something.

    As for Misanthrope, chapter seven has been out for awhile. Eight is the problem, can't work around a situation I got my characters into. Might start the chapter over again to solve the issue.

    Yeah, you need a vacation. Of at least a day trip away.

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    1. I haven't actually taken a vacation since 2015, although I did take two days off in march to go to two funerals, on consecutive days, which sort of counts?

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  11. I went through the same thing for much of April, when I was working non-stop offsite. I was still able to do the blog, but didn't write a word of the novel, and I neglected my blog friends terribly. I'm now trying to get caught up and read past posts from people I follow so that I didn't miss anything while I was away (I doubt if anyone noticed my absence, but people are so good at engaging with me that I always feel terrible when I can't reciprocate). Also, I agree that cats make terrible witnesses.

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    1. There are a couple blogland people I really like (Bill the Butcher and the ABeerForTheShower guys) who have completely disappeared this year, and it's made me really sad. I don't want to do that.

      I get a lot of writing posts, and I am glad there are other people who do, too.

      So I'll stick around even if there are occasional breaks.

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  12. Dreaming between the docket sheets - is that a lawyer joke or could it be one?

    I suspect you didn't plan this post very much. But yet it's a very interesting one. I believe many readers enjoying learning more about other's lives. Also, you seem to live more than one of those at times.

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    1. "Dreaming Between the Docket Sheets" might be the name of my future autobiography. Or, as we're apparently forced to say in America, "Memoir." (I'm guessing about that last bit. All I know is that Phil Collins released exactly the same book as an autobiography in the UK and a memoir in America.

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  13. I've noticed that there are some bloggers, like yourself that take time to create a post. You can tell because it's well written, and perfectly structured. Those of the kind of bloggers that seem to often get burnout and give up. Keeping up that kind of quality all the time is hard work, and it sounds like you have enough hard work as it is. Better to lower your standards and keep on posting. :)

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    1. Haha... You have a point, and it's what I used to do, back when I was being other people on other blogs. I'd throw out a picture post or something. And sometimes they turned out to be people's favorites.

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    2. When I look at the bloggers with hundreds of followers they are always the ones that post all the time, and say very little. :D

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  14. I think I understand your state of mind...at least a little bit. I haven't had a "real" vacation in a number of years. Days off, sure, but not a full week of vacations days in a row. Sigh.

    I know when my brain is rewiring itself: I have intense, colorful dreams about moving. Whenever I have those dreams, I know my life has gotten too stressful and I need to do something. The last time this happened, I had a dream about moving to Brazil. The next day, I woke up and the morning news talked about this weird new virus coming from Brazil, called Zika. Soon after, I switched jobs. Stopped the dreams dead in their tracks.

    Make sure you take care of yourself!

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    1. That's pretty much where I am, yeah.

      Thinking about vacation now. Things here will probably survive without me for a few days.

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  15. Don't quit! It's not nice of me but I'd rather you risked your health because I really enjoy your writing. But also look after yourself (and Astro) because otherwise you can't write or work. I had a holiday in 2007, it was good. Maybe you could take a holiday. Hope the life changes settle and sorry for my selfishness.

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    1. I don't think I'm going to quit. I might have to try different ways of writing, but one way or the other, I'll probably keep on going.

      Delete

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