PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Like A Moment, Frozen, Forever There....

ahhh, a quote from one of my all-time favorite bands, Concrete Blonde. Song: "God Is A Bullet". Anyway. At book club, I was asked if, since I identified so much with the main character, could I, as he did, stand by as his friends murdered their loose-cannon friend? (They pushed him off a cliff, mind you. Happened quite fast.) I pondered it briefly and said "Yes." And they alllll moved away from me on the Group W bench.

I felt somewhat pressured throughout the evening to explain my response, which I think I eventually did, for it wasn't an indication that I condoned murder, or thought I could truly be a party to it, but I understood, in Donna Tartt's oh-so-visual text, that horrible feeling when a moment in time freezes you, when you feel stunned by the endorphins & it's like all the Brain Gnomes are desperately trying to put the right connectors into the right sockets, and failing miserably, and you are trying to process and trying to understand and meanwhile, time is still moving for everybody else.

The example I gave made it clear.

When I was first starting out in advertising, I worked at the biggest agency in town. We were little worker bees, putting in long hours, partying like mad, and sticking together at our worker-bee level. Three of us worked for this woman who was Awful. Dreadful. And rather Stupid, which for me is the kiss of death. Anyway, she never exactly knew what she wanted, but she would sound like she did & send you off to do days of hardcore salt mine labor, only to completely 180-degree-it when she saw it and result in you doing it ALL OVER AGAIN with the new parameters. Do you see why we disliked her so? It was after several days of us slaving away, we had handed it off to her, waiting for the inevitable, and our bitter, motley trio who'd sweated it were gathered in a cube. She in her office chair, me in the guest chair, him standing by the "doorway". Said supervisor came by, and FUCKING PROCEEDED TO UNDO everything she'd asked for and basically puked another 20+ hours worth of work onto us. She strode off, and at the general space she had occupied seconds earlier, I had both arms outstretched, both hands with middle finger raised, wildly waving them up and down, much like you would at, say, a Chiefs game where you'd just gotten a bad call, your chest is painted red & gold, and you were into bad sportsmanship.

But she hadn't strode off very far. In fact, I only had started to get warmed up with my Fuck You Gyrations, when she suddenly re-appeared in the doorway. In that split second before she actually looked at me, I wrapped my arms up around myself in the most awkward, bizarre position, and blithely pretended I was starting a yoga movement, years ahead of my time. Our faces said it ALL. We were caught. Time was frozen and our mouths were open and we were waiting to see if she'd seen me, were we caught, what was happening. In fact, she had come back to add one more thing she'd thought of - another many hours worth of work - and in our terror, we quite chipperly agreed to do it. She knew something was up, but what was it? Nobody was going to speak, since we were all simultaneously experiencing massive coronaries.

And that's what I mean, when the sound goes out and your blood rushes at breakneck speed and your mind races, sprints, bounds and trips, trying to figure out what you should do next, when fight and flight round the corner travelling in opposite directions & flat-out clothesline each other, leaving you transfixed, unknowing, blinking.

Being a quick learner, let me just state that I've never repeated that behavior. I've done plenty else to get myself in trouble, but neeeeever again with the wild bird-flipping Fuck-You gestures. And you KNOW we had a hell of a lot of fun with it all later, once our heart rates slowed down - re-enactments and re-telling at many a happy hour for years after it happened. I haven't got a real moral to the story; just know that I'm not a proponent of pushing people off cliffs, and if you want to flip off your boss, you should think twice about it.....or at least be working in an office with hard floors, not carpet, so you can listen for footsteps & be sure they're gone. I heard through the grapevine, many years later, that she was fired/let go. In my mind, that just further supports the notion that when the Karma Bus comes to town, you better have a ticket - otherwise, it's gonna run you over.
posted by PlazaJen, 7:14 AM