Boy, I’m glad that’s over. October, I mean.
The days grow shorter and cooler, but they’re also tinged with sadness. What other month does that, makes us sad? None. November is a Trojan horse; you don’t know what’s in store. December through February are tests of endurance, pure and simple. March and April bring the welcome, soggy relief called springtime. But May, aah, it’s a glory to behold. Ditto for the summer months.
October, though, pulls the rug out from under you. It triggers a wistfulness I can’t explain and don’t understand. All I know is the world turns topsy-turvy. Life goes from shorts and flip-flops to a jacket and corduroys almost overnight. The air grows still and hushed. And I wind up discombobulated, totally lost and forlorn.
But you know what? I’m walloped with the exact same sadness when I watch To Kill a Mockingbird. Now, I’m not from Alabama or the Depression era, my father wasn’t Gregory Peck, nor was I the ham in a school play. But I’m sad and homesick after I watch that movie. The fact I’m at home is irrelevant, apparently. So what’s the deal?
Well, I think I miss being a kid. I miss the boundless enthusiasm and the sense of wonder and the endless curiosity. I miss having a lap to crawl into and being loved so fiercely. I miss having my big worry be getting caught running with scissors. Most of all, I miss having the freedom and courage to follow my heart.
So this morning I did that, I followed my heart; I walked off my job. I say ‘job’, but it was more like work release. I was scrutinized and monitored and evaluated and written up and reviewed daily — for a minimum wage job stuffing envelopes. I didn’t commit a felony, I didn’t work for the NSA, I stuffed envelopes. Past tense.
My misdeed? Drinking coffee. That was secretly added to a long list banning music and bluetooth devices and cellphones and earphones, you’re not to talk to co-workers or wear a hood or use that door or walk there or think for yourself. Prisons are more freewheeling.
So I stood up, grabbed my coffee, and said, ‘Why don’t I just go?’ And I went. I’m, at last, breathing the air of freedom. I can walk with my head up, for the moment at least.
Wish me luck in my new job search. Oy.
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