Wednesday, September 2, 2009
the powers that be. oh, and september!
I've had one of those days where I feel, without a doubt, that someone somewhere is looking out for me. Maybe it's the positive energy my sister has been directing my way while doing yoga every day; perhaps it's my optimism at the thought of the approaching cool weather; or maybe it's simply God looking down from up there. Whatever it is, I'm glad for it.
Today I was faced with the task of going into the office (a 50 minute commute by train each way, there and back) simply to sit and wait for a Verizon representative to come to my door, ready to magically fix our nonexistent wireless connection. I took advantage of the free day, and first took care of a few office errands. Then I met up with my friend Jimmy for lunch, as he works at the Arden Theatre just around the corner from ADROP-- we got delicious pizza nearby. It was great to see him! He's actually living in the house I inhabited last year at college, so hearing his stories and comparing them to my experience is always amusing, if a little strange. I decided, in the midst of our conversation, that I need to put my year in that run-down white house to rest, and never return inside its walls. My time there, with my wonderful roommates, was sacred. To interfere with the memory of every party, every fight, every meal we shared-- trying to brush the dust off all those moments would just ultimately end in disappointment.
After lunch, the sun was shining brightly and I felt very cooped up just staying inside my lonely, cavernous room, so I grabbed some paper and a pen and sat down in the sunshine on the stoop outside my building, ready to pen a few lines to some friends from camp who had been so kind to write me a few weeks ago. I was very content- my belly full of delicious pizza, the sun warm on my shoulders, and letters from lovely friends in my lap. I took a break from writing to rest my hand, and what do I see, but a Verizon truck, just down the street. I got very excited-- finally, finally I could get some help with this whole internet issue. But, unfortunately, the technician (who by now had put on her tool belt, walked in the opposite direction, waited a few moments, then taken off aforementioned tool belt) seemed to be unaware of my helpless presence just a block away.
So I ran after her. Yes, ladies and gentlemen; today, I chased a Verizon technician on the streets of Philadelphia.
And good thing I did. Bridget was truly a lifesaver. She was irate that no one had shown up to help me yet, and stood and coached me through a very firm reprimanding of the employee on the end of a 1-800 number. She called her dispatcher to let them know that though there had been a mistake and my service request was not on file, she'd be helping me fix my DSL issue. And then she spent over an hour in our smelly, mildewy basement messing with wires and Ethernet cables, until finally, we had a connection. In the meantime, we made smalltalk-- she lives in the city and gets very upset about the management at her company; even she, as an employee, has to deal with 1-800 numbers when she wants to subscribe for a service. But the negative aspects don't seem to sway her-- she's been working there faithfully for 11 years.
After the internet debacle, I decided to call it a day; there were no programs that I had to "coordinate" today, so once my office work was taken care of I was free to leave. Looking at the clock, I saw I had fifteen minutes to catch the train. I walked swiftly to the El, but, of course, a train didn't come until about 4:27, four minutes before my train home was due to depart. After frantically sprinting to the platform, I realized that my train was actually running 7 minutes late. I took a deep breath, and relaxed. I've just started reading The Human Stain by Philip Roth-- lots of downtime during the day has lent itself beautifully to my voracious reading habit. And so, once on the train, I settled down and read for the remainder of my commute.
Though I was tired when I got home, I decided to get over it and lace up my running shoes... and boy, was I glad I did. I love September's weather, and today as I was running through the neighborhoods close to my house, I came to the conclusion that September and I happen to be in a very healthy relationship. I love September, and it loves me back. When I feel cold after being in the final throes of air-conditioning, I can step outside and be deliciously warmed by the bright sun. When the day's heat is just about touching its limit, night falls and the air cools perfectly. It's like September knows exactly when to be overly affectionate, and when to back off. And September's sunny but chilly mornings make it really hard to get up in the morning-- and leaving a warm cocoon of blankets and facing the day is never easy.
Forgive my hokey style; I just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love and it would seem that Elizabeth Gilbert has rubbed off on me.
Tonight, I'm listening to Lightness by Peter & the Wolf with the windows wide open, and somehow, the cicadas seem to know all the words.