Saturday, January 15, 2005

Brooklyn House of Detention

It's been a weird and edgy week. Workload stress + work people stress + inability to sleep stress. It's Saturday, the start of a 3 day weekend - I should be happy! But no "Yay". Last night I was up at 2:30, 4:30, 5:30, and 6:30, after which I just stayed up. I have TWC coming between 10-12 to "fix" my cable modem (it will be the third service call, so my faith is somewhat diminished.) I've been waiting for this appointment for almost 3 weeks, and for the most part all has been smooth sailing during that time. Last night I came home and it was out! I was almost happy, since this meant that there would be something for them to evaluate. (Usually it's running fine when they are here, of course, and then it dies and I call them and by the time I can get an appointment it's okay again.) Sometime between 5:30 - 6:30 it came back on, though. I'm tempted to try to reboot it (that always throws it into a tizzy for hours) just before they're due to come.

So, yeah, a potential 4 hours of sitting & waiting for TWC. I'm almost thinking it would be best if they came closer to the end of that time because I have a short story to edit for my writing group! Plus my online workshop starts next week so I should look at the handful of stories I'm in the midst of revising. And, of course, scanning of Aunt H's memoirs... listening to NPR and scanning memoir pages is very relaxing. Well, listening to NPR and doing jigsaw puzzles on my computer is even more relaxing, but I think I can be productive today.

An example of how upsetting the week was: the other night, I was walking home from work along the usual route. My office is 17 blocks from home - pretty much along busy commercial streets, except one stretch that passes some court buildings and the Brooklyn House of Dentention. I'm never scared there because it's along a fairly busy street with constant traffic, and the building itself is surrounded by security cameras, even though they are doing some construction or something so there's also scaffolding covering the sidewalk making it a bit dark. Anyhow, I'm trotting along deep in thought, and a clump of teenagers comes toward me, laughing and goofing. One of them, a tall boy, jumps in my face and yells, "Bwaaah!" (The "gotcha!" sound. You know.) It wasn't really scary, just startling, like a friend might do to you when they catch you off guard (although never really that funny then, either, is it?) I jumped and said something like, "Jesus!" and the kids just lost it laughing, and whooping as they walked past. Then I just freaked out. Why the hell was that funny? Why did they pick me? What is wrong with people that they find humor in causing a stranger to be afraid/uncomfortable/threatened? I was mad, too, and when I got to the corner I looked around for a cop or security guard, without really knowing what good that would do. Is it illegal to scare people? I just wanted to do something to make them realize they couldn't do shit like that.

And then, as I walked the next 3 blocks to the gym, I just started to cry. (That would have made them really laugh, I suppose.) No real reason, just "Fuck, I've had a really bad week, and now this?" I tried to cover when I got to the gym but the woman at the entry desk probably thought I was a nutcase.

But I worked out pretty hard, and it felt good.


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