Monday, January 10, 2005

temp riptide

as i sat languishing on a midtown corporate plantation, mastering "the art of looking busy," i nibbled nutless brownies that i "liberated" from that generic windowless airtight conference room up the hall. they were remnants of Some Really Important Meeting that happened earlier in the afternoon. i made like i had to use the bathroom so i could see if they were eating anything interesting. then i timed it so that i would happen by as they cleared the room. a few days ago, there was a motherlode: gourmet sandwiches, salad, pasta, fresh squeezed juices, the works.

these people know that i don't care.

i had already blown through the work they'd given me and i did it in record time so i could be free to conduct my business. i'm here on their nickel but after their work is done, i'm on my time. but who can tell where my work begins and their work ends when my desk is bustling with so much activity?

i've had the feeling for quite some time that something would happen soon. it's like this. success comes in waves. waves are opportunities. the more success you get, the bigger the waves grow. that's why you always have to look out for the riptide. that thing that jerks your feet out from under you and flings you into the far reaches of the ocean, where you exhaust yourself and drown. and then your lifeless body washes up on a shore somewhere. or they pull you out of the water or something. and everyone wonders how such a thing could have happened. how could she have left nyc to go back to her small town ordinary uncreative life? she was on the verge of making it and then she just up and leaves... you eventually run into those people and they say things like, i just couldn't take it anymore.

that's the thing that no one tells you. "making it" (whatever the hell that is) isn't about talent. it's about sticking with it, no matter what.

you do a broadway show and everything's great and then the show closes and there's no work for a year or two and then your health insurance runs out, you don't have any more unemployment checks coming in and you have to wait tables all over again. after two months of that, you're ready to kill someone. anyone. but you do it for more than a year. and then another show comes along and everyone wonders where you've been.

there is an undertow to everyone's world. if your life is a creative one, it can be especially drastic. i don't know why. maybe it's because we're so sensitive. or maybe it's that we live such precarious lives. perhaps a higher rise means that we have farther to fall. "with much blessings comes much adversity."

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