October 21, 2006
Wonderful Wednesdays (even if it is the weekend)
Originally published on March 28, 2002
As an English major in college and a semi-professional musician for a number of years, I often am amazed to realize that I have been a supervisor in a chemical plant for more than twenty years. I have done well where I work, judging from my performance reviews and the money they pay me, but I remain amazed that my life played out the way it did.
In college, I declared a "Wonderful Wednesday" whenever I felt like it. That was a Wednesday when I decided I had better things to do than go to class all day, so I cut them all. I laid in bed some days, played golf on others, or pulled out all the sofa cushions to find enough spare change to buy $1 pitchers of beer in the afternoon at the old railroad station in Athens, Ga. I was a professional student at the time, so academic work could easily take a back seat to real-life experience; I could make good grades standing on my head back then. My roommate was a law student and I was such a corrupting influence that even HE indulged in a few Wonderful Wednesdays. For me, it was part of a bohemian lifestyle; for him, it was a liberating experience.
Once I hit my semi-professional musician stage, I became accustomed to living vampire hours. I woke up at the crack of noon, or maybe later. I staggered off to bed at about four o'clock in the morning, or maybe later. Time was very fungible in those days, as long as I showed up where I was SUPPOSED TO BE on time and did what I was SUPPOSED TO DO, which was work from 9:00 till 1:00, Tuesday through Friday, then work 9:00 till 2:00 on Saturday nights. That made for a very difficult 21-hour work week, where I kept my nose to the grindstone, did exactly what I wanted to do at the time and got paid very adequate wages for my artistic suffering. A great employee benefit package was included, too, because women like musicians. I won't go into details about that part of the job, because I don't remember enough details to elaborate. Let's just say that I recall a grand moasic.
But I put away those childish things a long time ago. Now I go to work at 5:30 every morning and come home whenever the work is done. Ten hours is a typical shift, plus an hour travel time each way to and from home. I wear a beeper and stay on call 24 hours a day. People from work call me at ungodly hours of the night. I work weekends every tenth week as the "duty" supervisor. I suppose I'm a great American success story.
I've been divorced twice. My son from my second marriage is with me tonight, on a visitation. We played basketball on the GOAL FROM HELL (damn, but I'm proud that I finally got that thing assembled instead of shooting it!) and then I threw football passes at him until the sun went down. He is fed, watered and bathed. He's on his Play-Station II now, but his eyelids are drooping. He'll be out like a light shortly.
My daughter from my first marriage will be in town tomorrow. I have not seen her in five years. She is nineteen and lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She wants to see my son and my son wants to see her. But that may not happen because my BC (bloodless cunt) ex-wife usurped my weekend visitation by booking a trip to Vermont for my son's spring break and she will come to reel him in at 7:00 tomorrow night, whether he sees his sister or not. So it goes. She has airplane tickets and at least one other guy to sleep with.
I could raise a big stink and hire a lawyer to sort this out, but the truth is that I don't care anymore. I just wish I could declare a Wonderful Wednesday every now and then.
I miss the good old days.
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