Sunday, July 25, 2010

what's the opposite of writer's block?

All I want to do right now is write. I want to write about my days, I want to write about my summer, I what to write about my ideal future. It's strange where I can find inspiration. Tonight it comes from the siblings, acquaintances, and my daily routine.

Almost every day starts with a top 40 hit. Sometimes it's Lady Gaga singing about Alejandro, sometimes it's Hailey Williams singing about airplanes, and sometimes it's even Justin Beiber naively reminiscing his first "love." What can I say? I live in Idaho Falls, and therefore my alarm clock is set to z103; I'm not ashamed. No matter the song, volume, or content, my constant lack of R.E.M. forces my heart to skip and my head to jolt up with overwhelming anxiety.
"OH LORD! WHAT TIME IS IT!?" ... It's only 7:16am.
As I lay back down to collect my consciousness, the temperature becomes very audible. Cold. The pro and the con to having a bed in the basement. I curl into the orthodox fetal position, continue listening to the songs that, as likely as not, I cannot stand to listen to. This is all part of the tactic of getting myself out of bed, and although it never works in the beginning, it always ends up being my final motivation to get on with the day.
Every few minutes I'll look at the clock. Those red, digital digits can inform me of what time it is, but they can never remind me when it is that I need to be out of my house and in my car. "7:28am"... "What time did I leave yesterday?"... "7:32am"... "What time did I get to the pool yesterday?"... "7:37am"... "Ugh. I really need to get out of bed. I need to be to work in... Uhh... 23 minutes."... "7:40am, okay, that it, I'm going to have to rush myself; let's go."
I waver out of bed, strip down to absolutely nothing, put my swimming suit on, and walk out of my room. To the left I notice Cameron, still asleep; television still on from a few hours ago, tossing and turning on the leather couch. I'm not conservative with the amount of noise that I make as I walk up the stairs. "I hope I woke him up." I presumptuously think to myself, "he kept me up all night, and he needs to know how early I wake up every morning."
On my way out the door I quickly stop to urinate, and then I walk out th
e door, get into my car, turn on my music (this time something I prefer to listen to), and I drive away.

I make the turns required to leave the drowsy subdivision I woke up in. Driving is the same everyday. Less people on the roads than you'd think there would be this close to 8:00am. "But look, there is a jogger, there's an old man on a bike, and oh, I'm pretty sure I saw that girl walking yesterday at this time! I sure hope drivers don't pay attention to me when I run down this street on those few, impulsive evenings..."
It's 7:44am. "I swear I looked at the clock at this exact time yeste
rday! Except yesterday I was about 300 feet behind where I am now. I must be making good time!" At this point in the day, my mind is feeling more dynamic, and I can now take satisfaction in these small victories.
Consistently, I arrive at the pool between 7:48am and 7:51am. "Perfect!" I seem to be one of the first cars in the parking lot, but at least I'll have enough time to make a few jokes, neglect my sunscreen, grab some Ocean Wonders, and motivate myself to jump in the pool.
At 8:00am... Or more typically, 8:01am, I put on my happy tone and yell "COME ON IN AND FIND YOUR TEACHERS! ... Uhh... But... DON'T GET IN THE WATER UNLESS YOUR TEACHER IS THERE!" I watch the anxious children run to there classes, and the remaining teachers saunter out of the office to get in the water. Hey, they much be
just as excited as I am to teach this morning. As I command my "minnows" to do eight "bobs" (yes, I realize that you don't know what either of those terms mean.), I bask in the glory that is being a swimming lesson teacher. And not only that, but being a seven year veteran of this morning routine. I can hardly believe I'm the one "callin' 'em in", and denying the sanction of turning on the pool heater. Seven years ago I was a fifteen year old that thought I knew what I was doing. I moped out of the office at 8:00am, but craved the respect. I loved the job, but never thought I'd spend the better part of a decade doing it. I've had this job longer than I've had most of my friends. I've had this job since before my first day of high school. I've had this job since before most of these kids were born. It seems surreal.
Going through the motions of teaching elementary backstroke is familiar, but always has it's differences. I tell these kids to resist the blunder of breaking the surface of the water, and the importance of hooking their feet. As I allow the last swimmer the embark of the journey across the pool, I look up at the clock and realize it's only 8:16pm. One hour since I was startled by my alarm clock.

It's going to be a long day. And while taking comfort in knowing I'll do the same thing again tomorrow, I can't imagine spending the summer any other way.