A friend just posted a note about her ten years with the company she’s been with, and even though I’m comfortably retired now, I felt a pang of envy. I loved working day gigs, day gigs in big giant buildings in big giant companies. I kept at it until epilepsy made working impossible and I finally gave in. I have to admit my life now is neurologically much more healthy. The less I do, the less the epilepsy gets stirred up. Besides, I was a lifelong failure as a bohemian, the idea of being a full time writer didn’t appeal to me at all, and I always felt out of my element in big gatherings of bohemians and their patrons. Aside from a very select few, I never even hung out with other writers. I was always more of the underground kind of guy, creative weird shit by night, excruciatingly normal environment by day. That’s what I did most of my working life, and though I was certainly one of the odder employees, I took to it like a weird fish to water. I liked the sick leave and vacation and salary, I like a lot of the scads of people I’d meet, some of whom I knew on a daily basis for years. Of course, my life out of the office had absolutely nothing in common with the forty hours I put in a week at the day gig. I never socialized with my fellow employees, never even did lunch. I suppose that’s why I quickly lost contact with almost every single person I ever worked with. Of the hundreds, if not thousands, of fellow employees I was on a first name basis with over the years, from CEOs to maintenance people, you can count the ones I still talk to on some of the fingers on one hand. Those almost forty years of 9 to 5 are like a dream now. I don’t have a single photo of me at any of the jobs I ever had. There’s not even a photo of any of my desks. No mementos at all. Hard to believe I was ever even there.
At that stage of retired guyness where I realize what we really need is a paper towel roll hanger that can adhere adhesively inside to one of the doors under the bathroom sink. I mentioned that to Fyl as I replaced the light bulb in the refrigerator. Sure, she said. Being that I already ordered adhesive hooks to hang the new brushes from the inside of the doors under the kitchen sink, she was not that surprised. It came to me as I was shaving off my latest retired guy trapped inside the house beard. Not that I wanted a beard. It just seem like a lot of work shaving it. Anyway, it’s gone now and the skin suddenly revealed is shiny and smooth and disturbingly metrosexual. Lack of sun combined with last year’s Covid Miracle Cure vitamin D supplements, I suppose. I still take it twice a day. Plus I cleared the slow draining bathroom sink with one of the new brushes while shaving. Multi-tasking. Tell me I’m not earning that social security check.
So I woke up on the couch at 4 a.m. and as I stumbled off to bed I noticed a kitchen completely untouched since dinner. Pots, pans, plates, leftovers, utensils up the wazoo. A spattered stove. Half dreaming it I washed everything, then dried everything, then put everything away. Then I sleepily cleaned up the stove and countertops. Did I mention the carefully wrapped leftovers in perfect stacks in the fridge and freezer? I got to bed at 6 a.m. This must be the retired life, clockless, unrestrained by civilized standards of time. And then oversleeping.