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commute bliss. blog remiss. thesis abyss.

June 5, 2011

i’ve started full time work for the summer.

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it’s a weird blast from the past. i haven’t worked a five day a week commute job since… at least two summers ago. (because last summer was gongshow kesagami work all day every day labour.)

and it’s good. i need the money, and having a schedule is good for me, because before work, i was sitting on my keester all day wondering what the H to do. but it’s funny. turns out that the thing that i most missed was the commute. i’m working in surrey so the commute THERE is about 1 hour 10 minutes and that’s all fine and well and good. but the commute back is sometimes almost two hours in rush hour. the commute THERE is demure – on the canada line, on an express highway bus – quiet, plushy seats, morning time, silent, grey. the commute home is raunchy, manure-smelling, heat-of-the-day, hot construction workers, rough and rude and expo-line saturated.

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HOLLA

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my thesis is better. my plot is more on track and my characters are more balanced now. it turns out that while i had the characters solidly in my head – they were real, and flesh and blood, and so vibrant, and i could see every facet of them – on paper they were failing fabulously. one character – my female – was more expanded than my other character, which was funny because in my head, my male character was the one who i was more in love with. i still have a crap-ton of work to do. apparently i am missing a whole section (the middle. dammit) and i have about 100 – 150 pages to add. but that’s fine. i can do that! i will do that! and i kind of knew that i was missing a middle. i just need to wedge the time for thesis back into my life. i need to find some sort of grown-up work schedule balance.

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anyway, i was worried that having a full time job would hinder my thesis-editing abilities. and maybe it will because i often find myself exhausted at the end of the day after all the commuting (that is what really saps a person, not necessarily the work). but i forgot how much poetry there is in transit, in the 9-5 schedule. already i can see it – the familiar faces on my buses every morning, the way the bus driver carries herself or speaks to the passenger, the side-eyed smiles between commiserating passengers on the expo line home when another passenger has a crazy episode. the way that bodies move together in rush hour, the way people weave in between each other.

my mother said i think this will be good for you. i think you will be able to sit and think and dream on the bus and the skytrain. and i think she is right. things come to you somewhere in between the rock of the train on the rails and the hiss of pneumatic brakes, wedged in between two bodies holding a rail. and in between it all, i can write little real-time odes to public transit on my twitter. because there is so much to see if you keep your eyes open to it, right?

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and on an aside, i now realise how borderline-agoraphobic (well, maybe not all the way phobic, but somewhere in between nervous and fear) i become while being only a writer. that is to say – how weird and anti-social i am when i am not working but instead only going to school/being a TA/sitting at home writing. even the grocery store would make me nervous. but now that i am thrust into the scrum of rush hour, i elbow my way through no frills on a weekend, no shame. i used to take 5th avenue to the shoppers drug mart instead of 4th because 4th can be a little crazy, but not anymore.

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more updates from the crazytrain soon, i promise.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2011 11:25 am

    Been there, been there, been there. Will return soon. I totally know what you mean about the agoraphobia starting to settle in. Still there.

  2. Taylor permalink
    June 7, 2011 11:18 am

    Having finally moved to Vancouver to escape that same phenomenon, I am giving you the side-eye so hard right now.

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