I’ve been spending a lot of time in corporate conference rooms. The walls are all tacked with motivating pictures. Overall pleasant spaces. A lot of thought and care went into these rooms, even if it’s the kind of air-conditioned thinking that forgets there’s any kind of world outside.
In the ongoing theme of this week, I’m tired. I speechless. I’m a soap bubble in a full bath, warm water, waiting to pop. I’ve got dreams of driving on a long, wooded road in the country, a vacation, fabulous destinations, only I never get to the end of the road and it’s getting late and I’ve gotta piss and there aren’t any rest-stops. That kind of dream. That kind of week.
But the sky is pepper-blue, pretty. It’s something. Amazing.
I ate pizza in a popular chain joint, Blaze. The restaurant was in Morrisville and had a spot locked in an open air mall. You pick your toppings at the counter and I asked the guy for oregano. He pinched it and sprinkled like we were somewhere richer.
One thing I miss is living in a place full of small business. In the NC triangle, the small places get boxed in by big chains. There’s a certain kind of pride to being a successful franchisee, but that pride comes from executing someone else’s dream. Good pizza, no originality.
I once ate lunch at a Huddle House near Asheville. I was traveling back from Knoxville with my dad. My grandmother was in a nursing home in Knoxville and she was dying. We visited her a lot back then. I’d taken a few days off of middle school.
It was a solemn trip, a long trip, we got caught in bad mountain traffic. That’s when we pulled off to eat. I remember the cold red awning and bright white lights in the Huddle House. I remember weak eggs and a friendly waitress.
It was comfortable. Corporate and perfect. Right then, that’s what my dad and I needed. I guess the cookie cutter and familiar is not all bad.
Currently Reading:The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand
I did an off-site training at the corporate office today. I’ll be doing it for three days, most of this week. It felt like being back in college. We were in a small room with shared tables. There were whiteboards and projectors. We did group activities and answered questions. College – not a place I was looking to go back to.
But I’m always open to new experiences.
There’s a certain slime to corporate spaces. It’s a gregarious slime – fancy, accommodating, obsessed with cost-calculated comforts. I ate lunch with friends in the cafeteria and noticed the treadmills and lime green walls, the tv’s that were easily accessible but not too imposing. A lot of money was spent to make this a place people want to be. Consequentially, it turned me way off.
I watched a 3 part interview series on youtube between a Belgium man and Charles Bukowski. It was filmed in the 80’s, late in Bukowski’s life. They talked about a lot of things and didn’t seem to like each other. At one point, Bukowski takes the guy to this hostel he holed up in for the first few years of his writing career. He told a story about how the landlady would leave him baskets of fruits and veggies because she thought he was mentally unstable after he’d told her he was quitting the post office for writing. The camera caught poor kids in no shoes and suspenders and one young Latino family with gold teeth and jello cups and a chihuahua that kept trying to eat the jello cups. Bukowski said: “There’s stories in these people. Most writers don’t want to talk to these people.” That made a lot of sense to me.
Novel Count: 15,629
Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami