Friday, January 14, 2005

I work from home

This morning I awakened briefly with the alarm, but it's set for my husband's wake-up, and I fell back asleep. Forty minutes later, he whispered to me that he already had the kettle on for my morning coffee and two slices of bread were waiting to be plunged into the crucible from which they would emerge as toast - cleansed of all moistness and soon to be smeared with butter and orange marmelade, my favorite.

And to think that I sometimes take this man for granted and get very, very angry with him. I must be chronically ungrateful. Or blind.

Be that as it may, usually when I get out of bed, I eat breakfast, talk awhile with him while we get ready for the day, and I kiss him good-bye as he wanders out the door to work. Then I sit down at my desk and I work. Sometimes I'm editing advertisement for the curriculum publisher for which I work. Sometimes I'm stripping documents of their graphics, converting them to html, and making them fit to teach youths about the marvels of biology in electronic-textbook form. Sometimes (on my favorite days) I'm working on the layout for a catalog or other printed media and choosing among fonts for this or that line of text. But every day I am alone.

I miss talking to people less than I assumed I would at first. Yes, I wish I had a coworkers office to pop into and blab about what I'm doing this weekend or whatever it is people blab about in offices. But I'm not as addicted to being social as I once thought. However, the silence is overwhelming. All I hear is the hum of my computer's cooling fan, the clacking of the keys I press, the clicking of the mouse, my refrigterator kicking on.

I must explain here.

I grew up in a house with two boisterous parents and two excitable brothers. My mother believes the following proverb to be absolute truth: "A boy is a loud noise with dirt on it." My brothers did their best to live up to that definition, and I'm rather loud, too, come to think of it. Silence has never been something I identified with my life in any way. I learned a lot about the value/perils of silence in college, but it's different now that it envelops me, hour after hour at my desk.

I listen to music in an attempt to negate it, and today that music is Classical. I just finished Rachmaninoff's Piano Concierto in C Minor, but iTUNES offered up nothing further after it finished and the silence crept in again. Battling the silence with song (of some kind) has become a part of every day of my career. Ironically, I've written and edited most of this post in that same silence. Is that somehow profound? My voice calling out in another medium, circumventing the silence even as it reigns supreme. Oh the melodrama! Save me Bach, save me!

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