Oct 24 2015

Occurrence During Day Job Hell Week Part Two

Rosemary

It took me a while to realize what was happening.

It was mid-morning Friday, and all of a sudden, whatever I was doing, I had to pause, I had to think.

Actually, I didn’t have to pause — I just did.  It happened spontaneously.   Everything would simply stop.

And I’d think:  Was I doing something?  What was I just doing?

And what comes next?

Entering data, these codes — I know them, right?  I’ve had most of them memorized for a long time now.  But suddenly, each one was a conundrum.

What was I doing again?  Oh, right, that.  Yeah… how do I do it?  Okay, better look it up…

It’s not like this stuff was rocket science.   Just boring, necessary accounting department support crap.  I should be able to do it in my sleep.

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But that day, and quite suddenly — just couldn’t.

Naturally, I started running through all the possibilities.    Let’s see: Stroke?  Probably not.  Early onset Alzheimer’s?  It’s happened to better people than me.  Or not-so-early onset Alzheimer’s, because I seem to have become about one million years old recently?  Okay, that’s a maybe.  Brain tumor?  Actually, that’s on the list of the ways my defeated cancer could make a comeback… but I didn’t think so; not today.

Exhaustion was the best guess, and for good reason, with the overtime and and the sheer overwhelming banal stupidity of the actual tasks at hand.

And it was as I was enumerating (as one does) the specific ways in which the tasks were banal, and trivial-yet-desperately-urgent, and mostly-void-partially-pointless (Night Vale reference!), and I found myself losing track even of that, being unable even to focus on working up a satisfying list of complaints — when it hit me.

I knew what it was.

It was the story.

The story wanted me.

I was so tired that I was no longer able to force myself to pay attention — careful, close attention —  to stuff I did not care about.

And in the absence of the usual forced focus, that constant exercise of negative will power, there it was: the story.

Stepping up, interrupting, blanking out the banality over and over again, and saying to the fuzzy, sleep-deprived silence: Look here. Look at ME.  Do THIS.

Which story?

All of them.