Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Whenever I think about the time I worked at USA Today, I instantly feel paralizing terror. My heart beats faster and my chest constricts. I relive the tense moments, the times that my superiors were particularly bullish and I didn't know how to stand up for myself.

It's been almost a year since I gave my notice and left the corporate world of Advertising Sales forever.

My trains of thought are abstract at best. I was thinking about tattoos, which made me think of my mom's former co-worker Rachel, whose wedding I went to. She and her husband got tattoos on their fingers under their wedding bands. Then I was thinking about the last time I saw them, at a company picnic, which they brought their baby girl to. Also at the picnic was my mother's friend Holly, whose husband and son's names I can't remember. Both names, like the men, were Algerian - when Holly met her husband, broken French was the only language they had in common. Holly was one of those women who carries several extra pounds stunningly well. That made me think of my other friend Holly, who I think would be less pretty if she were to lose weight. Trying to remember Holly's last name, I used the trick of association - she has the same last name as one of the guys who worked down the hall from me at Gannett (the company that owns USA Today) - and thinking of that Steve made me think of Steve-my-boss, who was all right but a bit of a terror to try to keep happy, as his expectations would change with his mood. All this happened while I was lying in bed two nights ago, and the terror struck. I had a great deal of difficulty sleeping.

I have no idea what I'm going to do about all of this, but I suppose that one of my "goals" will be to just let go of it.

If I may change the subject a minute: I'm not very happy about a great deal of what this country does with its military. But I would like to say right now that I love the soldiers, marines, sailors, pilots, officers, and every other individual who is protecting me. Except possibly the National Guard, but I just may be biased there. On a similar note, I love the police. I was thinking about running over to the Sheriff's Department to tell them as much, but have decided to do that only if I wish to find out what their interrogation room looks like, or at least what sort of drug tests they administer. Maybe next week, if I'm bored.