April 6, 2006

Chicken Dance

Free time breeds routines. We may like to think that when we’re unfettered from the shackles of employment, we will spend hours of our time accomplishing a series of remarkable feats. We tell ourselves that we will complete projects that have been left on burners for months. All we need is some free time, and we will slay our procrastination monsters. But let me tell you that this is not true. We simply plug that free time with a fresh set of routines. These habits, at first glance, may appear mundane and a waste of time, but let me tell you, establishing these routines doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience.

I have been off work for a week, and although I had a few things I really wanted to get done- like work on a short story, write a few poems, and update some photographs on my website (none of which I have completed)- I found myself quickly in the clutches of a very pleasant routine.

Here is rundown of every one of my days for the last week:

I wake up each morning around ten am. I check email, read the news from my leftist sources, ponder the pathetic state of the world, and start my brain thinking about what I may write about that afternoon (After reading Under The Banner of Heaven, I have been brewing a piece about faith, religion and cults. It sometimes takes a few days for the process to actually get to writing. I hope to have something done before the break is over.). After I escape the computer, I put on my swim trunks and head down to the pool with my wife, book in hand. Currently I am on an island in the South Pacific with Norman Mailer. I am reading The Naked and the Dead. I am not sure if there is a better feeling than lying in the sun with a 700-page book in your lap. I can feel my skin bronzing as the equatorial sun climbs high in the sky. Have I mentioned that there hasn’t been another person by the pool all week? I put the book down and jump into the water. I swim, brushing my chest against the bottom of the pool thinking about the haiku I will write later that day. My wife likes to sit in the shallow end and read. I swim over to her and we chat casually about the baby. She looks so beautiful since she has been pregnant. I notice a small bird dipping its beak in the pool and the clouds rearrange themselves in the sky. I swim back to my chair and rejoin Company A. I repeat this sequence at least ten times. After about two hours, we head upstairs, comfortably drowsy and tan.

I shower, admire the growth of my beard, make a quick light lunch and set to my afternoon activity, which may include a nap, some guitar playing, some more reading, or maybe a movie if it is thunder storming like it was today. Living on the equator is advantageous to routines because the weather sticks to a very predictable pattern. It will be beautiful until around two and then it will rain uncontrollably till about five. Today I watched Fade To Black, the documentary about Jay-Z’s last show and album. Around five, I type up my haiku, and on a good day maybe write for a while. We sometimes go for a walk, eat dinner and watch some bad TV. And finally, we crawl into bed and watch about three episodes of the greatest show that has ever been on TV: Arrested Development.

This is neither the time nor the place for me to go into the genius of the show. (That should have happened during some of my down time today, but I watched the Jay-Z movie instead ). But let me say this: If you don’t know what the “chicken dance” by G.O.B means, than please do whatever you need to do to find out. And if you do know what I am talking about, all I have to say is CO-CO-COCO-CO

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