Story Value

random musings and episodes from the life of a 40 something comidienne/corporate refugee/mom - since whatever doesn't kill you provides excellent story value.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In which I am longing for Freaky Friday

It is Tuesday here in Boston ... which is Wednesday afternoon in Auckland. Hey! It is a dreary, grey, dismal November afternoon; dark before 4:30. I am sitting atop the 34th floor of the Prudential Tower, looking out upon a sea of greige office cubes. You can't even see through the windows, as we're locked inside a battleship grey fog bank. The office is reflected in the windows, giving the space an eerie, fluorescent-lit sheen. Most folks have gone home, but a few sit fixed in their 6 x 6 pens, tapping away at Excel spreadsheets, sending urgent requests for budget reviews, and scheduling umpteen Sarbanes Oxley compliance procedure meetings.

I'm not a prisoner, per-se. They do say, however "if you marry for money -- you earn it." The same goes for work. In my experience, for any high-paying office job, you often have to check your creativity, your personality and sometimes your soul at the door. No, I'm not a prisoner -- I'm a corporate call girl. No kissing and leave the money on the dresser please.

Some days, I am satisfied with the exchange. Today however, I am longing for some soul release. I open several computer Windows and surreptitiously surf the net. My goodness, how did we waste time at work before the Internet? I suppose we talked to each other. So glad that's out of vogue.

I pop over to my good friend Violet's blog for escape -- where I find plenty.
I have known Violet since we met in French class detention in 1981. There she was, dressed in a whale belt, kelly-green corduroy skirt, and 5 layers of top (turtle neck, polo shirt, 2 oxford button-downs and a Fair Isle sweater wrapped jauntily around her shoulders). Hey, we were having an energy crisis. Violet wasn't there "doing-time," she was there voluntarily showcasing her ability to conjugate obscure French verbs.
I, in contrast, was there because I had chosen to decorate my French instructor's motorcycle with floral garlands and tinsel. When he said he was a "flower-child" I took him at his word. I was such a 9th grade bad-ass that my belt featured kissing terriers instead of whales and I brazenly opted for only 3 layers of shirt.

Surprisingly enough, Violet and I were united by a love of mischief and she gave up her spot as teacher's pet to become ensnared in a crime caper of epic proportions. As partners in crime we became life-long friends. That is a story for another day.

Fast-forward 25 years ... and the tables have turned. Violet is the antithesis of the goody-two-shoes I met in 1981. She is the anti-me, living a free-spirited life onboard a 45 foot sailboat in Southern California. She's a rock n' roll goddess, artist, writer, actress and amazing tarot-card reader. She has a wild cast of colorful characters in her life who are engaged in a never-ending series of episodes worthy of their own cable channel. For me, she's the road not taken -- my "what if" personified.

We talk -- never often enough. 3,000 miles, adult responsibilities, 2 children (mine), partners and husbands, jobs and lack of funds and time conspire to keep us apart more than I'd like.

So many days I really miss her. I miss her ability to be totally in the moment, ambling down the street, taking in every sight, sound and smell to see what strikes her fancy. I miss talking about anything and everything from the philosophical to the ridiculous. Being with her makes me more myself. It brings out the best in me, in terms of openness, creativity and just being (vs. constantly doing). Visiting her is like visiting Technicolor Oz.

I wouldn't trade our lives -- but I certainly miss having her as more of a regular fixture in my own. Reading about Violet's adventures and her hyper-intelligent, keen and hilarious stories was like a cool drink of water for me today.

Today I am wishing I were her for just one day. I imagine waking up to sun and salt air on the boat and zipping around the coast taking in music, art and more than a few exotic cocktails. I am totally romanticizing her life, but that's he fun of it. My creative soul has been feeling parched and I would love to see the world through her eyes for a little while just to re-juice my batteries.

Even though we're often oddly in-synch ... I doubt she's having the same thoughts today. If so ... there's a 1/2 completed spreadsheet, an ergonomic chair, and 2 hungry boys looking for dinner here waiting for you sistah - Rock on!


Blogger Miss Violet said...

Love it, and you, my sister! I was having a little "Charlie Brown Christmas" moment yesterday--that wistful winter feeling that can be cured only by sitting somewhere warm, near a blazing fireplace, and laughing a lot with a good friend. Sadly, you were not here, and I don't have a fireplace, so I set the boat on fire and drank until I passed out. GOOD TIMES! I am glad to see you updating lots--I had to re-do my template, and some of my links got lost, so I'll re-add yours. (I didn't notice til today, when I went to click you! So sorry. my bad, all that crap.) XOXOXO one million, VIOLET

7:04 PM  

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