Why Am I Awake?

I realize I haven’t done the best job of keeping up the blogs lately. I also realize that I haven’t been writing much at all. The closer school gets the less frequently the Fat Cats are meeting and the less impetus I have to write for pleasure and my individual growth, which only means I should be writing things for class like my syllabus. I have not written my syllabus yet either. Essentially, I am trying to squeeze in everything I didn’t squeeze in over the summer: last minute meetings with friends, coffee dates, reading, house painting, and car shopping.

The 1990 Toyota Corolla that Bec drives is in the middle of taking a shit on us, so we are looking at Toyotas, Hondas, and Nissans of comparable cost, size, and gas mileage. I think we are going to go in a few weekends and just test drive one of each, and then she’ll pick which one she likes the best. I personally think the Nissan Versa Hatchback is pretty sweet, but since she drives the most, she gets to pick. It’s only fair.

I hung out with my old friend Julie today, and I have to say I remember why I love her so much. It’s nice to chat with someone who has some of the same concerns about the Church that I have. We come at those concerns from entirely different perspectives: she comes at them from a business standpoint, and I come from a mostly communalist standpoint, but we both agree that things need to get better in a hurry. It’s also nice to sort of just slide back into conversation with someone after a really long absence, like an old pair of jeans, or comfy old Chucks.

I worked at the mission on Tuesday. Molly and I cleaned beds. There are 100 beds in the new facility in three separate areas of the building. It really struck me this time while we were wiping the fresh dust from each bed that there will be 100 men to fill those beds, which made me in turn realize that there are 100 stories of pain and suffering that no one will ever know because no one will ask to find out, because no one takes the time to see the men as men, or because we prefer to keep their stories silent. After all if we hear their stories, we may find a small piece of ourselves in them. The mental illness, the lost job, the drug addiction, the family problems, the sexual issues, one of the difficulties that landed any of the men in the Mission may be something that we struggle with ourselves. Perhaps learning their stories would frighten us of our own. I can imagine myself losing it all one day, just because things got to be too much, or too big to handle. Some days I feel like I am one really bad decision or moment from the psych ward, so I can see how people end up where they are. I can also relate to those who just consciously decide to drop out of the rat race; on some days dropping out is very appealing.

You may ask if these profound thoughts are what keep me awake at quarter till four in the morning. Okay, they aren’t really profound, and alas, nothing so angst ridden is the case. I was plodding along fine today until about 4 o’clock this afternoon. All of a sudden from out of nowhere came this raging allergy attack. Ragweed. I looked it up on weather.com and the pollen count is “very high” for Indiana, particularly the weed pollen is really high. My left sinus is entirely clogged, making it nearly impossible to breath, but somehow that clog doesn’t stop that same sinus from continually draining. That said, I slept like a baby from 10 until 230, but then woke up, wide awake, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. Oh, the magic of the fall in Indiana!

Of course, once I was awake I had to start thinking about everything I have left to do before school starts. Here is a short list:

  1. Paint the house.
  2. Write the syllabus.
  3. Redesign the website.
  4. Order my books.
  5. Get a desk calendar.
  6. Get Celie’s staples removed.
  7. Make and appointment with Student Life.
  8. Go to Orientation Friday.

Those are the things I HAVE to do. The things I get to do are these:

  1. Have coffee with David, the pastor not the kid.
  2. Have dinner with Ed, Abbie, and Iz.
  3. Have lunch with Kelley (and possibly Myra, if we can locate her).
  4. Go to Ale Fest with Bec, Adam, Tim, and Whit.
  5. And, since, school barely starts before we go, I get to go to Door County.

I am excited about the possibilities of this school year, but I am also scared shitless. This is my last year of course work, and then I take comps and write my dissertation. Possibly, I have a similar feeling to riding my motorcycle to Florida. I am in such anticipation and eagerness, but I am so frightened. The big difference is there isn’t a fire burning six inches below my crotch this time.

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