Thursday, June 01, 2006

Drawing Brand New Maps, Discretely Expanding the Nation's Borders

-more Hymie's Basement, 21st Century PopSong (yesiamobsessedwiththissong)

I finished my day job today.

Rainbow Bookstore has been more than a day job. I was raised a socialist, a red diaper grandbaby, in Joseph McCarthy's hometown and place of burial. My dad had a photo of him posted to a dartboard in his office; on break, he'd aim for the nose and cheer anything else he hit in the process. I spent a lot of time in bookstores, most not radical at all, when a kid. I hated them, and resisted, until one day they clicked, probably just a couple of years before my dad died. I am sure, whereever his soul is now, dad is proud of what I have just done. Five years at a radical, left bookstore, selling, knowing, reading and talking. He would have been a regular.

Today, the hardest person to say goodbye to was my coworker who's about what would be my dad's age. He's younger, in fact, but close enough that in strange ways he's been a bit of a father-person in my life. I've been at the store 5 years as an employee (seems short to me, but long to my friends who have spent their twenties drifting from job to job), 10 years if you include all my volunteering and board membering before then. That's enough time to make family, for sure, for better, for worse.

I'm the kind of person who makes myself indispensible in nearly every situation. I like being useful. I like being needed. And I'm good at doing lots of things, so it isn't hard for me to become both pretty quickly. This was very true at Rainbow.

Tonight, at a party for friends, I aimed to make myself as useless as possible. Becoming less useful over my job the last couple of weeks has really freed me up a lot. I have felt more creative, more inspired, and more stressed, interestingly enough, than I have in a long time.

Here's to the next bit. No more work until I leave on the bus to the plane to the train next Tuesday 10am. All packing, meeting with friends, goodbye parties. Not enough time, but time enough. Tonight, despite my uselessness, I gave the best description yet of my teaching and what it means. I don't even know now what I said, but it got me a student or two. I am confident, when I need to say it again, it will come back. I am confident, period.

Discretely Expanding My "Nation's" Borders,

1 comment:

  1. (This is Steph from Contemplative Writing ... my own personal journal is actually over on LiveJournal (, though all of the entries are locked. But ... yeah, figured I'd share as well.)

    Thank you for sharing all that you do on here, and in all that you do. I spent some time reading through entries and it just reinforced what an amazing person I think you are.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Safest of travels to you.