i have worked for the same company for five years and i have taken time off periodically over the years to travel, for vacation, or to stay at home sick in bed. the other week, however, was really the first time in years i’ve been in portland for a week without working. adam and i had some time off and we did hardly anything, we’ve been waking late and drinking champagne everyday. watching tv. eating out. cooking dinner. cleaning the apartment. reading.
even the small amount of space created by those seven days off work were disorienting.
it had been years since i had time off to drift around like this. i had just moved to portland from birmingham, jobless, short on money, i had no idea what to do with myself. i moved here with booth and though we had promises to ourselves to keep regular schedules and work on personal projects and find jobs and save money, we found it difficult to keep these promises. i found myself waking later and later, staying awake on the internet applying to jobs, staying awake drinking with the man i abruptly found myself dating.
i enjoyed the freedom from a schedule, the demands of a job, but the shapeless days made me sick, caused confusion. i slept more, wasted hours in bed. the apartment nearly empty of furniture, the walls bare and white, and the days void of action or agency. like days wasted in sadness, perhaps we were more depressed than i understood.
adam and i enjoyed ourselves this year during the break, grateful to have the time off. free from the gravity of work and obligation, we did not get much done but felt great about it. i have to admit, though, that at the end of the end i found myself asking, “what day of the week is it?” and repeating to adam, “what are we going to do today?”
this saturday, adam and i will wake up, pop a bottle of champagne, and enjoy a morning off. then sunday, the rain of obligation will begin again.