calm waters

So let's see. What's life been like, lo these many months? Boring in a good way, I guess. No drama, personal or professional. Compared to 2015-2016, the excitement levels of my existence have flatlined. No living with a manipulative, passive-aggressive ex-boyfriend. No insane, abusive boss. No panic over money or housing. No utter terror about the direction of my life. And while I'm grateful for the calm waters, they leave me questioning what I have worth writing about. But, as I say, I'm forcing myself through the quotidian in hopes of striking richer ground further out.

Sunday through Tuesday, I close the store. That means I go in at about 1pm, and stay until about 9:30 or 10. Here's what that looks like:

I wake up at around 9am. Lately, because of the cold, I jump out of bed long enough to turn on my oven, take my thyroid pill, and jump back under the covers. (My studio apartment is tiny enough that running the oven for about 30 minutes is sufficient to heat it up.)

I read Twitter for a few minutes, catch up on the latest school shooting, and check my email. I've usually gotten a handful of work emails, most of which don't require my immediate action (I'm on a few company-wide mailing lists, most of which are the purview of other departments - I have to stay in the loop, though). The ones that do, quick directives or questions from my boss - those I answer immediately. She and I are very good about keeping in frequent and punctual contact, which is essential for running the store smoothly.

While making coffee (kettle on the stove + a French press), I listen to NPR News Now, The Daily, and occasionally Up First, though the hosts' chumminess grates on me. If I'm on a streak - and lately the streaks have been pretty long - I'll do my dumb little faux-ga, faux-lates workout. This is just a handful of leg, butt, and arm exercises. Sometime last year I decided I had done my last ever sit up, because I fucking despise sit ups. Not only do I find them tedious - I don't like what they do to my body. I don't actually like stomach musculature on myself. Anyway, I decided cardio combined with a quasi-decent diet was going to have to be enough, because fuck sit ups.

So no sit ups in my life, is what I'm saying.

If I need to do anything for work, place an order, or finish a document, or make a call, I do that. I rarely eat breakfast. Instead I waste time online, or putter around, or clean, before getting ready and then leaving for the train at no later than 12:22pm. (This is one of my greatest sources of shame, by the way. How much time I waste before and after work. I'm desperate to change that, which is part of why I'm here right now...)

One of the most annoying parts of my day happens then. I am forced, by nature of where in my neighborhood my building sits, to immediately walk uphill for two blocks. There is no way around this. There is no path to the subway station that doesn't force me - often still groggy or at least just not ready for a damn hike - on a quick little heart-thumping, south-easterly trek. Yes, I know: the struggle is real. Just filling you in.

Far and away the best thing about my apartment (other than how ridiculously adorable it is - pics coming soon) is its walkability. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't live in LA without a car. You can, and it is glorious. My place is a ten minute walk to the station, which might seem like kind of a lot - but along the way are two grocery stores, two pharmacies, a UPS store, my bank, multiple dry cleaners and nail salons, plus a bounty of cheap ethnic restaurants and bodegas. In other words, I can easily sandwich my day with most of the daily errands that pop up. It is definitely this convenience that I pay for, when such a huge chunk of my paycheck goes to rent.

And I'm glad to pay it, because I have fallen in love with carless-ness.

But anyway, back to my Day in the Non-Life.

The station closest to my apartment is actually the last station (going west) that's serviced by the red and purple lines. And I know that unless you're a car-less Angeleno like me, you have no idea what that means. What it means is that I have twice the opportunity to catch trains going to and from work and home. That's huge. That means I wait half as long as someone at any station further west, because twice as many trains come to mine. It's a massive plus.

I'm two stops from downtown, and three from my work, which sits in the heart of DTLA. It's a six or seven minute ride, at most. Then it's another two minute walk to the actual store, though it's usually so crowded at this time I have to allow myself extra time to fight through that crowd. But really the whole commute is a piece of cake. I'm left with enough time to get in early, check in with everyone, and relax for a minute before diving into the chaos.

And chaos it is, most days. Wonderful, fast-moving, hours-killing chaos.

But we'll pick this riveting saga back up tomorrow, because my twenty minutes are up.

And they weren't so bad, after all.