Adjectives on the Typewriter

she moves her words like a prizefighter

01 July 2006

Some days all I do is watch the sky

I glance over the contents of my desk, sigh, and sit down to write. But it stares back at me, defiant, a reminder of things left undone and the clutter of my mind. Meandering stacks of books (where does one draw the distinction between a stack and a heap?) punctuate the landscape, dotted here and there with spools of thread, piles of flashcards (Spanish, English, Greek), misplaced jewelry, paycheck stubs, scribbled thoughts… Mein Kampf is beginning to look a little neglected. Black leather-bound folder, you belong to someone far more organized than me—the girl who speaks with confidence (even if it is feigned), who stands tall[er than usual] in her black heels, commanding attention in the courtroom. And perched above it all, the monarch of this haphazard kingdom, my alarm clock blinks away the minutes, patiently.

The scene is too much of a distraction. No hope of writing here. So I move to the bed, where the reminder is distant, the mess a little less dizzying. But where to begin? It has been ever so long since I last wrote anything intended to be read. And I add the “intended to be read” because I’ve written volumes lately, only I realize they’re not worth the work necessary before publication (and by publication, I mean blogging). Observations, reflections, quotes, rantings, and even the beginnings of a few book reviews linger in My Documents. Most of them are underdeveloped: thoughts having-been-begun but never finished. They start as anecdotes, conceived with a greater, more universal purpose, and then in an instant the vision is lost, I become myopic, and the status quo—silence—prevails. As soon as I lose sight of that purpose, even for the briefest moment, I abandon the progression of thought altogether, though it seldom deserts me as easily.

But now I’ve turned horribly introspective, and it’s preventing me from writing anything of worth or interest. So, I shall spit out the anecdotes and hope some purpose accompanies them.

A year has passed since I first started working at the vet clinic. And, in my mass amounts of spare time (read: the hours when insomnia rages through my mind like a rabid dog), I’ve been thinking about why I am where I am. Because I know that veterinary medicine is not my unrelenting passion. Nor is it my mission in life. In fact, my more observant readers will notice there isn’t much of a connection between veterinary experience and a career in law. So the question is, as always, why?

And the answer is fairly simple: beyond exploding centrifuge rotors (imagine a Big Bang followed by a literal galaxy of blood spatters) and interesting breeds I’ve seen (the Client is by far the most perplexing), working at the clinic has taught me quite a bit. Of course, I’ve learned things like not to answer the phone with the question “Can I help you?” because people are all-too-apt to respond with a “No, you probably can’t, but is there a doctor available?” or the sardonic “Well, I should hope so.” On a more serious level, though, I’ve learned how to excel at a job even when people think me incompetent. I’ve learned that making mistakes is not only inevitable, but also necessary in order to perfect a skill. Trial-and-error may not give immediate results, but it will give lasting ones. I’ve learned to do a job well because no one else is about to do it for you, and you can probably do it better anyway. And the moral of the story is (since I’ve become so obviously didactic): “Work to your fullest wherever you find yourself.”

Anyway, this particular brand of rambling could continue for a while, but again I doubt the purpose of it all. I’ve returned to the desk, and I think for once I shall seize my spare time in order to tidy up a bit. If only thoughts were so easy to arrange.

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