So I’m having a rough week, considering my temp job, in which I do secretarial type stuff for a smudgy little man who cozies up to his superiors while stopping to take time to throw everyone who works for him under the bus when the opportunity arrives. It’s like waiting for not one shoe to drop, but a whole boxful. (Or for them to get thrown at you as you slip screaming under the black wheels of the RTD #205.)

They’ve got “summer hours” where I work, which means that anyone who’s someone can leave at 11 am on Friday. I mean, why come in to work at all? Mostly you hear people talking about how they’ve got 2 hours to go, or 1 hour to go, counting down the time till Freedom arrives. The way I see it, if that’s the way they’re looking at it, then they have the wrong job.

Anyway, to the point of this little diatribe. Unsupervised, at promptly 11:45, I whisked myself away to my favorite coffee shop, Amante, on North Broadway, where I ordered a new (for me) drink, a Granita, to smother my woes with some iced half and half, coffee, sugar, and whipped cream. It was pretty good, and I had a nice outdoor seat in the shade, and a view of the foothills where there were a number of paragliders easing over the rocks and trees, riding on the same breeze that tossed my umbrella.

But woe is me. I’ve got a shit job and no prospects of a new one, no matter how many places I apply to or interview for. Interviews especially come dear because I have to take part of the day or the whole day, and that costs me because temp people don’t get vacation, holidays, or sick pay, so when I’m not at work, I’m not earning a dime. Doesn’t that suck? It does. Especially considering the cush job I USED to have before layoffs last August. I had cush work, work where I knew exactly what I was doing and how to do it well, a GREAT boss, four weeks of vacation (I KNOW, right?), and tons of benefits. And it’s not that I had any choice in them laying me off (we had 40% cuts in staff), but I wanted it, so I’m responsible for it – wanting it, putting it out to the Universe and learning to live with the consequences.

Which brings me back to my coffee today, that I sipped through a straw under my umbrella, my notebook in front of me, twirling my favorite pen in my hands (It’s a Dr. Pilot Grip, purple with blue ink), with nobody in particular expecting me back at work any time soon. In spite of this, I was miserable, sitting there, couldn’t think of a thing to write, couldn’t come up with any interesting takes on the next Supernatural review, couldn’t bestir any energy to work on fanfic, and especially couldn’t manage to find the time, the all important time, to work on the novel. It’s like I’m all tapped out, and part of that is because I feel I should be done with a lot of that (esp the novel) long ere this.

As I watched the paragliders I bemoaned my fate, wondering what the hell I had given up for wings. (See above list of the great things about cush job.) What did I give up for wings, what did I give up for wings? Oh, it was a beautiful day, truly, with that blue, blue sky of August cutting over the mountains, little puffy clouds that might turn into a thunderstorm later, people passing by on bikes and with strollers, a little gaggle of two mothers and three children with gelatos sitting nearby, just as pleasant as you please, and all I could think about was what I had lost.

But, as you may or may not know, with coffee, all things are possible, and I had a sudden little somersault feeling in my brain (which is always rather uncomfortable when it happens), where I realized that in spite of my current sense that I was in exactly the wrong place and job, that I did, indeed have wings. That it wasn’t about what I had given up, but the fact that I had WINGS.

First off, although I do not have that cush job (See above list of the great things about cush job.), I also do not have the limitations of it, I do not have the metaphorical leash tying me to that particular cubicle, and the promise of retirement in so many years, of being a certain type of person/worker in order to get those four weeks and those nice benefits. Instead, I can have anything. Anything at all. I can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone. “Wings” is a metaphor for the boundless possibilities of life and everything good that comes with it, so instead of giving everything up for nothing, I’ve given up just a little tiny bit of a world in exchange for a much bigger one.

It terrifies me, my life, with the open-ended scope of it. Instead of a schedule of vacation and deadlines and a specific decided-upon environment, the world, as they say, is my oyster. I’m the kind of person who feels rather comfortable with schedules and deadlines and end dates and being within a certain kind of framework. To not have any of that…what am I supposed to do now? Anything. Anywhere. I guess I should be brave and realize that the question “What did I give up for wings?” now becomes “Now that I have wings, where shall I fly?”

Anyone got a map?