Monday, October 08, 2001

I had a nice visit yesterday with my friend Cyndy. Chelsey and I had her over to our new house and we made individual sized Chicago style double layer deep dish pizzas. Cyndy has just returned to Minnesota having spent around seven months on the AT walking from Georgia to Maine. A friend from trail said something along the lines of, "Be prepared to be shocked by civilization." She is now here seeing as if seeing for the first time. Getting re-accustomed to civilization has become a vividly phenomenological experience. I'll have to ask her more about it some time. Call me crazy but we talked to her about her trip rather than grill her on how challenging it is to return.

I guess I'm a little overcome by life lately. There is so much going on in the world. I'm not talking about war and all that. I'm talking about tree's leaves changing color. The air taking a crisp turn. There is so much sensory input and it is driving me crazy to be stuck in what amounts to a psudocubicle in little room 136. I crave sensory input. Me ears ring with an incessant hum of white noise from fluorescent lights, the copy machine, my computer monitor, the hum of the fan on the computer and the click of the keys on my keyboard. If I push past the white noise I can hear my co worker, Susan, sniffling from her cold and chewing on carrots. This too though is part of the drone that fills the office. If I push deeper. I can hear kids in childcare playing in the hallway. I can hear them knocking something sounding hollow and plastic together. I can faintly hear their supervisor saying, "Now girls...." The sound grows louder and faster. The kids are having a blast. It becomes annoying though, just high pitched screams echoing through cinderblock caves. I want to get up from this desk, walk outside in warm autumn clothes and sit myself down. I want to watch the complex fall greys slowly streak their way through the sky. I want to take the air into my lungs and smell the richness of life going to slumber. Here, when I try, I can smell....nothing. I smell a little soap on my hands if I really try. I want to smell leaves, smell the snow on its way. I want to drink spiced cider from my thermos. I want to smell it and taste the cinnamon, the allspice, the crisp apple. I want to live. I think that's what it is all about. This isn't living. I went outside just now to get something from the car. It was drizzling. I re-thought my desire to sit on the grass. More to the point though. I didn't even know that it was raining. Sensory depravation applied in extremes is torture. The environmental and general sensory depravation of the modern workplace, while not necessarily torture, is one hell of a depressing experience.

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