The clock on my computer says 5:05 a.m..
The clock on my phone says it's just past midnight.
The clock inside my body says it's neither.
And the funny thing is, they're all correct.
I'm here, in Manchester, UK, on tour with the Young at Heart Chorus. I'm their guitar player, and they keep me working. It's a good gig--a very good gig. One that not just anybody can get. In fact, if I'm lucky, I'm the only one that can have this job at one time.
Outside my window cars have started to pick up their pace. There's a certain time in the night--I don't care where you are--that the cars just kind of stop coming and going like an abrupt break in a cohabitant's snore ... and then, as if by clockwork, the sound starts back up again and you can lay your head back down and forget you just wondered if everything was all right. There are exceptions, I suppose. Little pockets of highway where it's busy, busy, busy all day and night. But if you average it all out I think I am more right than wrong.
Back in Massachusetts there are people going out to meet friends at bars and coffee shops, perhaps catching a late night snack. The talk shows are in full swing and the movie channels have started to work blue.
Here, the sky is the only thing working blue. Breakfast isn't on downstairs yet, but it's not far off. I haven't turned on the television but I know what I'll find: news, soccer, dramatic presentations, and cheeky comedy. I'm not really in the mood for any of that at all.
I meant to stay up and go out and push the jet-lag as far as I could and then sleep for 8 hours. But after I successfully had a video chat with Jodi I was just about wiped out of any and all energy and laid down on the bed for a minute ... make that almost a thousand minutes. And here I am, awake, a little tired, a little refreshed, imparting how I feel here on this template.
I'm not going to whine about how I miss people, or the way things are back home. That kind of talk nobody wants to hear--even those who are involved in being the things that are missed. People enjoy being wanted, but being the reason someone wishes they weren't where they are isn't always desirable. It's needy. And once I found a reason to be here on this earth, and a person to express how I feel, my needs were fulfilled.
I don't have a concrete concept of money. This, I think, is good for the most part.
See, the last time I was in England I was a smoker and a drinker. I smoked more when I drank, but I smoked every day and I drank every night and so, I probably sucked down about 2 packs a day when I was here, all told, for two weeks. If I had to put a price tag on it, including all the nights out at the bars, I probably spent about $500 a week.
Now, I don't do either. What I do like is using my computer. At the hotel I'm staying at they charge ten British Pounds per 24 hour period, which is about 16 US dollars. Back home I pay 40 US dollars for a month of 24 hour periods, and my phone works there too. But I'm here, I don't smoke, I don't drink, I'm getting paid well and, as I said, I like to use my computer, so I don't have a problem giving them what they want to get what I want. And that works out to about $112 a week.
I could complain that I shouldn't have to pay that, but who the hell am I? Some places I get it free, some places I don't. But I forget all about the places I got it for free because things that come easy don't make our brains work so hard. It's kind of like waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. If you don't put the lights on and just do what you need to do you can more than likely fall back to sleep without much of a problem. You traded a break in one necessary activity to engage in another. But if you're not careful and check your email or go open the fridge to get a snack you've just spun the gears a few too many times and it won't be so easy to slip back into that current of somnolence.
So I just keep moving forward and do what makes my life productive and try not to complain and ...
Well, I really just got up to use the bathroom and now look at what time it is (5:49 a.m.) ... so I'll try to get back to sleep and post some more in a few hours.
That's our show for tonight folks ... thanks for tuning in ... and, of course ...
... thanks for reading,