High Ho-High Ho......


This mornings not unlike a string of recent mornings.

I find myself surfacing form a fitful sleep to the electronic chirp of my Frank Myer ergonomic alarm clock/thermometer.  "Wakey Wakey" it chirps..."Wakey Wakey". 

Vitamins...a quick shower ...down some juice and I am out the door.  The first 7-8 minutes are my "car acclimation period"  this is where my ass, feet and brains are all on the same trip but are only now greeting each other and preparing for the gauntlet.

Let me tell you...I have only recently moved to this area from a very small town in Northern Michigan and although I have lived in Houston, visited Dallas, New York, New Orleans and such, I have always rather enjoyed the less hectic pace of a smaller community.

Anyway I try to fine "the sweet spot" of speed limits on Mill Plain heading west. This way, I figure, I will have saved 1/8th of an inch in brake pads, 2 liters of gas and a whopping 15 minutes of time during the next 12 months should I perfect it and not have to stop for lights.  Almost had it today I can assure you...I come out of my calculation fog in time to insert myself into traffic on the I-5.

I hit 5 South at 55 miles per hour, only today I stomp on it at the end of the on ramp because I didn't see the car beside me...or the 18 wheeler apparently, due to the demonstration of the Krypton bulbs placed on " high beam" and flashed for my enjoyment.  'Maybe I can shake em' I think as I cut across 3 lanes and start across the Columbian at break neck speed.

Turning on the radio, I tune into 94.7 and once again a set of tunes is playing that seems to have been planned for me.

Settling into my groove...I look up and see I have 1 mile until the '405'.  Thinking ...well I had better get over I pull on the wheel with slight trepidation and cut over taking the exit.   The expansion joints slapping against my tires in a patty cake beat, I lean into the curve.  Now at this early hour I may be sharp and ready to drive but I suddenly become aware that between patty cakes there came an odd feeling in the steering...Glancing at my dash I am reminded that I am cascading thru the curve at 20 over.  I realize that just after the patty cake thwap on my tires, I have become, if only momentarily, airborne and am at what is referred to as 'seat of the pants' driving...toggling the cruise control I tap it once and slow to 63 miles per hour...just in case.

Scooting over the 405 bridge I take the left lane and go under the city, merge with 26 and enter a tunnel. Like usual there are 2 or 3 very slow trucks and at least 1 broken down car on the shoulder on the right.  But by now I have commandeered the left lane and traverse the hill and am well on my way to Beaverton.

I arrive at my destination and pass a card in front of a sensor. The red light turns green and I await a comment from the "Keeper of the Gate" in the form of  "Good morning Dave"...but as usual, nothing is muttered by my inert sentinel.  While waiting for the processing of my pass card I peer through the barb wired and intimidating linked wall in front of my car.  The parking lot is, as usual, deserted and the leviathan sized gate is heaved to the left granting entrance.   Accepting its invite I proceed forward and my Toyota backs into its parking slip.  Passing my plastic pass by the front door sensor I am allowed inside the main building, sign a log book of who's who and who's where in this most important of buildings and spy, with my acute peripheral vision, the brown monolith waiting for my words of encouragement and thanks.

Soon my rattling caffeine God issues out my morning allotment of chocolate elixir...the thought of nursing on it drifts by but I wave my plastic wand in front of yet two more automatic doormen and  head into the main room to begin my day....LACING.


I Swear, to whatever God your fearful egos have latched onto, that time displacement is alive and well in this building.  First your senses are hypnotized by the smell of charging batteries (and there are a ton of them) ozone, the occasional flatulence of a worker who logged in at 3am and of course Robs perfume!! 

Your sight is numbed by the perfectly placed neon tubes which cast no shadows and coupled with the fact that buildings such as these have no windows, your brain cannot easily register the passing of time. 

Your hearing is also on the list.  Front office...quiet...save for the hissing of God in the corner...second door, second secure room...fans from unidentified routing equipment seem to creep into your awareness and then are put in their place by the beep of door sentinel 3 un-dogging the security latch.  The battery room has a very distinct hum to it plus its own cooling fan concert. Then onward through door number 4.  This door is special in several different ways.  Its double wide, painted blue and has no sentry!!  Now you enter the main room...its like being inside a living entity...the sound level is not unpleasant and if you listen to it there is a rhythm to it...a sine wave undulation accompanied by indication lights.  Its beautiful actually...

Anyway, after allowing the drone of sensual stimulation to take me over, I switch to automatic and set up my ladder, find my string, needle and of course my Sons MP3 Player which I crank up to 45 and am reminded by Rage against the Machine that I wont do what you tell me...Only moments after starting work I am reminded that it is BREAK TIME!  How can this be I think as I unfold myself from a twisted position that would stun the Gods of Trantric Sex, slide down my ladder and bolt to the exit. 

Bowing to my God ( actually prying a cup from the dispenser), I research the glyphs on the front of this wonderment and touch 2 in a secret combination and insert my elixir receptacle into its berth and the cocoa manna spurts forth.   Sucking foam from the top I exit the building and sit at one hell of a small picnic table and listen to the morning drone of the other worker bees.  Conversations of titty bars, redneck anecdotes of life's occurrences, and Robs perfume all take their place in this corpse of a conversation. The occasional joke about bags of hammers and a few yo mommas, also take their turn. 

Some subconscious alarm goes off and, as if by que, like the awkward moment after a stolen kiss, we rise and reenter the building.

The day passes almost in an instant and I realize that I have found a job that promotes what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls Flow.   How lucky can a guy get?, I sit and wonder in amazement.!!

QUITTING TIME !!  is yelled and the dead come back to life...10 -12 hours doing this and there is definitely a point of diminishing returns if you know what I mean?  We file out the back door carrying some things with us...the rest we stash in the rack because, HEY, we know we will be there in 8-10 hours anyway so why carry it around?  My Toyota welcomes my weary ass to sit down and be carried home. 

I leave the yard hanging a right and head to 26 south...Stopping for oncoming traffic from my left, the guy behind me lays on the horn and with a friendly 1 fingered wave lets me know he thinks I could have made it...I return the wave and decide to wait for the light to change, cars or no cars...cant be too safe.     Gliding down the on ramp to yet another set of lights,,, same light, different bum... I decide to be extra friendly and make sure the fellow behind me saw my salute and my gratitude... GOD! I LOVE PORTLAND! I think, and I head home.


everything in the above story was entirely made up...

from facts.

any resemblance to actual people, machines or perfumes is uncanny...

because its true.