February 28, 2012

a day in the life

awake seven minutes before the alarm; I lay spread-eagled across the bed, my face shoved into a pillow, not wanting to sacrifice an extra second under the covers. I am up for an 8:15 PT appointment; the lunch I pack -- a generous handful of almonds and two blood oranges -- is governed by the extreme lack of food in the house. there's oatmeal, which I eat with the remainder of the nuts in the can -- a metal can that somehow the ants, the goddamned ants, have infiltrated.

I try to be early to PT but instead I'm on time, which means the ten minutes I have on the bike cut into my appointment. which actually doesn't matter, except that I've had two back-to-back nightmares about being late to my session; in the dream, chris points to the foam roller and tells me to use it, since I'm late and he doesn't have time to work on me. I read ten pages of my book while I'm pedaling and wonder idly, are my legs getting fatter? chris wipes down the table and calls me over. it's been two weeks. I am still not running. 'how's it going?' he asks, in the way he does, and I shrug. I haven't done my exercises as diligently, having lost motivation because I'm not able to see the progress without running. fighting discouragement requires more energy than I have some days. he has me do calf raises on each leg, first the injured one and then the ... slightly less injured one. chris says, "I expect everyone to be able to do ten; my runners should be able to do twenty, and the olympians, thirty." I do twenty on both legs but the effort makes the injured one ache. "now hop up and down. can you go for a minute?" and I can't. I make it thirty seconds, barely, and the pain is back. "on your back," he commands, and pats the table. he works my left psoas, which has been killing me again from so much chair time at the office, and he reprimands me for not doing my quad stretches. he works my left quad so hard that twelve hours later, it's still red and sore; I won't be able to touch it for days. but underneath, the muscle finally stops feeling like a wad of high-tensile rope. I flip over so he can scrutinize my injured calf. like an expert, he puts his thumb directly into the hurt spot, rotten like an apple. it takes forever to release, and when he works his way lower down my leg the pain is so excruciating, I have to focus on a spot on the floor and clutch the edges of the table, afraid I will scream. as he works, chris talks to a guy nearby who's doing his exercises. "this might take me a little longer than usual, are you in a hurry?" and then, "watch your shoulder posture, dave." as painful as it is on the table, most mornings I feel sorry to have to leave this place.

when he's through, we talk a little. "no running until you can hop up and down for at least two minutes without pain. if it hurts when you're walking, don't even think about running." I nod. "that leg is a problem," he says, simply. "if insurance weren't an issue, I'd see you at least twice a week." at ninety dollars a session, it's the most expensive massage I could get, but also the best. but I can't afford twice a week; I've already hit my yearly FSA limit -- $700.

I leave and find a text from my sister. "flight itinerary for may in your email!" she says. may = portland half marathon. I write back. "I may be cheering you on from the sidelines."

I get a big coffee on my way in to the office.


at the office, it's more of the same. galileo kicks the crap out of me. it's just me and the score and one of the handful of parts left to check. measure after measure, note after note until my whole face feels tired from the effort. I write the opera blog. I tweak tomorrow night's recital program. I eat candy. although I haven't observed lent since I was probably nine years old, this year I swore off baked goods. I just needed a reason not to eat so much goddamned cake.

I curse whoever was let loose with an electric eraser on the clarinet part, and perform low-grade music librarian magic.
Galileo clarinet: before
Galileo clarinet: after

I stay at the office until 3, and then drive to the copy shop to run the program. then home, where I proofread the penultimate string book, sitting at my coffee table, listening with one ear to the end of terminator, which is on TV for the third time this week. I eat a salad, make a pot of coffee. I finish the viola part at 7:30 and type out my letter for the day.

I drive to the grocery store, singing adele on repeat. when I walk in the door I realize I've left my wallet at home. I drive home. I drive back to the store. I throw what essentially amounts to $60 in produce in my cart.

at home, I put the food away, make a sandwich, and get back in the car. it's 10 PM. I head back to the office, because there's a pile of music to copy and bind, and if I wait until the morning it will stymie my whole day. late night in the office means I can wear comfy pants, a messy ponytail, and my headphones. I dance to adele at the copy machine. I am exhausted. my desk is a mess. I'm hungry, despite the sandwich.


there's still so much to do. I can't even think about it. this is my umpteenth late night in the office in the last few weeks.

with one enormous exception, the parts are done.


the enormous exception is the keyboard part. the keyboard for galileo is single-handedly ruining my life.

it's 12:04 AM. I'm still at the office. I'm so tired I can't see straight. when all of this is done, the reward is to spend a day at the museum, among the bright, enormous rothkos.

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