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Hour by Hour March 25, 2006

Posted by brianna in Verbosity.
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1:00am

I’ve just brewed a cup of Jasmine tea, one sugar (can’t find the honey), and am waiting for it to cool to gulping temperature. It’s quiet, save for the murmur of the TV in the lobby, and the constant chugging of the water pumps above me.

 Two men just checked in…in my preoccupation, I’d forgotten to give him room keys. Whoops. Now, I look like a complete idiot, behind the desk in a coat, forgetting to give people keys to their rooms. Poor tired man.

My reading material surrounds me, and I have a few hours before I need to start my printing binge.

 Page 37.

 

2:00am

Page 49. Shameful. But, the security guard here keeps on trying to initiate conversation, which really makes it hard to absorb the parallels between various literature and life in Tehran in the 1990’s.

My tea is gone. It was lovely. I had a group of men pass through seconds ago, buzzed and joking and talking occasionally, apparently here for a bachelor party. Low maintenance. Hooray.

The wind is blowing, and every time it rushes through the crack in the doors I look up in alarm…we are short on rooms tonight, and I am very, very anxious – either everyone will show up and I will have to work computer magic, or I’ll have ten no-shows on a declined credit card, which will be a huge loss of revenue. I miss the nights where everyone is safely in house, and all I need to do is babysit the desk for a time while sorting through paperwork.

 I wish I had a glass of very cold juice. At least the lobby is warming slightly. I had to turn off both air conditioners.

 

3:00am

I’ve just slipped into the breakfast room to find honey to slip into my tea…magically finding the right key on my second try. Serendipity. This particular honey reminds me of the color of my hair…brown en mass, the red reveals itself when dissolved in water. (The honey…thankfully, my hair has yet to dissolve in water).

Another hour, another check-in…quick, easy and painless. I have a very strong suspicion that my other nine arrivals will just never appear.

I dipped my finger in my tea, and am now stamping teastains over the keys that finger touches. My fingers now catch odd typing textures – tacky, dry, sticky, smooth.  The tea seems appropriate to my reading…I like matching my books to my intake. Jasmine tea for ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’, wine for ‘Bridget Jones’, coffee for my Margaret Atwood.

It’s so quiet here. In a half hour I’ll start reports.

Page 82

 

4:00am

So, the first of my reports are printed, rates have been checked, adjusted, lists scanned, and now the audit is running and I have no paperwork to do for the next twenty minutes or so. I love it when the system is occupied and I really don’t have the ability to do any work at this moment, so that little hint of guilt that tickles the back of my mind when I’m sitting, reading, sipping my tea with my mind far away is banished. Because…what can I do? The program is at work and I am unneccessary.

 My feet are cold.

 This book is making me long for school…for that ‘used textbook’ smell of paper and mildew and ink, and sitting in a big classroom trying to ease a big uncomfortable shape of a new idea into the smoother, rounder shapes in my mind and smooth it over and make it mine, turn it around and shave off other, smaller ideas to blurt out in group discussions at inappropriate moments because…well, it came to me and could not be contained. I recognize this feeling from many many first days of school, with new notebooks (perfect for writing down all the thoughts I was sure to have), erasers with their corners still crisp, pencils with the /right/ kind of lead (no squeaky grey marks…only smooth black ones, please) and the one expensive pen I convinced my mother I must have, along with the twenty pack of black and blue mixed rollerballs. That feeling of promise, things being different, the motivation to get homework done and delighting in my small round print and looking forward to Chorus and reading at lunch…. Of course, three days later my homework wasn’t even written down, and afternoons were spent either in long, solitary naps or long insomnia-fueled nights of reading. Mornings filled me with dread, and I would will the car to be slower, slower…anything but leave me at school. That sense of anticipation, motivation was so breif, but I seem to catch it again and again these days…that longing to be somewhere designed for learning, and to be able to immerse myself in all those bulky ideas again.

 That was very long winded. The girl came in to make breakfast a minute ago, and I jumped…just not expecting anyone!

Page 103

 

5:00am

Deep into paperwork now, papers scattered all over the desk, pens uncapped and laying across piles, a million things half done and I feel a bit guilty for sticking to my resolution to write something every hour while at work tonight. My tea is rapidly cooling and every now and again I recall it’s there and gulp at it while bending carefully over indecipherable reports, trying not to spot them with brown crinkles.

All that’s left is the printing and the faxing and the sorting into various people’s boxes and paperclipping and giving stabby eyes to the phone as it starts to wake up and ring and interrupt me in the middle of sentences. I enjoy the end most of all, when I file away the last stack of reports and the desk is once again clean and new and I am done and free to read again, and free to put my elbows wherever I like without the fear of knocking something over and having to re-assemble it into some kind of order.

page 105 (Hey, I’ve been busy! Working!)

 

6:00am

I finished a few minutes ago, and was surprised I had. Suddenly…the papers were piled, papercliped, stacked, enveloped, labled and cleared away. Faxes went through, emails were sent. It was an exciting hour and a half, let me tell you. And now it is over and I’m here with my book again.

 This is always the strangest hour…quiet, but sitirring, people beginning to come down, to checkout or get directions or ask about breakfast, their voices still too loud for the hour, light just now creeping in from the outside.

Half an hour ago, a man stopped in asking for a room. I had one, he asked about a military discount. No, sorry…but what branch? Army, he said. I’m on leave from Iraq for two weeks. Aha! Iraq, something I have a certain interest in, and a definate opinion on! We had a lovely fifteen minute chat, after which his brother came in, yelled at him for spending so much money, he cancelled the room and left. It was a nice talk all the same, and he left with two URLs in his hand. It’s nice when the early hours give a chance for something less hurried than your everyday transactions and check-in questions. As always, I talked too loudly and flung my hands everywhere, but no papers went flying, so at least there was that.

 I’m out of tea. But my book calls!

Page 117.

 

6:45

Manager’s here, time’s up, it is time to pack up and go home. Not a terrible night. Peaceful.

 Page 137

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Comments»

1. someone* - March 26, 2006

:))
no emails for me! no calls for me! drinking jasmine tea and reading books and having fun!
you dont even like me anymore!
:P
khalid*


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