What you see. What you don’t see.

This has been a jam-packed week and I’ve hit every point of the physical and emotional roller coaster – highs, lows, and marking time in between with folding laundry, ironing, doing the dishes.

I’ve had the busiest, most stressful week at work that I’ve had to date on this job. That being said, I also have heard stories in the process of doing my job this week that have completely blown my mind. Early in the week, I went to a warehouse owned by one of our clients to interview the manager of the department housed in that building. I also spent about three hours on the phone with other guys from the client company who, like this fellow I met, are long-time, dedicated and hardworking employees at a company with a really unique “retro” profile of doing business. If you show initiative and are a hard worker, they nurture and support you, train, you, promote you, and offer a level of dedication to that employee that’s sadly considered a dinosaur in this day and age. The stories I heard from these guys blew my mind, quite honestly. I found myself thinking of my uncles, who were both GM lifers, having gotten out of high school and going pretty much straight to factory work. The work being done in this warehouse was really interesting and impressive. I’ve driven past this complex of buildings literally hundreds of times and never knew these guys were in there, toiling away, some of them for 35, 40 years.

I went out for dinner with some girlfriends this week, and we had a lovely time eating, drinking, sharing stories, laughing, exchanging painfully honest anecdotes. There’s a level you get to with people where you can cut away all the claptrap and really talk about life, and for me, those conversations and gatherings are so important. I realize I’ve known some of these ladies for something like a dozen years now, and everyone is so different, and from such different backgrounds. But when we get together, all bets are off and the unvarnished truth is there at that table, our own precious circle. If people judge, they keep it to themselves.

After dinner, while waiting at the light at the exit ramp approximately one minute from my front door, there was a huge accident in front of me. Big SUV vs. a minivan. I was looking at my radio and didn’t see the impact, but the noise was like an explosion, and then the SUV began to roll. SMASH and then stuck horns and then THUD as the SUV lumbered toward my car. It tipped up and then fell back down on its side, coming to rest only feet from my bumper. When I heard the smash and saw what was happening, I put my car in reverse as I could see the SUV was rolling, but there was nowhere to go, with a car right behind me. But it stopped, thankfully. I immediately called 9-1-1. Everyone waiting at the light parked and got out, some people going to check on the condition of the drivers, others dialing their phones and still others yelling at them that I had it, I was calling, that we didn’t need 20 people calling. A brave, strapping man stopped behind the SUV and came running over asking if we needed to get the people out of their cars. We decided against that. Both drivers were alert and awake as I understood it from the other bystanders, the SUV driver was an 18-year old boy. It’s hard not to go to texting in your mind, though teens are certainly not the only ones guilty of texting and driving. It’s dangerous to combine lack of driving experience and the belief that nothing is ever going to happen to you already, and then you give that person a way to constantly communicate with their friends and expect them to be a responsible driver? Well. I’m sure there were similar problems when radios were introduced in cars, but somehow people came to be able to operate the radio while driving. I wonder if technology will advance to accommodate this in an easier fashion. I am able to send and hear text messages verbally through my Bluetooth in my car (and post to Twitter or FB or tell the phone to call various people), but most people don’t have anything like that, and my system isn’t fool-proof and doesn’t type the right words or call the right people all the time.

And last night, I went back to the theater I went to a week ago for another reading of new work, this time a full-length play. I was pleased to be asked to participate, even if the role was a bit of a stretch for me. I’ve only been in that building the one time, but found my way easily to the performance space through corners and hallways of what I understand used to be a school building back in the day. It’s funny how instantly at ease I feel in a theater space. It’s like I know there are people there who accept me and that I will find my place and know what I’m doing, and enjoy myself, whether I’m sitting in the audience or am one of the players. The actors stood around beforehand playing that “Do you know so-and-so” game to see where we fit in the giant family tree that is Cleveland’s theater scene. Oh, I saw you in such-and-such. Oh, you’re so-and-so’s mom, right? And you, I know whats-her-name, she and I went to college together back in the day. A few dropped references so they can place you. This show at that space. This other show at that space. How tied we all are together, this community, and yet I can still meet new people simply by going across town to a new (to me) performance space.

I’ve missed my son terribly this week. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so disconnected to him. I was super, super busy every minute almost the whole week, living my life and trying to get on with things, but honestly, what I mostly felt was despair and emptiness.

I don’t think anyone saw it

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