Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Unexpected Beauty


It's September 11th. 8:10 in the morning. You were supposed to show up for your temp job at exactly 8 a.m. If not, then before 8:00 a.m., but never after 8:00 a.m. Your boss has already warned you about your punctuality problem twice. 

Three times and you're out.

Your boyfriend says that being punctual is a about being polite. Only rude people are late.

But you are twenty-two years old and well, you're so bored at this temp job and you just can't seem to get to the office on time. 

You graduated from college last year, and you just haven't been able to find a job that you like. Your parents say, just get a job. Get a temp job. You'll discover what you like.

And so you do get a temp job at Salomon Smith Barney. It's in the World Trade Center, on the 47th floor. You know from day one that this is not the job for you. But you promised to stay on for at least a week.

It's a beautiful day in early September. So warm, so pretty. A cool breeze. You are sitting in a park bench in Battery Park looking out at the Hudson River. You've got a take-out coffee from the Greek diner and you just can't seem to get yourself up off that bench and over to the job, over there to take the elevator up to the 47th floor, your ears popping as your heart thumps I don't like this job-I don't like this job. You can't face your boss who's going to glare at you. And you can't face the pile of papers on your desk and you can't stand the smell of the place. The hermetically sealed windows.

And so you sit.

And then you look up into the sky. And there's a bird. No, it's plane. And then, a boom, a crash. And then, another plane. Plumes of black smoke. Screams. People running. You ask yourself, is this really happening? You feel your skin itching and a buzzing in your head.

There's the smell. Burning ash and something else. And then the refugees arrive, dazed, stumbling past you, moving uptown on Broadway. A woman, covered in soot, has no shoes. She trips, then straightens up and keeps walking. A man in a suit and tie, blood trickling down his forehead stops and looks at you as if he wants to tell you something, but then with eyes glazed, he moves on. You stand there in the middle of Broadway and you look at your watch. It's 8:30 now. For a moment, you imagine that you can still go into work. But, isn't it too late to go into work? And besides, this is a snow day, isn't it? School called off on account of ash. You are not thinking straight. And so, you join the exodus, walking north.

Creative friends, I was not that girl on the bench. 

And yet, I am the girl on the bench. We are all the girl on the bench--the daydreamers, the late-comers, the ones who don't always do what they're supposed to do. The ones who get easily distracted. The ones who couldn't find a job they actually liked. The ones who couldn't seem to stay in one lane.

Your creativity assignment for this week is to stare up at the sky.

Find the unexpected beauty hidden deep inside the blossom of pain. 

And out of this, go forth and create something wonderful. 



No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.