Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Day Job

Aahh, the sweet warm month of June; beginning of beach sand and the lingering of late spring flowers. When school graduates are celebrating and fathers are being celebrated.  Relaxation is setting in. are the lowly writer awaiting advancement and royalty checks. Then, you are chained to the forces of the inevitable Day Job. What is it for you? Food server, office manager, guest services something or other? For me it's the best yet...parking cashier at the county fair.

Underneath the low, pervasive scent of car exhaust and the occasional diesel fumes, I can just make out wafts of kettle corn, funnel cakes, and the newest deep fried dish: cookie dough smothered in chocolate sauce.  Even the obnoxious boom of over ripe car stereos and the yells of those directing the never-ending traffic cannot drown out  sounds of children crying out from the bliss of the swing rides, or the terrified/excited screams of those brave souls bouncing from the huge bungee cords.  This is the epitome of American enjoyment.

The IQ requirement for the job is low: be able to exchange $10 for a ticket, tell people to have fun, wave them through. This is lovely for me as I have been able to look at this whole experience from a zen perspective.  Waiting for 30 minutes in your car to reach the fair entrance can be one of acceptance and contemplation, talking with friends/family in the car, wondering what ride to experience first. Or it can be frustration and anger--being ready to burst at the slightest provocation. It's all a choice.

As a cashier, I can observe how the clientele are choosing to handle this situation and decide that 'going with the flow' is probably the safest, most peaceful route to follow.  Actually, I am in awe at how many people get to my booth and are still in a good mood. Does this show a happy nation?

Come 2014, I will be too inundated with writing to even attempt a day job. But for now, it's not too bad of a gig.

This too shall pass.

Heather Leigh

Monday, June 3, 2013

Swimming Laps

When I swim, the pool floor is decorated by the sun.  It turns the ripples of water into thin rainbows, taking the shape of moving lines that resemble electrical currents.  The bottom is concrete white with small black square tiles that form into long rectangles, making it easy for me to follow the way to the other edge.

There are two different views at each end. I see them when I rise for air breaks. One is the medium brown stucco wall.  Spools of blue and white lane dividers are rolled neatly, ready for swim classes. The two circles that I search for are the clocks that let me know how long I've been swimming. As I have recently returned to this exercise, I congratulate myself each time I've not drowned for five minutes. This side also holds a lifeguard on their chair, vending machines with exercise defeating sugared soda and snacks, and bleachers for fans of whatever water events take place here.

The other side of my watery travels has a row of beige lounge chairs placed on the tan deck. Behind them is a thin strip of grass that stops along a tall black iron barred fence. This is the side I enjoy resting at as I can see palm trees poking their spiky heads up from the chaparral canyon.  palm trees are not indigenous to San Diego but they are abundant. I believe their beauty is magnified on sandy beaches when the wind tussles their fronds.

From college swim classes, the habit of doing a crawl, breast then back stroke has not left me. The first two I am led by the black tiled lines and can swim in a straight line. There is no constant guide for the back stroke, aside from bumping into the lane dividers; this I do a lot of. In the early afternoon, I only backstroke toward the palm trees so that I am not blinded by sun rays.

Swimming laps is a physical meditation.

Heather Leigh