On the morning after that wet dream, Billy decided to go back to work in his office in the shopping plaza. Business was booming as usual. His assistants were keeping up with it nicely. They were startled to see him. They had been told by his daughter that he might never practice again.
But Billy went into his examining room briskly, asked that the first patient be sent in. So they sent him one--a twelve-year-old boy who was accompanied by his widowed mother. They were strangers, new in town. Billy asked them a little about themselves, learned that the boy's father had been killed in Vietnam--in the famous five-day battle for Hill 875 near Dakto. So it goes.
Billy's daughter thinks that Billy is losing his mind. He's living in a house without heat or food, talking about alien abduction and time travel. If I were in his daughter's shoes, I would probably be checking into nursing homes and psychiatric medications for Daddy, too. Yet, Billy goes back to work, because that's what he always does. It's his life.
I have to say that I've never really had a job that I was excited about every day. In fact, I've never had a job that really excited me at all. I like the people I work with at the medical office, for the most part. I find some satisfaction in making patients laugh and relax. I like teaching young people at the university, opening minds up to new ideas and experiences. For a while, I was the poetry editor of the university's literary magazine. That excited me. However, for the most part, job satisfaction is kind of illusive.
I think my problem is that my life has always been divided. I work in the medical office for the health insurance. I teach at the university for the money and creative outlet. It's like I'm two separate people, using two different skill sets for the jobs I hold. My dream has always been to have one job that allowed me to have free time and disposable income to pursue some of my interests. Instead, I get up before the sun, every day, work all day, sometimes into the night, and return home tired. Dead tired.
If you can't tell, I'm feeling a little down on myself this evening for some reason. Nothing really triggered this attack of self pity, aside from this little passage from Slaughterhouse. I guess I'm tired of being tired. I'm sure, after I take my vacation next week, I'll be in a better frame of mind. Four days away from all of my daily worries and cares. I'm hoping it will exorcise all of these negative thoughts from my mind.
There are very few people, probably, who have their dream jobs. It just doesn't happen that often. Maybe for Oprah Winfrey, Stephen King, and Tiffany Trump. That's about it. The rest of us go through the motions, punch the time clock, and hopefully have a few laughs during the course of the day.
I stay sane by writing these blog posts, working on poems, reading books that make me believe in beauty and goodness. It's not a perfect life, but I am able to go to bed every night feeling good about myself, for the most part. That's something.
Tonight, Saint Marty is thankful for his upcoming vacation.