The 21st Century Workshop (tf)

I used to work with a guy who got laid off just before his wedding day. He decided to keep his honeymoon plans the same and so his trip across Europe went off as scheduled. When he came home 6 weeks later he was exhausted, broke, still unemployed, but much more worldly. “The world would be a pretty cool place….”, he said before adding the kicker….”if it wasn’t for all the people.”

Today he spends 4 hours each day in his car going back and forth to work. It’s a temporary job he was able to score after a 2 year search. I suspect his feelings for the world have not changed. I know mine haven’t, and I rarely leave the house.

I don’t have a “workshop” in the manly sense. The last time I tried to fix something was Christmas morning, and by Christmas afternoon I was so frazzled I was speaking in tongues. I’m the type of guy who looks inside a toolbox and sees 65 of the same thing. The last time I tried to change a light bulb our entire house lost power. My incompetence in such pursuits is not an act.

I do, however, have a “room” where I can escape the rigors of the day. It’s got a desk filled with pens and my assorted tablets of half finished plays and songs. On top sits a docking station for my Ipod. The room houses my guitars and one of them small electric pianos and some recording equipment. It’s got a couch so comfortable I can’t get rid of it even though my dog is systematically chewing it to bits. It’s got my trusty laptop (bought it used….let somebody break ’em in first) computer. Pictures of Ireland and Abraham Lincoln and my Father fight for space on the walls with a map of the world and drawings my kids made me. Half of the room is covered with a dark carpet that it’s ok to spill stuff on. And my books. Lots and lots of books, piled high wherever a pile can fit and sometimes where a pile can’t fit. Collapses are common. All this plus a lock on the door and a thermostat on the wall. If there is a heaven it must look something like this.

The problem, of course, is that sometimes I have to leave it. That’s what makes me grumpy.

I can’t make heads or tails out of what’s going on out there. To be safe I never believe anything I hear, only half of what I read, and about a third of what I see with my own eyes (I have glasses). For the most part I don’t think people intentionally lie about things. I just think they are unintentionally uniformed. Dumb, in other words.

There’s nothing wrong with being dumb. The problems arise when dumb people don’t realize how inelegantly stupid they are. Like when I try to fix something with a tool. Bad things will happen because I am dumb. But I’m smart enough to realize it. See?

So I sit here and watch the world go ’round. Well not really because my room is in the basement and there are no windows. But if there were windows I would watch the world go around. And then I’d buy curtains and need help putting them up.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on February 1, 2011.

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