I’ve been wanting to write to you directly for some time now, and finally an event at work caused me to put pen to paper. I don’t know how old you’ll be when you read this, but hopefully you’ll be old enough to understand it. If you don’t understand it, ask me or another adult about it.
The reason I decided to write to you today is that I wanted to tell you that I cried at work yesterday.
Now, I know you’ve seen me cry once, but you probably don’t remember it. And I’m sure you don’t remember why. I never saw my dad cry, but I have to believe that he did–at least once. Sometimes I think it would’ve been nice to have seen it with my own eyes as a boy. So in case you never see me cry again, I’m telling you now that I cry.
I cried yesterday because I found out that a guy who works for the same company as me was killed on the job, by the job. And in a separate incident, another guy was really badly injured and might die as well. As the group of us walked out of the noisily air conditioned trailer where we were handed this news and into the hot sun in order to get back to the dangerous work, I could only think of you. I could only think of how you look when you look at me, which is to say look up at me. Your chin sticks out; your eyes are at attention; your hair falls freely off the back of your head. You’re such a good listener. Well, it’s time to listen up again. Sad things happen in life. Really sad things. One of the appropriate responses to these sad things, even for dads, is to cry. But just because sad things happen doesn’t mean you stop living life. Sad things are a part of life–just like happy things and boring things. You have to move forward, move past them. Even though I was sad, I went back to work.
Okay. I think that’s it. I don’t have any big finale. I love you.
PS – I do have one more thing. You’re a beautiful girl H-, never doubt that.
The restaurant doors might as well have been ripped off the hinges if they were pulled open at all. The culprits were four men who had just finished a long day of hard work. They were hungry and ready to sit down. One of them, the newbie, knew he was under the microscope. The other three would be watching his every move. They would be silently analyzing his table manners, how he addressed the server, what meal he chose, and most importantly what beverage. Beyond the age of caring about such things, our man was just looking to make people laugh. The workday was over; everyone still had all their fingers and toes. He couldn’t help but want to promote a light mood.
Asking the server to keep the chips and salsa coming, he sarcastically inquired of the men, “So, hey. On your LinkedIn profiles, do you put your position or just ‘roughneck’?”
The driller, one might say leader of the bunch, had the most steely, unflinching eye-contact one could imagine, and after letting it linger long enough to determine the question was not rhetorical, he asked, “What?”
“You know. On your LinkedIn profile. Do you put ‘driller’ or the more generic ‘roughneck’?” the newbie pressed, unwilling to lose the staring contest.
“No way. What about you two? It’s not surprising that this neanderthal doesn’t keep his LinkedIn profile updated, but surely you two do,” he continued, purposefully.
“Pete, what are you saying? Linked…in?”
“Oh my god,” Pete said, unable to not connect the dots. With an unabashed enthusiasm, he continued, “On top of you guys doing the most impressive work I’ve ever seen, you’re now going to tell me that you don’t even know what LinkedIn is?” He almost let the “L” word slip out, but the men’s unrelenting eye contact allowed his rational side to win that battle quickly. “And that’s why I like you guys so much. You don’t even know what LinkedIn is. You’re so pure and good. LinkedIn is like facebook for people with office jobs. It’s ridiculous. And you just helped prove my theory. I only use it to publish my blog posts in the hopes of getting someone to read what I write. But I’d rather have never heard of it–like you guys. Nice work.”
“You done? The server’s waiting on you to order.”
“Oh. Apologies. I’ll do the chimichanga.”
“And to drink?”
“Do you have root beer?”
I officially have a new job. That’s right. The days of washing, and managing the washing of, the cars of the most disrespectful people I have ever encountered are over. Lesson learned: I do not excel at customer service. Oh well.
So what’s next? Bluntly, it’s time to punch another hole in my man card. For some reason I have an internal contradiction that I have so far been unable to shake. It goes something like this: I hate the idea of defining myself by my job (I’m sooo much more), but how I spend my waking hours during this life matters to me. Taken together with the notion that work should be work, I’m headed to the oil fields. For the remaining 400 words of this post, I’d like to discuss what the interwebs forecasts about my new life.
To begin, unlike my first three jobs as a civilian puke, this one is an outside job. I think that means it will take place in the same realm that flying did. I’ve always liked the outside, so that’s good news.
Next, a slave to fashion, I also can’t help but notice that I get to resume wearing a pair of flame resistant coveralls and a safety helmet. Hell, I never really thought of it before, but assuming I like this job, I will definitely fall into the “men-who-are-drawn-to-work-that-might-catch-them-on-fire” category. When forced, I’d say it’s not really that. I just like getting to wear free onesies. They contain so much nostalgia. Regarding helmets, I have a sneaking suspicion that people who wear helmets for safety understand they have something under it worth protecting. After a few drinks, you might even compel me to confess that, as a group, helmet-wearers understand cause-and-effect better than non-helmet-wearers. And yes, I’m happy to be part of that group again.
Finally, a word to women. I get it. I really do. As a “roughneck” I will have enough money to support you and my ex. You should know, though, that your peer’s blogs lead me to believe you really won’t be happy. I don’t want to believe it, but apparently as early as my first “hitch”, I will start hiding my phone, FB friending female co-workers, having my checks mailed to my mom, drinking more, using swears, and soliciting prostitutes. Truthfully, with minor tweaking–I don’t use FB, I have direct deposit, and I would only ever use high-end prostitutes like in “The Bucket List”–I’m fine with most of those changes. But I doubt you are. If I’m wrong, we should chat. Despite the evidence on all those blogs, I promise that what I will never do, no matter what, is stop talking. Never gonna happen. Sorry. So even if you manage to wrap those legs of yours around me and whisper enough sweet nothings into my ear to ensnare me, you need to be ready to listen.
And you’ll probably make an appearance here, too. You’ve been warned.
Okay. I think that covers it. Oh, one more thing. After tomorrow’s post, I believe there is going to be a 2+ week break. I have no idea how this job will affect my energy to blog, but I will let you know as soon as I do. I have recently added a new email account to the blog though: firstname.lastname@example.org. Use it if you want. I may even answer. Have a good one.
Why? Why are you doing this to us? What are you even doing to us? We haven’t felt this way in years. Decades.
Don’t you remember the days when sitting is all that you had us do? Whether at a desk or in the cockpit? Weren’t those pleasant? Sure, you didn’t seem to be that stimulated, but at least we had it easy. Not everyone gets their way all the time you know.
Look at us now. Feel us now. Can’t you tell that we’re exhausted? So much running. And for what? Oh, and I spoke to Fingers the other day, they told me not to say anything, but they’re starting to feel it too. What about your piano? Are you really going to let Fingers become too tired to tickle the ol’ ivories?
We just don’t understand it. What are you running from? Responsibility? Failure? It doesn’t make sense. We used to live in harmony, and now look at us. Muscle mass is shrinking, and we’re sore all the time.
We aren’t saying we can’t keep up, we just believe you are underachieving at the moment. Remember what Bruce said in TDK? “I believe in Harvey Dent.” Well, we believe in you! We’re with you. No matter how far this road goes, we won’t let you fall. Just please consider us in the softer moments. Please. Okay, that’s all. Try to get us some rest.