And here we go, our Friday night tradition: shopping at Woodman’s.

“Night, for many, especially in the tremulous expectancy of youth, can offer sudden, glamorous transformation.”

V__0572(1)Mom, you’re just standing there.

That’s because I’m just a walking debit card on Friday nights while you all run around and fill the cart.

Walking debit card! Haha. You should start calling yourself that!

She’s right, I probably should. At least being a walking debit card is a “transformation” of sorts, I guess.

Night is the time of masks, of leaving behind our daylight identities through spectacle, celebration, and intoxication. The big movie, the big party, the big game. It is dressing up, going out, putting on the Ritz of rich scents and glamours that provide us entry to worlds beyond the province of any professional work environment. The restaurant, the opera, the orchestra, the club, the clothes, the atmosphere..

The Woodman’s.

I’m not exactly leaving behind my daylight identity and dressing up. I’m still wearing what I wore to work. My co-workers would recognize me. Oops. ┬áIn fact, I have an alarming tendency to run into former co-workers here.

Night is the time for taboo, the stretching of boundaries and edges; the illicit liaison…In the night we cross boundaries that our professional personalities find hard to fathom.

Can I get a new water bottle? Popsicles? My own shampoo and conditioner so I don’t have to share?

I said no to all her attempts to stretch boundaries.

Illicit liaison? The closest I got to that tonight was when I briefly considered cheating on my usual brand of Sobe water and trying another brand. But that one was twice as expensive. Betrayal always has a price. So I passed.

Night lights are bright lights: the strip in Las Vegas, the Eiffel tower, the luminarios of Santa Fe.

The fluorescent lights at Woodman’s. Ugh. I hate flurouscent lights. The first moments of entering a store I often feel like I’m walking a bit like a drunk person until I get used to the lights.

Speaking of drunkenness:

Intoxication is foundational for most human beings, a literal or metaphorical losing of ourselves, a forgetting of the self we attempt to hold together through the controlled hours of work.

I’ll take the literal intoxication, please.

Through the window of a crowded pup in County Clare, you can look from the outer blackness of a cold, Irish night and see the lit, laughing, talking faces all pressed together…

OMG why are there lines of people in all the checkout lanes? One reason I come here on Friday nights is because there aren’t supposed to be faces all pressed together.

Night still waits for us at the end of all the drama, the fervor and the celebration. The drinking must stop, the flirtation end in commitment or aloneness. The glamour and glitter of the evening grays by morning into another, less flattering picture.

Good, I’m glad all the people having fun right now soon won’t be having fun. It’s only fair.

Night and sleep is the time of summation and integration, when we work unconsciously to thread together a bedrock identity independent of work or rational thought.

The integration of chips with salsa is the only integration I’d be interested in right now, but I forgot to buy them tonight. Sigh. That’s what I get for just standing there.


Excerpts from p. 218-221 of David Whyte’s Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity

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