It was only yesterday evening that I clocked out for the last time, and already I’ve learned a few things:
The unemployed are a weepy lot. When emptying one’s locker and saying goodbye to coworkers, it’s not the thousand daily infuriations (neology, baby!) that come to mind. One does not enact that recurring fantasy about flipping tables and fingers, nor does one set fire to the place and roast marshmallows, as always seemed a good idea on those baddest of the bad days.
No, one melts into a gooey pile of butterflies and kewpie dolls. Saccharinely, nauseatingly fond of everything about one’s job and workplace. It’s surprising, and mildly embarrassing.
The unemployed haven’t fully accepted that they’re not going back to work. I found myself last night emptying the dirty laundry out of my pannier and the dirty tupperware out of my lunch bag, and then resetting it all, as if I’d be packing a fresh uniform and fresh food for the next shift. My subconscious still expects a steady paycheck, apparently.
The unemployed sleep like the dead, for ten hours straight. It’s shockingly true. I missed one of the few yoga classes I have left with my favorite teacher this morning because my bed ate me. The mattress opened up like a giant mouth last night and treated me like Jonah. It didn’t spit me out until damn near lunch time today, as I discovered once I’d pried the pillow off the side of my head and made sense of the hieroglyphics on my silent alarm clock.
But apparently my body was making up for the chronic sleep deprivation so familiar to those working long, strange shifts. EMSers, as I’ve mentioned in passing, maintain a convoluted and frequently contentious relationship with sleep (really, if this were any other relationship, you, as our friend, would tell us to DTMFA. And you’d be right.). So it’s significant that, after such a sleep binge, I don’t feel like something you’d find on the bottom of your shoe after venturing, out of sheer desperation, into a sketchy gas station bathroom. Oversleeping usually renders me useless the next day–useless, cranky, and gross-feeling. Sleep-hungover, if you will. And sleep hangovers are just as bad as the regular kind of hangover, just without the extra bottles in the recycling. But today I didn’t have one. I must have needed that sleep more than I knew.
The unemployed get to read over breakfast, listen to lots of music, and get around to the laundry only when they feel like it.
The unemployed hang out with their dogs, blog without feeling like they’re on a deadline, and eat the steel-cut oats for breakfast instead of the rolled because they have plenty of time to cook them right.
The unemployed can ignore to-do lists for today.
The unemployed watch hummingbirds for twenty minutes solid, not doing anything else.
I could get used to this. You know, if I were independently wealthy or sugar baby to a distinguished and discerning older gentleman who didn’t mind the boyfriend and the fact that I’m too busy backpacking to spend time with him.
Today’s unemployment song: