After 14 weeks off, I woke up before dawn Monday and trudged into work.
It was largely surreal, especially since we had moved less than two weeks before The Incident and I hadn’t quite nailed down my new commute. But getting off the train downtown, everything was pretty much the same: the same steely gazes of commuters striding towards their offices, the same river smells and traffic sounds, the same panhandlers with the same stories. The light was different than in June, with the slant and softness of autumn.
When I arrived at the office, I paused for a moment, trying to remember the code for the door. (Thanks to a handy musical mnemonic, it came right back.) I slipped in and quietly went to my desk, one of the first to arrive.
The day went surprisingly well. I had worried about so many aspects of that return. But once I scrubbed three months of dust from everything and tossed my moldy water bottle, it was just another day at the office, albeit with more hugging and less coffee.
After a full week, I’m exhausted. But I’ll re-adapt to spending full days indoors, staring at a screen while largely sitting still. I’ll get used to the early mornings again. I’ll learn how to pack enough snacks to cover the copious amounts of food now required to fuel and soothe my adapting digestive system. And hopefully, I can handle coffee again sooner rather than later.
Overall, it’s good to be back in a routine, back in the world, back to earning a living. Though I may never finish my reading list now…