While I managed to be a super-smooth operator who paid rent prior to the due date, I did not remember that those twenty-eight days of February also meant that my bus pass would be void much sooner. Since I take two buses to get to work, and even more awesomely forgot to get the cheaper transfer rather than paying full fare again, I ran out of change painfully quickly and I had to walk home.
Since I like ambling about and looking at old houses, and it wasn't too cold, this was not so bad. I saw a lot of wonderful architectural details that are sadly neglected in today's designs, and I witnessed a good assortment of Really Bad Addition Decisions that New City seems to be known for. Taking off your gabled roof, putting a box on top of your house, covering it with aluminum siding, and calling it a third floor? Nuh-uh, doesn't fly with abiona.
And then I got lost.
Well, I wasn't lost, exactly, somewhere in the farthest reaches of my brain, there was the knowledge that home was "that way," or that the water tower I was now seeing should be "behind" home in the distance, not just up the street. I had somehow wandered from a neighborhood I was fairly familiar with into another, which led me into a third - one which I would not choose to live in! The transition was marked by a number of Very Sad Things, "homes" with porches ripped off and windows boarded up, Victorian mansions empty and peeling, gaping lots where houses used to be but are no more. Trash everywhere, everywhere, overgrown yards with trash in the trees, in the bushes, in the long dead grass, on the sidewalk, in the street. The homes eventually grew more modest in proportion, but the same marks of depression and struggle were there.
I am very glad that the days are getting longer, for while I was wary with light, I probably would have been absolutely petrified in the dark. I was torn between wishing I had my camera with me, and wishing that I hadn't walked up that hill, because then I would be out of this strange place much faster. The people lived a lifestyle so dissimilar from my own, though our incomes may well be very close. I tried to remind myself that these were all folks going about life as best they could. They were not out to shoot me, not out to mug me. But oh, the buildings! The weatherbeaten posters creating need that none can truly afford! The grates and the grilles over the windows, the baggy thug clothing, the smell of cigarette smoke. This aura!
I was quite relieved when I found myself on a street I knew. I still had a ways to go through a questionable neighborhood, but at least I now knew my path.
I fully intend to remain in New City until my goals are obtained, or until circumstances alter those goals in such a manner as to render New City a less than optimal environment. Yet, I doubt I will remain a life-long resident here.
There are nicotine addicts everywhere; it's as though the tobacco companies have their last bastion of blind loyalty here, smoking away 'til they drop, getting their drug at every hour, every street corner. I have seen women with a child in one arm and a cigarette in their other hand. Every time I try to move upwind of a smoker at a bus stop, another one lights up upwind of me! Wherever I walk, there is someone puffing their lungs away. I dislike the scent quite intensely, so this makes me feel rather peevish.
There's also an absolutely astounding amount of litter in New City, and I find this exceedingly depressing. The soot of the mills once coated this city as evenly as trash does now. Pride could be taken in that black dust, but none can be found in the cups, wrappers, shirts, and other assorted debris that plagues so much of what I see.
In regards to work, I don't know what exactly is happening, but something surely is. I've gotten my own login (finally), my own email, I've been asked to help with a graphics project, and I get to order a copy of Adobe Creative Suite in for the office. Oh hell yes baby! I'm somewhat concerned that the computer I am currently using will not be able to handle the software at a functional level (it fits the requirements, but is one slooooow mother trucker), but as I lack the System Privileges necessary to even adjust the clock, I cannot defrag the beast or do any other "normal person" level maintenance.
I only wanted to maim Mr. Sweaterly once today. This occurred when he started trying to get his hands into the project I am currently working on! Whaaaat? Invade my sweet chaos-free work?? Never! He was trying to subtly toot his own horn yet quite failing. "I'm a very good writer," he would say in a much less concise fashion, and he would then throw in a compliment about me to try to balance it out. It was difficult to resist the urge to pop out of the little room I was sitting in and say, "Well, you may be very good, Mr. Sweaterly, but I am above and beyond you! I can do it all. I can write at a level which most likely eclipses your own, I can draw and make graphics, which you cannot, and I can put it all together in one package. In short, I'm a one-gal production band! Mwhahaha!"
Common Sense was having a bit of trouble dealing with Impulse on its own, but then a voice in my head went "Whoa, ego check?"
I satisfied myself by scribbling "Get your own glory!" on a piece of paper, which I promptly stuffed into my pocket.