Monday, September 15, 2008

Something's Not Right

I've been eating, sleeping and breathing nothing but hurricane for the past - has it been a week? I don't remember what day it is.

Hurricanes are not particularly nutritious, and they're hell on your lungs.

And then you have the dreams.

When I was a teenager I used to have nuclear war nightmares a lot. You'd hear a "boom" and look out the window and see that telltale mushroom cloud ballooning up out of the horizon and you knew, this was it, it was over. I still can't think of anything else as scary as that, not even the thought of Sarah Palin as -

On second thoughts, perhaps I'll sleep with the lights on tonight.

But answering phones is scarier. I hate it as much as going to the dentist, or getting a mammogram - the difference being that you have to make an appointment to do those things, which makes them significantly easier to avoid than something that sits on your desk and yells at you until you pick it up and talk to it, sort of like my elderly cat Romeo, only not quite as likely to drool on you.

So this is a no-brainer: I simply don't go to the dentist or get a mammogram, and generally wear absorbent clothing. But there is no avoiding the wrath of the telephone.

I dreamed about it night before last, only I'd be hard-pressed to say exactly what those dreams were. Nothing about the callers themselves - for whom, individually, I have nothing but deep compassion. I have no problem answering most of the emails that come through the website, with all the helpful advice I can muster. Some of my responses are a couple of pages long. Either I'm single-handedly eradicacting the ancient image of the faceless, unresponsive government agency, or all my correspondents are saying "well all righty then" and embarking instead on a mercifully brief and impersonal exchange of ideas with the IRS.

Last night, after spending 13 hours in the call center Sunday, with the prospect of another early morning at it today, I inexplicably dreamed I was shopping for wedding dresses. I almost woke up screaming.

This weather is driving me crazy.

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