How familiar this story sounds to me. I should print it out and hang in the office and home on the wall, over my computer... ;)
Original is here: http://avanoo.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/she-said-thank-you/
"When she wakes up in the morning, she thinks about studying. She’s wanted to be an archaeologist since she can remember, and now she’s a freshman in college and majoring in anthropology (of which archeology is a subfield). “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do,” she says.
But she needs a cup of coffee. And a bagel. Now she’s ready. She rolls her shoulders, cracks her neck, and looks at the first book. “Ancient Mayan Civilization”. But she didn’t go on a run yesterday. And because she’s studying, she won’t have any other time to run today. So she loads new music into her IPod, changes into workout clothes, and goes running.
When she returns, she showers. And she gets dressed. And she is again ready. Page 1. “Initially inhabited around thirty thousands years ago…” But she hasn’t checked the news today.
She checks online. And finds a funny story about picketing workers in Plymouth, New Hampshire. She’s from Plymouth, New Hampshire! She logs onto MySpace to send the story to her high school friends. It’ll only take a minute.
It’s been over a day since she’s been on MySpace and there are messages from her friends. She quickly responds. And updates her profile. And looks at the time on her cell phone. And remembers that she has to meet Barry for lunch in half an hour. She changes, again, and goes to lunch.
When she returns to study, a few hours later, she’s tired. So she walks to the coffee shop. While walking, she thinks about the studying she’ll soon be doing. “Total focus,” she whispers. “Come on, total focus.”
She’s back home and ready. Page 1. “Initially inhabited around thirty thousands years ago…” But… “fuck”… “no” … just one more thing.
And another thing. And on and on…
Until the day is over and she’s ready to fall asleep. But she can’t sleep. Because she is sad. She knows what she wants and she knows what she has to do to get it. But she just can’t do it.
“Tomorrow will be different, better,” she mutters aloud. But she doesn’t believe it. Because she says it every night. And nothing changes.
When he wakes up in the morning, he picks up a guitar before even peeing. He heard once, somewhere, that Jimi Hendrix used to do that. He plays some of his newer songs before going to the office. He doesn’t need to get dressed because, in all likelihood, he’s wearing his clothes from the day before.
He usually remembers to pee when he walks into the office. “One sec, Dan,” he’ll say. When he emerges from the bathroom, we’ll sit for a few minutes and talk about philosophy that’s relevant in our lives. For instance, today he said, “I’d really like to see you write about the mind and body, and balance, because there’s something different that I think we’re bringing to the table. He explained more until he knew that I agreed, and that I understood…
Then, always, he walks into his office, closes the door, and starts coding (inventing technology). His focus is maniacal. But it only lasts for an hour or two before he eyes get blurry. That happens when he forgets to drink or eat. He doesn’t care so much about eating, but he’s thirsty.
So he knocks on my door and asks me if I want to walk to the market with him. We walk. And we talk about whatever we’re working on. “It’s wonderful,” he usually says about his code. And I know that he’s right.
After stocking up with a two-liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew and, maybe, a protein bar, he returns to his desk. He codes, maniacally, for hours. Until his fingers shake. Until his body tells him that it isn’t advisable to code any longer. Then he knocks on my door.
It’s usually late in the evening. And we are both done. So we get dinner somewhere. He eats sparingly, drinks a few glasses of wine, and talks about whatever moves him. Sometimes it’s code. Sometimes it’s music. Sometimes it’s physics. Or a new book. Or an interesting person he met on the street. Or the woman who, these days, is in his heart.
Then he drives home. And he reads Harry Potter. Or he works on his new theory of gravity. Or jams with fellow musicians. Or courts that special woman. Until his day is over. And he falls asleep. Immediately.
Nothing to contemplate. Nothing to regret. Everything to look forward to.
When she asked me for advice, I told her about him. She said thank you."