She lives in New Hampshire, so we don’t normally see each other all that often. She was in town to work on a project that I can’t work on, due to conflict of interest. So, she stayed with us and we got to socialize, but we didn’t work together.
This morning, I drove her into downtown Santa Fe. We stopped at Starbucks on the Plaza, which is one of my very favorite Starbucks anywhere and she treated me to my first Gingerbread Spice latte of the season. I dropped her off at the offices, said goodbye and came home to my desk overlooking the valley, while all the other cars streamed into town.
It’s funny to break up my ritual that way. Normally my working day starts with me changing out of gym clothes into writing clothes, then into work clothes. Some days, I don’t really leave the house, except to go to the gym or to take a walk. My daily rhythm becomes largely my own. I’m aware of the East Coast time zones, as my colleagues there shut down for the day, or the Pacific Time folks, who generally start and finish later. Otherwise, I have no commute, no one glancing at the clock when I sit down at my desk.
It’s a lovely lifestyle. Don’t mistake me – I appreciate it no end.
There’s a certain comaraderie, though, to the beginning of the day. I like seeing the woman at the traffic light fluffing her hair in the rear-view mirror while the yellow school bus passes in front of us, small bodies bouncing inside. I like seeing the line-up at Starbucks, of the people in suits with briefcases, the stylish shopgirls in their black outfits getting ready to open the galleries, the scruffy types who wander in to stay a bit and maybe bum a cup of coffee.
Then again, I know it’s fun for me because I don’t do it every day. I don’t have the accumulated aggravations of traffic, the people paying more attention to primping than driving, the hassle of loading a small body onto the school bus in the first place, the sinking heart at the sight of the long Starbucks line while the hands of the clock march to the time I’m supposed to sit at my desk.
Instead, my job is to sit at my desk overlooking the valley and write about it.