There's an old adage, 'if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.' I'm not sure if I ever believed that - at least not in it's entirety. I suppose I imagine the only people who said it really came in two flavors. Either some geezer teaching tourist how to fly fish out in Montana, or tech billionaires that believe waking up at 9AM to take a cold shower and have an hour phone call constituted itself as 'working.'
I ponder that more nowadays. See - I wake up and simply...don't. I don't don blue jeans or my steel toes. I don't worry about the commute and whether or not I'll need to take the tollway based on what my maps app says. I don't check my inbox to see if there's been any issues at the plant overnight. Instead I merely make breakfast. Maybe skip that and head up to the diner. I walk the dog, and plan out my day.
It all sounds ideal. It sounds that way, because in most ways that matter, it is. I'd been selling myself for $32 an hour before. Not even half bad, truthfully. Now I still sell myself, but differently. In the stead of clanging machinery, cramped fingers from splicing wires, and sore knees from being guts-deep in the belly of some machine or the next, I sell my waking hours.
I guess that would make most men into philosophers. I admit that often as I sail down the open freeway at 1PM on a Wednesday, I wonder if i'll miss it. I wonder if those hours of sweat and noise and menial task will have meant something at the end.
See - I still stress. The deal was a cool $100 per hour. On paper you'd be a fool to decline that. Hell, it's the biggest raise I've had in my life. The devil, literally, is in the details, however. Of course I don't know how long my natural time was. Was I slated to die in just a few brief years? Cut down in my early thirties? Or was my life going to be long an uneventful? Was I set to receive the long kiss of darkness late into my sunset days at the nursing home, forgotten by all those who once illuminated the far reaches of my life?
Sometimes I'll hit a pothole. The jolt will rouse my from that chain of thinking, and I can return to the day's escapades. The zoo, sometimes. Seeing my girl. Catching a daytime movie or arranging a trip overseas.
Today, I haven't been bumped. My mind hasn't been lurched from my debate.
The air conditioner is cool, and my face is warmed from the spring sun that makes its heat felt through the windshield. Is that not better than the oppressive noise and heat from the machines?
My hand lowers against the leather shift knob, and I drop it into 6th. Cruising speed.
So I cruise.