Curved like a road through mountains

What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.  –Tennessee Williams

This is a line.

(It was supposed to be a straight line, but listen, I cannot draw a straight line with what software is free on the interwebs, ok? So just ignore the fact that it squiggles a little. Pretend it’s totally straight. DO NOT JUDGE MY LINE-DRAWING ABILITIES!)

Most people’s lives follow this straight line, for the most part. They’re born, and they go to school, and then probably college, and they meet someone squishable and they marry that person, and buy a house with a porch swing, and maybe have some kiddos who are equally squishable, and get a job, and work that job for many many years and put money into their 401ks and buy cool things to play with that are shiny and pay their taxes and eventually they die.

This is very stable, isn’t it? It’s really nice. It’s nice to know you’ll wake up, and the same thing will happen, and you’ll have someone there to share things with, and maybe kids, and probably, oh, I don’t know, family picnics, or something. Vacations. Probably a dog.

This is ALSO a line.

However, it is squiggly and all over the damn place and sometimes backtracks upon itself and has strange valleys and peaks that kind of look like a man’s face and I think in one place it kind of might look like I tried to make a penis, and in another place a rabbit, to make you laugh, but I totally didn’t. (Again, please do not judge the line. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not an artist. It is not the nice line’s fault.)

This line is MY life.

There is nothing straight about this line. Like, it starts out kind of straight, but then it goes kind of haywire, and then KEEPS going haywire, because it does not know where it is going or what it is doing. It is a very confused line.

And sometimes, when you think it’s going straight (like, see where there are places where it SEEMS it’s going straight?) it decides “HA HA! I WILL GO JIGGEDY-JAGGEDY ON YOU!”

When, Lord?! When the hell do I get to see the goddamn sailboat?!

When, Lord?! When the hell do I get to see the goddamn sailboat?!


I can hear you, you know, even though you’re using your most polite voice. It’s ok. You don’t have to be polite with me.

“Your line metaphor is very…nice…and SUPER-artistic…but…where are you going with this?”

Yeah, I probably should get to the point. I try to…but you saw that line up there, yeah? It has a mind of its own.

OK. So when your life is a crazy waggly line, there are good things and bad things. Like, you have a lot of experiences and stories and you meet some of the best people (whose lines are usually all over the place, too…us wacky-line people, we tend to flock together. Probably because our lines get all tangled like the last two skeins of yarn in the bottom of the bag and we can’t extricate ourselves…but that’s neither here nor there, really.)

It's easier to just stick together. We get all knotty if we try to split up.

It’s easier to just stick together. We get all knotty if we try to split up.

However, life with a wiggly line is also about making the most IMPRESSIVE mistakes (falling in love with the least-likely human beings who break your heart into a million pieces; losing your job repeatedly; crazy brain-chemistry; not being able to sleep for days; shall I go on?) and not ever knowing what’s coming up. You’ve heard about waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, you’ve always got a big old workboot hanging over your head. At first, that boot comes as a surprise. You’re all, “what the hell? I JUST GOT BOPPED BY A BOOT! Where did that boot come from?” and you look up at the sky all suspiciously. Then the second boot falls, and you’re all, “another boot? WHAT IS HAPPENING.” But then another boot, and another boot, and you kind of get used to boots. You’re always on the lookout for boots. It’s not the easiest way to live, always having one eye out for gigantic metaphors falling from the sky. But if you know it’s probably coming, you don’t get so out-of-nowhere smacked.

Duck & cover. DUCK AND COVER, I SAID.

Duck & cover. DUCK AND COVER, I SAID.

This past Monday, I went into work. I do that, on Mondays. Most weekdays, actually. I worked. I went to lunch. After lunch, I came back to an email saying I had a meeting. I went to the conference room, and about ten other people trailed in, and we made some confused jokes about why, exactly, we were in this conference room, and there was this weird whistling noise and I was all, “huh, what’s that, I wonder, maybe the air conditioning?” and then the CFO and HR came in and told us all of our jobs had been eliminated and the BIGGEST BOOT EVER smashed me upside the head and I was all “SHIT that’s what that whistling noise was. It was coming from a really, really far distance, this time, is all. Breaking the sound barrier, far.”

Squiggly line! I had been so happy and comfortable with my amazing job with my awesome coworkers that paid ALL THE MONEY that I forgot about the squiggly line and (eep!) THE BOOT HANGING OVER MY HEAD AT ALL TIMES!

(Apparently I am to blame the economy. Any guesses who Dad thinks is to blame for this? Those of you who guessed “the government” win. What do you win? I don’t know. Nothing from me. I can’t afford to get you a prize. I don’t have a job right now, suckas!)

So here I am, yet again, friends and bloggonians, underemployed, waiting to hear from the unemployment people, waiting to hear from the food-stamp people, picking up a few hours as I can at the answering service (thank you again, answering service!), applying to a million billion jobs, networking with everyone I can think of in the hope I can maybe, just maybe, find a job that I actually really love, not just settle for because it puts money in my pocket but also sucks my soul out of my nose.

I'm not this serious yet. I can't guarantee you I won't get there, though.

I’m not this serious yet. I can’t guarantee you I won’t get there, though.

(Side note: I apparently am VERY equipped to sell insurance. I have, unsolicited, gotten four emails and a phone call from three different companies that want me to sell insurance. I assume they saw my resume on one of the job-searching sites. One was from the AFLAC duck, which was humorous, but I still don’t want to sell insurance, even if an anthromoporphic duck thinks it’s my calling. I also got an email from someone telling me I’d make an amazing realtor. I can’t think of anything I’d be worse at than selling homes or insurance. If I was living on commissions, I’d be eating out of dumpsters.)

Flattering, duck. But, no.

Flattering, duck. But, no.

Luckily, the upside of having a line o’squiggliness for a lifeline is that the ups always come. The downs are always right around the corner, but the ups are there, too. Sometimes you have to wait a little longer for them, but they’re there. The boot gets cranked back up to wherever it hangs in wait and things get rosy again, for a time.

And there’s a slight possibility that the boot WON’T fall again. That’s the thing about that boot. You can’t trust that it will or will not fall. You’re just always nervously waiting for it…but that doesn’t mean it’s a definite.

And shh…I’ll tell you a secret:

Even though it drives me insane at times, and even though there are times I mutter angrily “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE NORMAL LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, AMY!?!?”, I’ll take my squiggly line over a straight line any day. My squiggly life has brought me such joy. I just have to wait out the bad patches. And avoid those falling boots.

I wouldn’t know what to do with a normal life, anyway. I think you have to vaccuum and wear polo shirts or something, in a normal life. I’d be very unprepared for such things. I look terrible in polo shirts.

Time for the next leg of the adventure. Don’t fail me now, squiggly line. I have to believe you have some sort of plan.

(You do, right?)

*grin* (I knew it.)

(I knew it.)

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

35 responses to “Curved like a road through mountains

  • Mer

    Aw, lovely. May your line squiggle just so…

    • lucysfootball

      I’m hoping it squiggles in a good direction for a while. I could use some rest and safety! But this might be the start of the next big adventure. Who knows? Thank you – love you, lady!

  • 35JupiterDrive

    Aw hugs and smooshes to you, my dear. As you are aware, I have one of the squiggliest lines anywhere. I relate. I wish, for your sake, that I didn’t.

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Don’t worry: squiggly lines are more interesting anyway. And the beauty of a squiggly line life is that when things are rough, you know it’s just a matter of time before it comes back to the good side.

    If on the other hand your life is a straight line: if something is wrong, it’s most likely will stay wrong. And that’s just wrong.

    And you’ll of course get past this too, and end up in a better position than before. Just wait and see.

    • Andreas Heinakroon

      (Ok, that ended a bit on the threatening side. I didn’t mean for it to sound like “Just you wait and see..!”)

      • lucysfootball

        I’m totally imagining you being all “JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE” all menacingly and it’s making me giggle. I’ve seen your cranky-face, but never directed AT me. So I can’t even take it seriously. SORRY, ANDREAS!

    • lucysfootball

      You have the best of squiggly lines. Because you’ve lived a million adventurous lives before this one and I think will live a million more. You always have more secrets coming out. “Oh, yes, that time I DISCOVERED A NEW SPECIES! What, that’s not a big deal!” Hee!

      I’ve never had a straight-line life. I think I thought I did, once. But then I turned…oh, probably 17 or so, and realized everyone around me was on some sort of path I had no idea how to get on (and, honestly, mostly very little interest in getting on…except sometimes, that path looks really nice, and well-maintained, compared to my own weedy weird rutty path.)

  • grrgoyl

    Wow, my condolences. My partner Tery was also let go from her job quite, quite suddenly and has been looking for another for two months now (in fairness, her process doesn’t involve balls-to-the-wall spending every waking moment looking for one, but rather patiently pursuing one for weeks before being turned down (and man am I tired of employers who lead you on for weeks and then sometimes not even the courtesy of a “no thank you” at the end. So very, very rude).) At least she’s collecting unemployment or we would be moving back to CT to live with her mother by now.

    Maybe I’m naive, but I consider “the government” and “the economy” as one and the same, in that the government is not doing nearly enough to help the economy because the Repubs are focused exclusively on making the president look bad and don’t care how many of us suffer while they do it.

    But this is why I’ve stopped paying attention to politics so closely. They don’t do my blood pressure any favors whatsoever.

    Good luck in the search. I agree it’s way more important to do something you love and not just something that pays bills.

    • lucysfootball

      Oh, I’m so sorry! Give Tery a hug for me. We should all start a company called “You Didn’t Want Us? We Rule the World Now!” and, joining forces, we will be UNSTOPPABLE!

      I’ll get unemployment this time around (thank goodness) since it was a job elimination – nothing I did, nothing they’ll contest. Might take a few weeks, but I have a little severance, so I’ll be ok until it starts.

      Hee! See, your “the government” and Dad’s “the government” are the opposite. I’m quite sure he thinks that Obama waves his magic wand and eliminates jobs just for kicks. POOF! NO JOBS! I AM OBAMA! (Mr. President, if you are reading this, please note: I am not in agreement with my dad. I think you’re peachy, for the most part.)

      • grrgoyl

        Ahh, the nonsensical logic of the Right: Obama is somehow simultaneously an ineffectual boob and a tyrannical dictator! Which is it? Although the fact that none of his critics are mysteriously disappearing in the night makes him a really bad dictator, if you ask me.

      • grrgoyl

        And was also going to say — why on earth would Obama do that? (even if he could?) Doesn’t he want people to like him? And aren’t more jobs better for everyone, including the evil government who can then collect more taxes and stop giving so many free handouts? Silly, silly rightwingers.

        • lucysfootball

          I think if they could pin everything bad in the world on him, they would. Up to and including the stores being out of their favorite food that week, their cat vomiting on the carpet, and their favorite television show being cancelled. (I’m not 100% sure they don’t blame him for these things. At some point, they probably have.)

          • grrgoyl

            T and I have a joke in our house — “Thanks, Obama!” whenever the slightest thing goes wrong.

            • cynthiaw

              I have some friends who do the opposite – every time something good happens, they post “Thanks, Obama!” to drive their conservative friends crazy. One of them almost caused a friend to have a completely and utter meltdown last week when she first thanked Obama for the wonderful weather and then, when he started yelling about that, she thanked him for her wonderful friends.

              • grrgoyl

                Very funny! But seriously, the stuff they DO blame on him in all sincerity is not to be believed. I’ve had to block my conservative FB friend completely because I couldn’t take it anymore.

                • cynthiaw

                  Yeah, I’ve had to do that to a few people as well, including someone who I’ve been friends with for over 20 years. The final straw was when he compared the president to Hitler. I’m just amazed at the number of people who will say awful things online that they would never say in real life.

            • lucysfootball

              I say, “Was it Obama’s fault?” whenever Dad’s mad about anything. He HATES it. And his answer is almost always yes, no matter what we’re talking about. (I believe, the other night, it was that the sky was too cloudy to see the full moon.)

              • grrgoyl

                LOL It’s madness. I met my first honest-to-goodness birther on a friend’s Facebook thread, who sighed and said all she knew was that Obama was “the most divisive president we’ve ever had.” As if he did it singlehandedly, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with people being unwilling to work with him since literally day one of his term. He must also be the most powerful president ever to be able to do all this all by himself!

  • Gigi

    Oh sweetie…I’m sorry. Unemployment totally sucks and when it comes out of the blue it sucks even more. Here’s hoping your squiggly line squiggles in the right direction quickly.

  • becomingcliche

    I am so sorry! You are amazing, though. You’re going to see the sailboat so soon, and it’s going to be a beautiful spinnaker.

    • lucysfootball


      Thank you. You are ALSO amazing. I have lots of good around me; with friends like the ones I have, I know I’ll never get too far down. You simply will not allow it. I appreciate that more than you know!

  • Bronwyn

    I, too, am a fan of the squiggly line life. I do, however, wish it came with a steady pay cheque and benefits! :-P :-D I wish you the speediest of job searches and the most wonderful new opportunity you can imagine! ♡♡♡

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you, lovely! Fingers crossed. I just need to keep a “this is the start of a grand adventure” point of view rather than a “WHY ME, LORD, WHY MEEEEE?” point of view! :)

  • cynthiaw

    That just stinks! I’m mostly a straight line person, but I worry about the boot all the time anyway because I grew up with the boot dropping all the time. That’s probably why I picked the most stable career that I possibly could, even if it didn’t pay the best – plus, I love teaching.

    I can tell you though – when the boot does smack me upside the head, it really knocks me for a loop, so I really admire your way of thinking about it. And I hope that this leads to the best adventure of all.

    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! I have to learn to remember to ALWAYS BE WATCHFUL FOR THAT BOOT, DAMMIT!

      I’m hoping adventures are on the way. I have to keep hoping there’s some sort of reason to all of this!

  • mfennvt

    Oh no! Condolences for losing your job. That sucks. *hugs* But I love your attitude. My line’s been pretty darned squiggly, too. Best of luck with the next adventure!

  • Anonymous

    hang in there, an awesome thing is bound to happen now. But you know that already. What a pain the butt, though, right?

  • Charleen

    *sigh* And I was so hoping (as I was reading all about the different types of lines) that this post would end with something WONDERFUL happening because of your squiggly line. That is one hell of a boot. But you’ve been through it before, right? And it all worked out.

    • lucysfootball

      Well, there will be wonderfulness – I’m still going to Europe, I’m still going to Vermont for my adventure at the end of the month – but sadly, not JOB-wonderfulness. I’ve been through it before, and this time is actually less-bad – I can get unemployment, my severance is better, I get health-care longer, etc. But, still. I loved the job so much. I’m going to miss it there. I was hoping to work there until I retired.

Thank you for commenting! I love your comments and I love you. No, not YOU. Yes, you. If you leave a comment full of jackassery, I'm either deleting or publicly mocking that sucker - so, stop, think, and don't be a douchecanoe. Otherwise, gold star right at the top of your paper! Good job! Kisses!

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