Monday, November 1, 2010

On Empty

written by Stephie Goldfish

At day break, light gradually spills into the room and beckons me to begin yet another day. Today, I am thankful. I pull back the long blinds from the two sliding glass doors in my living room and dining area. I pull open the plantation blinds hanging from my bedroom window to see a beautifully filled clear blue sky, with no hovering clouds in any direction.

So many ways this day can be spent: filling my day creating a work of art—a painting or drawing; filling my day helping someone or volunteering; filling my day working on that book of short stories or screenplays that I am writing.

I empty the sink of dirty dishes that have been sitting in the sink for a day, and fill up the dishwasher with the dishes I just emptied from the sink. I fill the coffee filter with fresh coffee grinds and fill up the coffee pot with distilled water. I begin filling up the bathtub with hot water to take a bath, and fill up the washer with a load of clothes. Then fill up my favorite cup with coffee and soy milk.

And my day continues into this seemingly endless string of emptying-and-filling tasks:

Emptying the washer

Filling up the dryer

Emptying the dishwasher

Filling up my cat’s dishes with fresh food and water

Emptying out and cleaning the cat litter box

Filling the cat litter box with fresh cat litter

In between doing all these tasks, I am checking my BlackBerry: checking for emails, checking twitter updates, “liking” someone’s status or comments on Facebook. Then I realize that my voice mail box is full of messages so I empty some of them out. Yes, I know. To have 45 saved and undeleted messages may be a little insane, but I keep them and listen to them just to get caught up in nostalgia, until I finally relinquish someone’s message into oblivion.

I go to the grocery store and fill up a grocery cart full of food and at the cash register empty out my purse to find my checkbook that I thought I had lost. I empty out the grocery cart and fill up the trunk with the food I just bought. And when I reach home I empty out the trunk and fill up the refrigerator. As I’m preparing tacos, I fill my mouth with fresh strawberries and raw walnuts.

And by the time I sit down to fill up with tacos, I realize that all I accomplished today was that I emptied out my bank account and now the gas tank “empty” light is on.

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