I didn’t drink last night. There simply wasn’t time. I had planned to leave work about six and then head down to the Argus for an evening of whiskey and bad jokes.
No such luck. My employers had scheduled the last release of the year for Thursday and my code was riddled with bugs. Since my attitude has yet to degenerate into truly not giving a shit, I was at the office until after nine trying to make it all better.
My friend Alex would laugh at me for bemoaning my long day. Every morning before five, he is up and keeps working until after five in the evening. His schedule is insane and he will probably drop dead at an early age, but he has earned his right to scoff.
After leaving the office, I walked the six blocks of dead city streets to the BART station. The eateries and bars had closed. The after-work crowd had either gone home or relocated to somewhere more festive. The homeless, lacking anyone to panhandle, had likewise given up and left. Until I got within a couple of blocks of Market Street, it was just me and the odd passing car.
Down in the BART there was a four-minute wait until the next train, which wasn’t bad. You often have to hang out for much longer at that hour. Most of the people around me looked about as tired as I felt. The exception was a young guy in a furry hat with cat ears, dancing around to his iPod like those silhouetted hipsters in the commercials. I used to have energy like that. I wonder whatever happened to it.
When I got back to the Mission, I was too exhausted to want to go for a drink. Instead, I stopped by a corner store for a sandwich and went home.
Life doesn’t have to be this way. I remember a line from an old Clash song: “I empty a bottle. I feel a bit free.” There will be time enough for that this evening. If there isn’t, I’ll make time.