I have already made up my mind what I really want for Christmas. I know it’s a little early and I have not seen the claymation specials telling me the true meaning of the holiday with snappy tunes from the fifties. Cold Miser has hit the Bay Area; the rain finally scrubbed away the last warmth of El Nino. I leave work in darkness and meander my way home through streets still not reconstructed from the earthquake.
My work is also being cleansed. At the start of October I was working a multi -gazillion dollar deal in Hong Kong. I am now hibernating in a cubicle - my chances of future travel are dripping away and I am left with the paperwork of consequences. My company is going through seasonal changes, a reshuffling of the corporate deck. In the end I feel that I have the job security of Sherazade - along as I can keep spinning the tales of financial intrigue, the king will not kill me today. A couple of people so far have not been so lucky. I know that this down phase will pass in six months until the next king arrives and just maybe I get to repeat some of my greatest hits.
Still those deal making moments, chatting up with merger specialists - the corporate anesthesiologists, dim sum at two in the morning, the long looks and head shakes, the winks and hand shakes - all of them were brief highs of capitalism adrenaline. It is a little tough to go cold turkey.
So my Christmas wish is for smaller victories - for the patience to keep trying to use my norditrack, for the parking spot close to the door but not under the tree, for warm laughter at meetings, a smile from girl behind the counter when I order a mocha grande decaf, for a long kiss during a slow dance that says just once after the music stops there will still be remnants of possibilities. These brief flickers of hope, fleeting moments of triumph are ultimately what lets us survive storms.
Yesterday as I drove to work the rain behind me had stopped and I could see a rainbow in my rearview mirror right above "some objects larger than they appear." It was a splendid Kermit's monument for the faithful - the lovers, the dreamers and me. Later that day, I did not get the good parking spot nor even a small peck from a nice date who I think enjoyed her butter fish entree a little more than the conversation. But I still have few shopping days left.