Thursday, 22nd, April, 2011. A busy day, I was only manning one shot today but it was keeping me fully occupied. With speed I reached for the pallet and taking a stack of 6 boxes I put them on the table next to the shoot. With one smooth motion I rip off a sheet of plastic and with a flourish glide it over the box and make it square on top, then with a pinch, the very same sort of pinch one might pick a peck of pepper with I pluck up from its station on the table a sheet of hard plastic, inlayed are indents which will serve as a bunk for a kiwi fruit. Once plucked I put this sheet on top of the box and ram it home until it is firmly wedged into the box, Then I pry from the other boxes this finished product and rotating it as I move it I send it long ways along the green conveyer belt. This belt travels under the bridge which is the main conveyer belt that sends the Kiwi fruit to the packers. And so it was box after box, hour after hour without a stop to the rush.
Like most intense states I only noticed how in the zone I was when I began to exit it. The line finally began to slow and I watched as my body kept moving independent of my thoughts. I have developed muscle memory for this job.
Alex, a short muscle man from Chilly came and asked me a question about English grammar while we experienced a well needed lull, as I answered his conundrum I thought how like a Latin Ben Stiller he was. He boasted that he never drinks or smokes and always eats well. “You can look like me one day if you try really hard” he laughed as he pulled up his shirt to revel a set of chiseled abdominal muscles. Alex has been living the hard life of a double shifter. Today I saw him sit down occasionally head in hands, he had worked all yesterday day time and night time and now on his second day he was feeling the fatigue. I asked Alex about his state of mind, I remember on the occasions I have stayed awake for long period of time I would enter a other worldly state were everything looks strange, eyes wide, breathing is hard like the air is thick, shots of nerves energy pulse through tired tingling veins. Blotchy shapes shift around the outer view, emotions run high then quickly descend into anger or depression. It’s an interesting thing to try, utter exhaustion. When you really cannot get enough of life, when you just don’t or won’t go to bed, pushing the boundaries of your body until you’re a shaky object very near collapse. Alex told me he hallucinated a bit and felt unusual.
The lull was short lived and served to make me realize how tired I was rather than to relieve me of my tiredness. The day eventually ended, after the end of day ritual of cleaning I prepared to run home, it was raining and with the memory of my sodden shoes from my wet run last week I thought better of it and took the bus home with Sarah.
I went through a leg busting work out when I got home. Out in the dark under the covered barbecue area I squatted, twisted kicked lunged and flung my legs about like a kangaroo. Bessy and Milo the black Labrador mother and son duo where in the garden as I exercised. They ran around me, into me. I very nearly took Bessie’s head off on a few occasions and twice I managed to step on Milos paw. He was very good about it, not even showing pain he kept standing in the same place, watching me and wagging his tail. I had forgotten how lovely Dogs are. Our family used to have a golden Labrador, I had forgotten about that way they play with a foot ball, pawing at it with uncontrollable excitement, their bodies convulsing with the sheer joy of play. The way they try every angle to fit their jaws around the ball and how eventually they draw their lips back and nibble at it frantically, like someone eating sweet corn. Of course the ball usually fails to keep its air. The football in the garden lasted as long as my work out, after half an hour the ball was no longer proving such a mouthful, Miko had somehow deflated it and he was now thrashing it about in his mouth.
So tired, I felt warm and after my work out I sat on the sofa and read my book, fighting the epic urge to fall asleep. Reading a few lines and with a quick review finding out I didn’t know what I had just read. Reading again and taking a yawn, I rest my eyes for a moment. Like a light switch they shut and there is blissful darkness. Then to open them again, like trying to light a fire with wet wood, the task is difficult and involves resolve and effort, they open again and I try and read some more.
Sarah and I have been having some small problems with Jorine and Candy so we all sat down and had a chat about the rules of the house, we had dent done this before and in hindsight it was an error. Sarah stated the rules that once a week we should clean the house, that when one of use is going to work the others should stay out of the kitchen and bath room and she told them where their cleaning effort were falling short. Candy was apologetic but Jorine I could tell didn’t like being told what to do. I could sympathize but really if people are to live together in harmony rules must be set out. I was very impressed with Sarah’s firm but friendly way of clearly setting out the rules. I find doing even the smallest bit of confrontation hard but she managed it very well.