Friday, 14 Apr 2000

BERKELEY, Calif.

I spent all day stuffing envelopes in a valiant attempt to get out 100 massive packages of brochures and posters — and then found out that the post office closes at 4:00, not 5:00, so I’ll have to wait until Monday to mail them all.

For the last few weeks I’ve been in that unbearable state of existence where when you get woken up from sleep only for a little bit, hundreds of thoughts begin to spin through your head about everything that you should really be awake and working on.

Photo: Dave Harris, &copy 2000.

I had a nightmare last week that only a handful of people showed up for each of our events, almost all of which were friends of mine, or the specific people who I’d told we’d have huge crowds. Maybe it was a dumb idea to keep accepting new workshop leaders after we got one for each 90-minute block. Maybe it was even dumber when I let each block make it up to six events. The dumbest thing was probably just not thinking enough about how many people really want to learn about this kind of thing.

I see posters all the time for events I’d love to go to, but can never make it. I really hope that’s not how Earth Week ends up — that week at Berkeley with the cool brochure that I didn’t have time to make it to. It seems like there’s not a single college student I know who really has time to do anything more than what they’re already doing. I really hope I’m just entering a temporary state of unneeded stress attacks, and that hundreds of people already have their calendars marked and can’t wait to come to Earth Week.

Photo: Dave Harris, &copy 2000.

I’m leaving this diary at a juncture that, as I mentioned in an earlier column, will probably have an incredible impact on where I end up in life. I’m about to embark on the most insane two weeks of my life. My dad offered me his cell phone yesterday, to borrow for Earth Week. It felt like some kind of sick rite of passage — son follows father into the world of electronic prosthetics so that his life can revolve around missed deadlines, constant connectedness to the powers that be, and the endless pursuit of increased productivity.

The sad thing is that despite the hundreds of disparaging comments I’ve made in my life about cell phones, pagers, Palm Pilots, and the like, I really was tempted to take that phone. Tempted to dive into a world that will fly by me in a fit of blurred neon and spinning sirens and dump me on the sidewalk at age 40 wondering what happened. The only consolation is that over the course of that harried voyage, I just might be able to slow down the whirlwind a little bit and send it headed in a slightly different direction.