End of the day. Friday. That well-deserved time when the boss pulls the birds tail and you slide down that dinosaur tail into your car, pick up a six on the way home to the wife or husband, and you sing on the freeway and don’t care who sees you. That Friday joy when the five-day weight gets lifted and the hardhat sweat retreats for two whole days. It’s a feeling that is on par with finishing a great bowel movement. The week’s pay has been collected. George Thorogood is in the stereo. The bus fare is ready.
The industrial park takes on an appealing hue as the sun shakes its ass to the horizon. You recognize that leaving. The snow on the roof of the plastic plant glows orange and their ancient creaking sign gains a new life for a moment or two. The dirty jeans and steel toes are coming out of their cages and squinting to the western sun. The busses come with a welcome sign and the drop of coins in the fare slot sound like going home music. You tumble onto the bus with Friday on your lap and Saturday in your back pocket. In a few hours the beer will be cracked the candles will be lit the dinner will be served the lawn will be mowed the walk will be shoveled. You’re all about the weekend.
Leaving work on a Friday produces a unique feeling. It’s a far cry from the empty victory of the Monday commute, and it’s much more satisfying than the ‘almost there’ push of Thursday. Something is evoked on Friday afternoon; something that you don’t know how to describe. It’s a feeling of familiarity or remembrance. A feeling that says you’ve done this many times before and somehow you’re glad for it. You don’t know how else to describe it. Perhaps it’s the “joy of routine”; a feeling that sits at the back of your head and pops up for a split-second, only at certain times. Then again, maybe its just as simple as saying to yourself, Christ, am I ever glad I don’t have to wake up tomorrow.
You enjoy Fridays. You get up extra early just so that you can beat the hordes to the coffee shop. If it’s payday, you may even buy a box of doughnuts for the office. You take your time getting to work because you know it’s your last stand for the week; the final eight hours of your intellectual sell out; the loosening of the thumbscrews. Your job feeds the family and puts a roof over your head. Your job makes you appreciate everything else. Your job puts you on par with everyone else. Everything that is not your job gets squeezed through a needle eye at five o’clock on Friday afternoon. The previous five days evaporate. The traffic is bearable. George Thorogood is on the stereo. Weekend, sweet weekend.
StreetRag ::: An Urban Notebook
StreetRag is an urban weblog and podcast about the city of Edmonton, which is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is authored by Edmonton-based writer, web advocate, and poet Michael Gravel and is updated frequently with written urban vignettes, amateurish photographs, deuteronomous audio material, barely coherent musings and rambling ecumenical treatises. StreetRag is a love letter to a lonely prairie burg struggling with its big city ambitions and small-town feel.
The city is Edmonton. It's a subject, not a passion. E-Town is almost universally derided by outsiders as an unlivable tundra wasteland populated by oil-hungry redneck conservatives who despise the arts. All of that is true. But it's not the whole story. There is beauty here. Dusty snowfalls. Brilliant summers. A stunning river valley. A diverse arts community that flourishes. It's a place that inspires a gray relationship - not all good, not all shitty. For that reason alone it is lovable, for what is life but a grayscale?