The Graduate

Today began on Continental flight #369, seat 14B (the middle seat, a.k.a. “riding bitch”), arriving Newark, New Jersey, from Las Vegas, Nevada. I fell asleep just moments after takeoff (23:00 PT), and slept soundly until just seconds before landing (7:00 ET). I staggered off the jetway, stumbled zombie-like to Starbucks, grabbed my bag, got my car, and slept all the way to 56th & Tenth.

I dragged my bags upstairs, walked into my apartment (‘Nice place,’ I thought to myself), and lay down for a 45 minute power nap before work. I slept longer than I planned, woke in a flurry and walked bleary-eyed to work. There, nausious from unrest, I attempted to blend into my surroundings and get back to the day-to-day of MTV News. Meanwhile, on CNN, Baghdad fell.

I’m home now. My apartment is clean and quiet. It’s dark outside, still cold like winter. I’m spent.

I was exhausted with Las Vegas by the time I left last night. I was tired of talking about business models, revenue streams, broadband, wi-fi, gigabites, leveraging assets, digitizing video, on demand, in demand, MTV, CNN… you get the idea. I mean, I asked for it; I asked to go. I wanted the weekend. I wanted the sunshine. I wanted the morning run in Red Rock Canyon. And, to be fair, I wanted the career experience.

The National Association of Broadcasters experience reminded me of one thing: “The Graduate.” Mr. McGuire says to Benjamin, “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? … Plastics.” I mean, that’s it. That’s all there is.

Some guys sell LED news tickers. Some guys sell coaxial cable. Some guys sell nonlinear video editing software. Some guys sell plastics. Me (by day, that is, ‘cuz you can always buy a record to support the alternative), I sell editorial content, aka the stuff between the ads. And that’s crass, and oversimplified, and maybe a little pessemistic (which I think I should be afforded on account of exhaustion), but fundamentally, that’s it.

And so I tell myself that this is growing up, this is adulthood, this is why they call it work. And I look forward to those moments when the air is cool and fresh, the sky is blue and streaked with sun, my heart is bursting from speed, my legs burning from pace, and my mind clear for the peace.

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