An Absurd Life

I live an absurd life.  I really do!

I think about that a lot, actually.  The mood strikes me randomly, though it’s usually inspired by some overwhelmingly fantastic view, smell, sound, or experience.  When I’m walking down a narrow street in Old Tbilisi and glance up at the hills reminding me that I’m in the Caucasus, it’s like, Wham! Your life is absurd!

When I’m Skyping Pauli about booking plane tickets and arranging a road trip through central Europe to attend Joanne’s wedding: Ka-Pow! Your life is absurd!

When I turn the second bend on my drive to work and see the turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea splashing along the shore: Shaboom! Your life is absurd!

Wait, what’s that?  Oh, yes.  I live here now:

If you look closely, you can see an airplane coming in for a landing and a large tanker on a delivery!
If you look closely, you can see an airplane coming in for a landing and a large tanker on a delivery!

Yup, my life is absurd.

 

But the long and short of it is that that job I hinted at in my previous post brought me to the endless tropic beauty of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

I moved to New York for a brief stint in the Financial District at our main head quarters.  This was, ostensibly, for training.  Unfortunately our boss didn’t have much time to devote to training us, so it was more a seat-of-your pants type of experience.  In the beginning of January, I flew down to St. Thomas with several colleagues.  We were tired of waiting around for “sometime I’ll have you actually move.”  We were tired of being squatters in our boss’s luxurious Brooklyn brownstone.  We were tired of the uncertainty of our position; our lives are absurd.

We arrived to the island full of verve and eager to launch our several major projects.  After picking up a rental car we followed our ernstwhile host to his B&B on top of the hillside.  There was far too much to accomplish and we didn’t have a single lead on where to start.  The boss was bopping around Barbados somewhere and Morgan had flown to Florida to go digging in the sugar fields, practicing her hand at being a farmer.  We had no office, no business licenses, and no plan for the evening, so we went to a beach on a whim.  Our lives are absurd!

After several weeks of wheeling and dealing, all our initial challenges were resolved.  We had obtained access to our office, furniture for it, and business licenses for both of our start-ups.  Things were starting to look less absurd by the minute!

Look at our beautiful office!  It has gotten only more beautiful in the intervening time.  For example, some of those ceiling holes have been replaced with lights!  Also, one of our plants died....  But that's my desk with the lit lamp and the on-computer!
Look at our beautiful office! It has gotten only more beautiful in the intervening time. For example, some of those ceiling holes have been replaced with lights! Also, one of our plants died…. But that’s my desk with the lit lamp and the on-computer!

Our nail-salon-cum-head-quarters has begun absolutely buzzing with activity as we make phone calls all day long, meet people from shipping companies, the government, tourists, and random passers-by who were curious about the sign on the door.  (It used to say ANGEL NAILS BUSINESS in red letters with the hours of operation.  We scrapped them off until it said “EL BUSINESS” and finally replaced it with the actual name del business.)

Our work could not be crazier.  The boss is like a cyclone, only a little less seasonally predictable.  He’s a master of micromanagement and hypocrisy.  I can’t even begin to share anecdotes because they are too myriad and unbelievable to do him justice.  Also, maybe I won’t give out too many specifics about work here.  Let’s see.

Hey!  Segue!

Because we’ve been relocated to the Caribbean from New York all the random places we were living before, one of the perks is that we get to live in our boss’s house!  This is a bit of a double edged sword.  As I write this, several of my colleagues are making midnight phone calls to Hong Kong.  If the boss doesn’t rest, why should we?  There’s an upshot though:

We live in a centuries-old Sugar Mill.
We live in a centuries-old Sugar Mill.

Sorry, that’s not quite accurate.  When I say “we live in a sugar mill,” what I mean is that Morgan lives in the old sugar mill tower of our enormous estate.  I live behind the pool.

My apartment is around the back of this cabana-y area.  You can see a vine-covered stone wall peeking out of the left side of the photo.  I'm right by that.
My apartment is around the back of this cabana-y area. You can see a vine-covered stone wall peeking out of the left side of the photo. I’m right by that.

Yes.  My life is absurd.

From on top of the mill you can see all the way down to the airport, the town, and beyond!  On a clear day you can even see the islands of St. John, St. Croix (40 miles away!), and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
From on top of the mill you can see all the way down to the airport, the town, and beyond! On a clear day you can even see the islands of St. John, St. Croix (40 miles away!), and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
Our house has some stunning panoramic views of both the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Our house has some stunning panoramic views of both the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Here's the north view out over the Atlantic with my apartment roof and the old Greathouse wall more or less centered.
Here’s the north view out over the Atlantic with my apartment roof and the old Greathouse wall more or less centered.
We can also see Puerto Rico from our house!  I am 99% certain that this is the island of Vieques!
We can also see Puerto Rico from our house! I am 99% certain that this is the island of Vieques!

But you know what?  These photos don’t really do justice to our house or to the absurdity of my life of late.  For the pièce de l’absurdité is absolutely this:

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