Sunday, September 23, 2012

radio silence

i've gotten so used to it already. this steady, non-stop flow of information. it's like a drug you don't need coming through on steady drip until you become dependent on it.

then it just stops.

weeks of explaining upside-down pyramids and information flow charts, of setting up and preparing writers for interviews, of reviewing the pieces that are brought before me and giving honest, no-holds-barred assessments of what i'm seeing.

hours of working on a simple write up of an event with a writer because it's his or her first time. they want to really do well on their piece and i want them to not only learn how to do well on the one that's in front of them, but every one that ever comes across their desk in the future.

moments of weakness, when i think to myself that i'm not qualified for this, and that i don't know enough about the context of the situations i'm investigating, and that there's too much going on to ever capture it all with any sense of assurance that justice was done to every bit of information being presented.

mere seconds between being the one who got the story first and the one who did the follow-up piece.

these are the ways i've been learning to divide my time lately. and even considering the crazed and cutthroat nature of this business, i find the routine of it comforting.

when you're single in this city and aren't of the kind that locks yourself into a click, there's no one really checking up on you to make sure you're still around or that you haven't gotten yourself into something you can't get out of. the constant contact with a team of writers and editors that comes with being the news editor is the closest thing i really have to a safety net these days.

so when i find myself on a quiet weekend, with only a trickle of texting and emailing going on, only a 30 minute phone call here and a single planned check in tomorrow...when i'm sitting in the relative silence of 3 a.m. bushwick on the first day of leaves me anxious and itching for a spark, like an army at defcon five in the middle of a thousand year peace. all revved up with nothing to do, nowhere to go, and no money to waste.

it's really quiet out there tonight. too quiet to sleep.

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