Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Half Day

I had a half day off work today. Let me explain these half days. At my work we are on Flexitime. We have to rack up 140 hours every four weeks. It's called Flexitime because it's flexible - you can come in earlier or later in the morning, and likewise you can stay later or leave earlier in the afternoon, so long as you rack up those 140 hours every four weeks. These are called Flex periods. Every Flex period you get a Flexi day, which means you can take a day off. You don't get paid for it, but you make it up in time. Most people take whole days, but I like to take two half days. It feels like I'm getting two for one. You see, when I have a whole day off, like on the weekend, I sleep in until midday anyway. I can't get out of bed early if I don't have to. So with two half days, twice a month I haul myself out of bed, go to work, spend the morning doing the mail (which goes by fast since it is pretty much non-stop action) then I'm outta there at lunch time, and have the rest of the day to myself.

So, today I had one of those half days, and what I've been doing lately is taking 'em on Tuesdays because Tuesdays are BUDGET TUESDAY! at the cinema, and since I quit the videogames, and naturally had to replace this habit with another one, and since my last cinema-going phase was about a year ago, I have replaced the games with movies (and books, but for now I'm talking about movies.)

And so, once I'd tied up the bulging mailbags and hauled 'em downstairs for my comrades at Australia Post to collect, I went back up to the office and bid a hearty farewell to the boss and my COLLEAGUE. My COLLEAGUE wished me an enjoyable afternoon while my boss made some grunting sound. She always seems to make a point of it to make sure you understand that she is not pleased about it, you going home so early in the day, even if it's your goddam right and hard worked for privelege. But what the fuck, I don't care, I walk out of the office grinning my damn head off. I walk into the sunshine, spread my arms, the sky is bluer than I can remember. There's a bird up there, flying through that blue sky, and it's free, and so am I!

Oh yeah, I started off aiming to write about the movie I saw on my half day off. Well, I saw Hide and Seek, a thriller starring Robert De Niro and Dakota Fanning. They are father and daughter, the mother kills herself by slicing her wrists in the bath, then father takes daughter to live somewhere else, because the little girl, you see, she didn't handle her mother's death very well, and maybe a new location will help. In the big new house in the woods, the girl gets an imaginary friend called Charlie, and Charlie has got it in for her father, wants to make his life hell, because Charlie believes the father was responsible for mother's death. I'm not giving anything away, if you're worried, and haven't seen it yet. What I will say was that for most of it, I was into it, wondering what the hell was going on, what the hell is Charlie, real or fantasy? Then it got near the end, and you found something out, and it felt disappointing. It could have been more.

But hell, I was in a cinema, early on a workaday afternoon! I'd see the movie again tomorrow if I could leave, to see it, halfway through the day.

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