it was on fire when I got there.

We had a minor operational fire at work today. The effects weren't awful, but it was an event that we had to manage to prevent a full-on awful crisis. My co-worker is mostly justified in his complaint that this happens when he tries to take a day off, though I will gently remind him of the week he took in May, and the weekends we both took off in July and September, when everything was fine. One of the hazards of the portable internet device our company makes is that it's so damned convenient, so useful and so easy to use that even on our days off we tend to respond to email or instant messages; one guy on the team turns his device off outside working hours for just that reason. But when we get together and drink beer, we inevitably talk about work, at least a little bit. We have to, because at the heart of things, our jobs are fun, and challenging, and we're very smart and wide-ranging people who have trouble finding work that really absorbs, merits, and satisfies our interest. We reject work as who we are, but it is absolutely our craft, and we put into what we do the tremendous care and responsibility that you could expect of anyone who is both artist and artisan.

I must reiterate that I have the absolute most wonderful friends in the world. I don't know what makes us different or what that thing is we all have in common; I've been trying to articulate it since I was a little kid, but I just call it the Freak Gene. All I know is that nowhere in my life did I ever have more than a fraction of the sense of belonging that I found when I came out here.

The anger has dissipated a bit, or mellowed, to a force that I can still use, but doesn't leave me quite so wired I can't sleep. At the proper time, it will occur to me what I need to do differently. I have my suspicions, but there's no need to ruin the surprise by guessing, and besides which I have to really feel the answer inside: I can't just think my way around to something that makes sense, convenient as that would be. It's never quite what I imagine.