NOTES: New series. See Part One.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the West Wing or any of its related
characters. Don't sue.
SUMMARY: Different people of the West Wing reflect on their lives so
My day is well underway now, but I'm already tired. Someday I'm
gonna tell Toby what he can do with his stupid punctuation, but in
the meantime, I'll be civil and nice. I guess I'm just tired, sick of
feeling like I'm being pushed around. I know that I'm a valued member
of the senior staff and that Toby is a grouch to everyone, not just
me, but I also realize that I seem to be the kid of the group, I
can't help but wonder if that's how everyone else sees me too...
I like writing. I like my job here, much more than I liked my job
at Gage/Whitney. I like the people, even Toby, and I have fun here. I
also feel so much more like I make a difference. I'm a good guy and I
pride myself in doing a good job in this office. I guess I'm just in
a bad mood today. My sister called. Apparently she's going on
vacation with her boyfriend and she wants me to take care of her kids
while she's gone.
I love my sister, but she can be irresponsible from time to time.
How am I gonna take care of two teenagers?
When I look back on this life of mine, there are these gray areas
in my memory. I wonder how it is that I got this far. When I was
growing up in San Diego, I was more than a little carefree. Now it's
like I'm... gasp, an adult.
It feels damn nice.
I still don't want to take care of my sister's kids for a week.
I'm busy enough for crying out loud.
I sit in my office and I wonder about what the future holds
versus what the past has held. Everything feels like it just got
thrown together at the last minute. My life has just been put
together as it goes, flying by the seat of its pants. I started out
as a kid in California who never stopped reading; I mean, you always
saw me with my nose in a book. I graduated high school at the top of
my class and then headed out for Princeton on the opposite coast from
When Harvard and Princeton played against each other, I don't
remember what sport it was, I went, only because my girlfriend
practically begged me to. While I was there, I met a haggard looking
guy, about six or seven years older than me, and the two of us, bored
by the game, started talking about United States History and the
progression of US law. My girlfriend broke up with me that night,
something about not sharing her interests, but I hardly cared
because, well we didn't share the same interests, and also I had met
the guy who was going to be my best friend forever afterwards.
Josh took me to a coffee shop after she slapped me. We talked for
a long time that night, about all sorts of things. Josh was in
politics by then and he told me that he could see a future for me in
the field. I'd always been interested in politics but I had never
considered a career in it. I was pre-law at the time, and Josh got
the idea into my head. As time went by, he read my writing and even
convinced me to let his boss use one of my speeches. The reality of a
political career was seeming more and more possible.
Then my father died, and Josh and I grew further and further
apart. I got a job at Gage Whitney and Josh started working for the
senator from New York. We wrote from time to time, called back and
forth, but that was that; I was a lawyer and he was a politician. The
line had been drawn. It was erased only three and a half years ago,
and since then, it's been like we were never apart. I'd never
actually worked with Josh before this job, but I swear, it's like
we're two halves of the same whole; he's the ruthless, proud, warrior
half and I'm the quiet, intelligent, artistic half. Together we do
Sometimes my life seems like it's in shambles. My professional
life is stable at least. My personal life is a whole other story.
It's like dominoes, one falls right after another. First it was
Laurie, then I messed things up with Mal (which didn't help me out
with Leo too much), and now it's the strangest thing... I find
myself making excuses to talk to Ainsley Hayes. I'm finding ways to
flirt with a Republican who made me look like an idiot on television.
I hurt for that one. People were making fun of me for a week, and
then she was hired here. I hurt for that one too.
Still, given my track record, I think I'm gonna stay away from
dating for a little while longer. Concentrate on work and all that.
I should call my sister some time today; tell her that I can't
handle two teenagers at this point in my life, even if it is for only
a week. My sister and I haven't been that close since our mother
died. She made such a big deal out of being "an orphan" and got mad
at me when I pointed out that she was 35 years old; At such a point
in her life, it could hardly be compared to being an orphan. We
haven't been at all close since. I believe her accusation was that I
was trashing our parent's memory. However a month later, she calls me
for legal advice on how to get out of some parking tickets, plural,
and now she wants me to take care of her two teenagers so she can go
off to some island with some guy?
I'm still not sure why she never grew up and I did. It's a
Let's see, I have to go to Gentry's tonight to meet Mike for a
drink. I bet if I take Pennsylvania down to fifteenth and then turn
towards K street, I could miss all the traffic that hits fourteenth
at that hour. Or maybe if I head back to seventeenth street, I can
take that to K street, pass Franklin park and then head for Mt.
Vernon... I'm bored, can't you tell?
I have to finish these remarks for the Robbins-Wagner address. I
can hear Toby next door, pacing as he works on the State of the Union
outline. He always has to work on bits of it alone before he lets me
near it. I'll probably see it around three or four today. In the
meantime, I can write this speech in which the President is going to
address two Medicare moguls who are retiring. I'm trying to pull a
Ziegler maneuver where I write a kind-hearted address that has sub-
text telling people what's wrong with their methods and telling them
how they could have made the world better instead of doing stupid,
selfish things in the name of profit, making sure we're not there for
a waste of food.
I've gotten better at speeches like that. Toby must be rubbing
off on me. I don't know if that's good or bad though. Oh, well...
I seem to have forgotten when the staff meeting is. I think we're
having more than one today, which doesn't surprise me. We meet quite
often, especially when there's a State of the Union coming up (Note
to self: Make sure we've been invited). I can't think of anything
that I have to tell them today. Right now I just need to finish this,
but to be honest, my train of thought is elsewhere. I can't seem to
find it, which is how I know that it's elsewhere.
It's the funniest thing: I keep thinking about what Josh said to
me a long time ago, and even though I realize he was being playful,
I've found that those words have stuck with me ever since: "Don't
fall off the boat." I know that he was referring to the fishing boat
and the time that I was trying to reel in a catch, a catch that
happened to be a boot that was caught on the bottom and pulled me
over, but still... Don't fall off the boat.
Those words hit home. They feel similar to those sayings
like "keep your eye on the ball" but still different. It felt like he
was saying "don't blow it, Sam" or "You're a member of the team, now,
Sam; stay on board." Maybe he wasn't saying that, but there was
certainly a little voice inside my head that was interpreting it that
way. I can't blow it; I'm a member of an important staff and I'm a
part of the crew. I can't fall overboard.
I should really get back to writing this. I really don't feel
like it though. I think I'm gonna go get a cup of coffee and maybe
see what Donna is up to. Donna's a good friend. I like her and I'm
glad she works here. She helps Josh keep his life together. I don't
know if anything's going on between those two, and to be honest, I
don't know how I'd feel if there were something. After the big deal
that was made about me and Laurie, I'd be quite interested to see
what would happen if the White House Deputy Chief of Staff were
having a relationship with his twenty-six-year-old assistant. I'm not
against it really; I'm just curious to know what the difference would
I've got my coffee now. That probably means I should get some
work done, regardless of this writer's block. A bad speech is better
than no speech at all, I suppose; at least I can be assured about
it's being bad, rather than nervous about whether or not it's good.
Plus I can get it done a lot faster that way.