It's not me, it's You
Tuesday is “Meeting Day”. I'm still unemployed, and every morning, I sift through e-mails and phone calls about potential job prospects that haven't amounted to spit. After waking up, stiff from eating the wrong foods and staying up late, I pour my cereal and drink my cowboy coffee, half asleep, half waiting while still hoping for a different life to come in through my door than the one I wound up with, the one everything I'm doing is leading me further into.
At 8 in the morning my neighbor bangs on my door. She drank too much and needs some aspirin. I smile, obligingly and go to retrieve the pills for her, enduring her narcissistic rants and vague complaints about the system and her life in general.
Like everyone else that lives here, I know “the system” sucks, but the last thing I want to do is talk about it endlessly while watching TV, drinking beer and eating shit. She invites me to watch TV with her, I lie and tell her I'm too busy.
I tell myself to be patient, but she isn't getting the feeling that I want her to leave. I concoct a job interview and tell her I'm not interested in dating- “it's not you, it's me”. The fourth time I've told her this.
I throw my dishes into the dishwasher without washing them and look over my calendar. It's blank except for a few words that were printed there. It's one of those annoying inspirational calendars.
It reads: “I wish you a difficult life. An easy life brings no satisfaction.”
Half of me wants to believe this, knowing that the best things I've ever had in life were hard won, but half of me doesn't know what I'm fighting for anymore. Half of me just wants to stick an ice pick in the face of the fucker who made this calendar. But then again, I'm too fucking tired to care.
After running and going to the support group that I've been going to for the last eight months, it's back to looking for work. Craigslist. Indeed. Monster. The Wanted Ads. The Employment Boards. Cold Calling. I do it all. It's just there hasn't been too much luck lately and so I sit in Starbucks and wait, interrupted only by intermittent diarrhea.
Some days, when the sun shines just right and after I've drunk too much coffee and depleted my cache of job prospects, I take some time to write. I reminisce about the time a long time ago when I used to dream that one day, everything would make sense. But after I can't count how many rejection letters, I know it won't amount to spit. I'm chasing a dream that doesn't exist anymore and yet life keeps going on.
I leave Starbucks in mid thought. On the long walk home, I smoke a j. I'm feeling relaxed and not worrying too much when I spot my old friend Brian who has taken my ambivalence a step further and now sleeps in his van, permanently.
I share the last few puffs of my j with him. We sit and laugh about what life has brought us, saddened by the seemingly inevitable decay of society into a shitty dictatorship, replete with pollution and bad TV.
I tell him drinking is bad for his health. He laughs hysterically. I can't help but laugh, too. I buy him a beer and walk the rest of the way home.
Arriving back in my apartment, I scan the calendar. It's only February. There are ten more months to this year. Most likely forty or more years to my life unless I commit suicide.
There's a light flashing on my answering machine. I listen to the message. It's a garden store calling in for an interview. Not my first choice, but I'm not as excited as I know I should be.
I sigh in self pity and look at my board of pictures. Family. Friends. Dreams. Things that should matter. I tell myself: One day at a time and laugh at the hilarity of saying an “A.A.” slogan while high.
I have no idea what I'm doing.