Friday, September 19, 2008

The first of the past

Day 1: August 25, 2008
Goodbye Blue Monday

Sometimes in the morning I feel as if I am still drunk. Not after a night of heavy drinking as the haze of inebriation clings and clouds, slowing movements and slurring thoughts. I had two beers last night without the driving force of slight intoxication as a goal, I was simply hot and I wanted to share. In the morning, without a schedule, I find myself forgetting who I am, where I am. Perhaps it is an early onset of senility but it lends itself to an odd introspection. I wonder who and why I am and there is an extended moment of disequilibrium as I worry that I am still asleep.

Today is my first day of unemployment. Self inflicted as I quit my job without another job lined up. I constantly wonder if I am an idiot but I would not have survived much longer at my old job. No English major who loves language and literature should ever attempt a career in data entry. It is interesting for a moment, communicating through numbers, income, expense. The only words written are names and businesses and sometimes a brief explanation to further clarity; communicating meaning using only numbers, organizing the chaos of facts. It was intriguing at first, as if I was learning and creating a new language, but the unbearable weight of an inactive mind begins to hurt after a time.

A mind-numbing office job will teach you that you have a soul.

Every day after work I was exhausted. It was not a physical fatigue as I had been sitting at a desk all day. I have spent most of my life doing physical labor and though I would end every day tired and sore, there was energy in the excitement of freedom and hope in the possibility of an evening full of actions of my own choosing. I may be over-exaggerating the pleasures of physical labor and waxing romantic as most are wont to do of the past, I think I usually just went home and had a couple of drinks while watching TV or playing video games or some such nonsense until I felt like falling asleep, but at least when you labor physically, you sleep well.

Neither was I mentally tired. I usually had one ear tuned to NPR while I woodenly entered datum, simply to maintain my sanity. The ladies at work always thought that I had music coming to me on my headphone and I was not about to disillusion them. They were very conservative republican types who view the type of informative world news I enjoy as liberal drivel and I would probably not have been allowed to listen if they had known what I was tuning in to.

Anyway, utter exhaustion without physical or mental fatigue proved to me that I had a soul, and that my job was killing it. Also, I knew that I had to quit when I realized that the greatest passion at that point in my life was the passionate hatred for my job (not to mention that they are currently getting severely audited by the federal government, and my moral opposition to some of the practices and procedures). I am not one to often be called emotionally healthy but even I could see that my situation must change.

And so today is the first day of my self inflicted exile from the working population. No more of the 9 to 5er’s anthemic woes. Fuck you Dolly Parton, earning fame through the catchy statement of fact as capitalism ossifies hopes and dreams in the stale necessity of monetary success. Sorry, it’s not your fault. I am full of bile.

My hope is to write, reversing the atrophy built up by my laziness and apathetic misuse of my own soul. I do not plan to start a blog, seeking validation in publication (also it must be noted that I am A: Chickenshit and B: Driven by a desire to reject that which is obviously popular, which is probably just an excuse based on a fear that my words will simply add to the sea of impotent vitriol and talentless passion. Also, I do not have internet). This is not to say that I will never post these. I believe that if the most beautiful poem ever created was destroyed unread, it would be devoid of all beauty and if the most insightful truth ever thought of went uncommunicated it would be utterly meaningless. Thus, writing to an audience of zero is as masturbatory as prolifically publishing incessant nonsense. Moreover, I am vain and believe that I am a fairly decent writer and my narcissism desires affirmation.

I do not want to state a goal for myself beyond writing, lest I open myself to the possibility of failure (or, to be honest, the even more terrifying possibility of success). I want to want to write. Perhaps for catharsis, perhaps because I believe that I glimpse a scintilla of Truth you can’t access and in exorcising my own reality I will be allowed to create and communicate that truth to you.

Thus I enter the wilderness, attempting to glut myself on the locusts and wild honey of the stories I have gathered often recited, never written, clothed in the skins of wild thoughts, living off the fat of my past.

The abrupt vista of possibilities threatens to send me into a catatonic rage, so to stave off hopelessness and depression, I will do my chores: Go to the DMV for new tabs and to register to vote, go to the post office to change our mailing address, go to Les Schwab and get my tire fixed, go to the old apartment to clean it so we can get our deposit back, and finally, look for a new job because I am too afraid to simply write.


Addendum of actual happenings Day 1:

Woke up around 7 am watched wife get ready for first day of class.

7:30 am made coffee set ottoman on deck, used empty cooler as desk. Wished I had a camera, beautiful picture: coffee, mug, press pot, book, cigarettes, etc.

7:45-8:30 am read half of “Life after God” excellent read, gave me the perfect balance of melancholic introspection to write (not too depressed, not too excited about life to hinder reflections)

8:30-10:45 am wrote though the last 45 minutes or so very little written: too much caffeine and not quite enough drive.

11:00-12:00 Fixed bike while heating up a burrito. Very difficult to fix bike as hands were shaking with far too much caffeine.

12:00-3:00 rode bike to post office then to DMV. Crashed on the way to DMV. Awkward crash, did a sort of belly flop over the handlebars. Managed to scrape both the palm of my left hand and road rash the back of my left forearm. Not sure how I managed that. Deep tissue bruise/ serious Charlie horse in left thigh. Leg very sore, feel a little gimpy but was mostly just embarrassed at my unskilled dismount. Picked up a new tire from bike shop and headed home.

3:41 Current time, had two messages from old job they can’t find anything, implied that I took some files with me. Called back and left message. Made myself a gorby, we didn’t have any cups so I used an old soda bottle from my car. Pleasant. Now must clean.

4 comments:

Lauren said...

hey andrew. i was lurking in the blog world and found yours. i am that creepy i suppose. i hope you do not mind if peter and i indulge in your ramblings. hope all is well with you guys. though we miss all in redding... it is only the people that we feel a loss for. portland has treated us better then redding had.

mme. bookling said...

Accolades for the self-proclaimed narcisist who thinks he's a good writer but wants to make sure:

Favorite Phrases:
1. "I wonder who and why I am and there is an extended moment of disequilibrium as I worry that I am still asleep"

2. "the unbearable weight of an inactive mind begins to hurt after a time." I feel this actutely right now.

3."Driven by a desire to reject that which is obviously popular" - why couldn't this sentiment kick in with your stupid harry potter? for fuck's sake.

4. "add to the sea of impotent vitriol and talentless passion" i am going to be hypersensitive here and say THANKS. but i know better than to assume you meant me because i am actually quite talented...so i actually have to agree. how do you do that? always swimming circles around my logic? fuck.

4. gorby? wtf.

you are one of my favorite people in the worlds.

Kooy To The World said...

Gorby=a mix of stout and lager to create a tastey (becuase of the stout) and refreshing (because of the lager) beer. Also a good way to stretch your delicious stouts.

I am not sure if you are making fun of me or not, but I am okay with either.

mme. bookling said...

isn't that a black and tan?