Monday

I pulled up to an intersection today, and I wondered, “What’s next?” I mean - I knew where I was going at that moment. I was going to Walmart. I needed a tarp, trash bags and a stop watch. I needed these things for this murder I was planning. Ha. No. The tarp is for our bikes outside, to keep them dry. The trash bags are for trash. The stopwatch is to get into better shape by walk/running a set distance more and more quickly. If you wore a stopwatch constantly, and you timed yourself doing everything you do, would you gradually become quicker and quicker and more efficient in all the things that you do? Would that really help? Would that bring you to your dying day more quickly? Or you’d just fit more in before you die? That’s just morbid and sarcastic of me to say. But what if you did carry around a stop watch and just know how much time you spent doing everything? You know?

I had pulled up to an intersection and wondered what was next, even though I knew what was next - what was next immediately was Walmart - I just didn’t know what was next in the way of 1. a job, and 2. writing, and obviously the two would never ever be one and the same even though I wish they would be. I am having a tough time finding a job, a real job, a job to earn a little ‘right now’ money so’s I can start paying bills, instead of living off savings, the majority of which is not at all money I have saved, but money inherited, money from the proceeds of the sale of mom and dad’s house, and mom and dad always said: Use it for your own house some day (which still may be possible) but for now it is paying for me to wait around for fickle HR people to judge my life up to this point and my potential . . . I tried this one job. I went one day, but I did not make it back the next day. I made up a fantastic lie to tell the people because some of them - I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, I cared enough to at least make up a lie, and I also wanted to try to stall a bit. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to quit outright, so I made this crazy spontaneous decision on the way to the job - I told them I got in a wreck, but that I was okay but my car was mangled (a car bought mostly with inheritance money, though my dad said specifically, don’t go buy some fancy car with the house money, I bought a 99 Taurus with just under 60,000 miles on it), and so I wouldn’t make it in . . . like . . . any time soon . .. or something . . . and then I didn’t know what I meant - what I was doing - why I was even calling them. . . and even as I was saying this outlandish story into their voice mail system and hesitating here and there in my amazing account and staring across this field which had the occasional clump of palm trees and a bulldozer already kicked up dust a couple of miles into this vast field and a garbage truck idled nearby (and it stunk) and already the heat distorting the vista and making it tough to breath, so that I am gulping between syllables of the lie - even as I said this fantastic lie into the phone, it already started to sound ridiculous, and then I hung up and just drove around tripping out about how weird it was for me to have done that. And then I got a Sausage McMuffin from McDonalds and unwrapped it and set it on the seat and just looked at it. “Accounting, maybe,” I thought. Maybe I should go back to school for accounting. Because, you see, this thing I wrote and sent to this journal - I have not heard back yet, and I put everything into it, everything I have, it was my best try, and I, at one point in writing it, mused that I would not write stuff anymore if this thing didn’t hit, because this was my whole life - my life’s most poignant moments (I thought), this was also my creativity completely maxed out completely - flown as high as I could fly it, this was craft in my best understanding of it - utilized to the best of my ability, my very best try at my most likely niche, and now I don’t know where to start up again - I mean this was it, and it is a major let down - I don’t know for sure, but it seems like it’s been much too long. And I can’t find a decent job. And Florida is not as terrific as I had hoped, it’s not paradise, and the other day I thought, “Woah, what if I just fuckin died and shit,” not that I want to die, but life just seems like nothing but a fuckin goddamn worthless struggle and for what? I ain’t got no friends and so the only human contact I get is the fuckin finger from some guy in traffic or some dummy standing breathing distance on my neck behind me in line at Walmart and my only victory today was judging which line would go the quickest at Walmart, which is a fuckin rare accomplishment indeed.

16 comments:

pomedome said...

Hey Florida sucks and so does feeling friendless. Anywhere sucks when seen through hurt eyes.
Good new look to th' blog.
Thanks for the coms. Thanks for making the effort. I'm gonna keep on...

JR's Thumbprints said...

Whoa! Bobby, things can't be that bad. Don't try Michigan for a job, our unemployment rate is the 2nd highest of all the states. Keeps me in business though--more and more people are coming to the old bed and breakfast (aka, prison). Hang in there. Out of curiousity, which journal are ya speaking of? --Jim

Jane Doe said...

Hey, I'm just a new lurker to your blog, as the saying goes.

I thought this saying might be of help to your question of struggling through life and for what?

"Life is a lot like a fish. After awhile it starts to stink"

God bless pessimistic friends.

Interesting blog :)

buck savage said...

hey. no. do not let disappointment become failure here, bobby. you've got a voice. you've got heart. and i'm sorry but you are not an accountant.

your stuff hits hard and lingers. you KNOW all the guys worth reading experienced years of uncertainty and rejection. bukowski still doesn't even rate for literary academics. who could deny bukowski? who could overlook the myth?

"I was thinking about this: People like me (and I think people like you) have to be sad sometimes. We have to experience it and be there because we're the ones who have to write it. We have to go crazy and back again and crazy because this is the cause we're stuck with. That's corny, isn't it?"

no. it's the truth. from the fingers of an epic writer, you know.

keep the faith, bobby. roll your chin down on to your chest. ball your fists. keep fighting. xx

Bobby said...

Hey, Pomedome, good to see you man. I guess I need to let my eyes heal. And I need to keep up with my old buds who seem to operate on a startlingly similar wavelength too ...

Mr. Thumbprints, I'd go to Michigan just for the prison educational programs - from what I hear, they are top notch! Your blog has really floored me man. Ducts.org is the name of that one. I discovered it and went back repeatedly until I'd read just about everything there - the works there were so gripping. But it's probably a case of the following: The writers featured there tell such great accounts of their lives - so easy to relate to - because of such great skill - they make it look easy, but it's not. Yeah, it's a case of that.

Hi, Revolutionary. I'm going to read your blog now. I've already started, as I type this. Yes, I'm going to be reading your blog.

Buck. You know me: You know me You know me You know me You know me. Some day, we'll share a delicious order of brains and we'll play the board game known as Life ... and we'll drink tea ... and we'll go cover to cover through a book of madlibs, and we'll paste the results to the inside of phone books ... and we'll call radio stations and make weird requests and run weird ads in the classified

Dave said...

Bobby - Ouch. But honest wrestling with feelings like these, and not trying to cover them up with some feel-good pablum, is what makes a good writer into a great one. (Well, that and a whole lot of day-in-day-out toil.) I hope you're not serious about betting everything on the response from one journal. What about the responses of us, your faithful readers? Keep on keepin' on, man.

Bobby said...

Thanks Dave. You're right, and I will.

R's Musings said...

That's right, Bobby. Just keep going, keep putting your voice out there. I personally don't think it matters much what job you have to make money; whatever you do, though, put your heart into it, live it, and write about it. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and others may judge me because of it, but I don't see myself as a less-than writer because I don't struggle much financially in my day-to-day life. Struggles come in many varieties, all worthy of exploring and understanding. If accounting's the way to get you through, so be it. Life requires creativity AND reason. You be the judge of what you need and meet those needs the way you see fit...no judgment here! Take care and good luck with the job-hunting! --Robin

Anne said...

Umm. Don't die, OK? I dunno what I'd do, and I don't care to think about it right now.

I read online about a good exorcise program. Start with 5 minutes of regular walking, 5 minutes of power walking and then 5 minutes of regular walking to finish up. Then, every week, just add 3 minutes to the power walking part and you'll slowly get to the amount of walking you need to do daily. So, I'm doing it. I'm actually doing it. I think the thing isn't to just BE there, just GET there. It's not a race. Life is life. Life is about getting there, and once yer there, yer dead. What use is that? None.
So I think what you are doing now, the searching, the writing, the thinking, IS life. It IS where you are supposed to be right now, and what you are supposed to be doing. You have time to do what you want to do. You have time.

And, writers write. That's what we do. Just because we've not been published doesn't mean we aren't writers. We can't stop writing. Even if we think it's shit, we have to put it down. We have to put it out there. You'll get to a point where (even if you don't want to) you'll need to write again. It IS like a fire in the belly. Dunno who said that, but it's true. It's fine to take a break if you are discouraged, but you won't ever stop. Not completely.
Least, I hope you won't. You are too good.

The Mighty Kat said...

You know what they say: if you can't say nothing nice, come sit next to me. You've got a lot of chairs pulled up around you. Why do we enjoy your incredibly candid, often sour and entertaining outpourings? Not only because they're well-written, but because you go to the core of each of us. You are the voice of the human condition, but also the man for your time and day (Lebowski). An accidental spokesman. I don't know what we'd do if you fell ass-backwards into luck.

P.S.
Have some chocolate. and stopwatches are addictive.

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michelle said...

I want to write something really inspiring like those comments above me, but my creativity is completely maxxed out too. Something about being in one place too long. Still hoping this job will come through, maybe that will revive it.

Maybe you've been there too long. Or not long enough. I still don't get it - why Florida? Go to where the friends are. Go to where the jobs are. Go to where the happiness is. Just go. Just get in that car you just got... and go. Drive till you find it. That's what I would do. Yep. If it were just me, I'd go now.

Bruce Hodder said...

Good entry, Bobby. I agree with the others: this kind of honesty is what makes human connections important--because you can bet nine out of ten people reading it have felt the same at one time or another. So you confess, I read something that legitimises my own feelings and we all feel better! Never met a human being who wasn't a mass of lonely confusion, though most people are scared to admit it.
And it's hard to slot a three-dimensional personality into the world of work, where your personality is expected to have two dimensions at best. I don't think anything worthwhile to the essential human being can be gained from doing it either. All yu get that you can use is money for rent.

Cupcake Man said...

bobby this is fuckin hilarious. thanks