So we have a community, I guess that means we're finishing this goddamned book if it kills us (or mainly, you, since i don't have to rly do anything for another month).
So back to writing....
have fun at lunch.
It’s a shitty, humid day in early September, and The Girlfriend and I are sitting outside at a restaurant of her choice in celebration of something trite, sappy and mawkish like an anniversary or whatnot. It’s completely uncharacteristic reasoning on both our parts, but The Girlfriend has gone on a new spiritual cleansing and needs to make amends with me. Maybe she’s an alcoholic; I wasn’t really listening.
Right now, however, she is lecturing me for not using my napkin, like the proper orangutan she knows I am inside.
“It’s just a fucking napkin,” I say. “It doesn’t matter if I itch my mouth with or without it attached to my hand.” My words are a little snarled as they leave my mouth; overly angry. Other people in this sidewalk restaurant are turning around to see what’s happening, like we’re the fucking soap opera of their daytime TV.
“If you wipe food from your mouth, you should use a napkin!” she restates.
“And when I do that, I will!” I argue. “I wasn’t wiping food from my mouth, I was just itching it. I had a fucking itch, ok?!”
I realize I’m probably a little more upset than the situation should call for. There is a pause between us that’s loud with tension and barely-caught accusations.
“What the fuck is the matter with you today?” she quietly yells at me.
“Nothing,” I not-so-quietly yell back.
“Why are you making a scene for these people?” she indicts me. “No one here thinks you’re a good guy. You kept me waiting fifteen minutes. I called you three times.”
“And I’m sure they know that.”
“They saw me waiting by myself.”
“Whatever. I don’t even give a fucking shit what these fucking affluent socialites think of me. And I certainly don’t care what they think of how I itch myself. I can fucking stuck my hand up my shirt and itch myself all day long if I want.”
I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore.
I lost my job today.
techTron went under. Budget constraints were dragging the company down, investors were losing all faith in the final product (if there even was going to be a final product), and the whole thing stank of poor leadership or a money laundering scheme that likewise turned sour.
It has not been a good day – it hasn’t really been a past two months. The stresses and anxiety of work have taken their toll on me. I’m sullen, unhappy and whiney.
It feels like my dreams have gone down the drain with this company. I’ve lost the best thing I ever had. I lost my stability. I lost the thing I depended on the most. And not even because I fucked it up, but because some asshole who graduated from three different schools with more degrees than I could hang on a wall fucked it up for me. It’s not even my mistake. It’s not fair.
The whole day reeks of life, and not in the good sense of living, but the homeless, unwanted, problematic smell of death and dread.
This fucking city and its denizens. Its fucking way of life.
I don’t know why I naturally blame the city. But it’s at times like these I feel like I contribute to the mood of it. Like those websites that have “the Internet is feeling: tired right now” on the front pages, because some asshole webdesigner somewhere thought it would be funny to personify the Internet.
I could have been that asshole if I hadn’t just wasted three years of my life at techTron, only to be fucked over with no benefits, no health insurance, no parting package, just a boarded-up door on the building where I’d spent 16-hour days for the last two months trying to make someone else’s dream come true so I could keep eating.
These motherfucking cunts just make me want to cry from disillusionment and disappointment. I feel like I’ve been dumped. Betrayed. Abandoned. Gutted. I’m severely offended at this hand life has dealt me. It’s shitty; it’s fucking shitty.
As I open my mouth to tell The Girlfriend this, she starts, “Jackson, it’s one thing to act childish in private, but in public, you should act like the civilized baboon that I know you are deep down.”
“Fuck this,” I say quietly.
I stand up, fold my napkin purposefully over my chair, and walk out. On my way out, I take care of the check, and then I walk home. It’s a long walk, but I have on sneakers, so my feet are okay. The Girlfriend yelled at me for wearing sneakers as well.We seem to be lacking the spark that generated interest in the earlier months. We’ve been together five months, and I have one of those new-founded respects for married couples that reach their golden anniversaries together.
Meh. Don't know how I feel about this shit.
I'm trying to think what else needs to be explained/covered. More about Jackson's job, I guess. What's the name of the company he works for now? Do you want me to write like, the interview there? Or...? I guess it's kind of explanatory.
“What do I do now, Amp?” I ask her.
My pure-white cat came inside today soiled and stained with dirt and mud caked into the roots of her fur. She seemed quite proud of herself. Now I’m rubbing her with a damp towel that I would normally use to dry myself when I come out of the shower. She also seems to be enjoying the attention, as if I don’t pay her enough attention.
“What would make you want to romp around in the mud?” I question in disbelief.
I throw the dirty towel into a large sack of other dirty clothes that I need to wash this weekend, and then sit down on the couch.
“Amp.” I say her name and she looks up at me.
“I have something to tell you,” I start.
“Come here.” I pat the cushion next to me, and she jumps up and makes herself at home with her two paws on my hip and closes her eyes and purrs as I scratch under her chin.
“I lost my job today, baby,” I say.
She keeps purring, and I don’t know what I realistically expected her to do. Give me a guilt trip, or yell and scream like The Girlfriend. Something more than act like it’s nothing.
“Sometimes I forget you’re just a cat,” I say. “Not to be insulting.”
She keeps purring and I pet her all night until I fall asleep on the couch.
When I wake up in the morning, I realize there’s nowhere for me to go. I realize there’s nothing else for me to do but move on. And no one to help me do it.
I figure I should find myself a job so that we can keep eating. Not having a high school degree really sucks at times like these. techTron to a chance on me, hiring me based on my supposed skills and the weird connection I felt with my interviewer the first time we met. I am infinitely lucky that I got a job there in the first place, and I owe them all my loyalty. But however dedicated I was to the company, I am now jobless , incomeless, and just shit out of luck.
Through no fault of my own.
I pace around my room, leaving tracks in the rug and drinking all the orange juice in the fridge. I put in two loads of laundry and sit on the dryer while they’re drying. I sit and think about what the hell I’m going to do.
Spurred by the heat under my ass, I grab the paper and look through the wanted ads. I can submit my resume to one of those secretary-fill-in places; a temp agency.
I have more than enough money to last me comfortably for a few months (or even more) and my rent is up to date and I’m not in any immediate danger. But without a job, without a habit to fall back on, without something to keep me going day to day, I feel lost.
I grab a pencil and start circling anything that looks promising.
I feel like I’ve been ostracized from utopia; I’m Dante, and there is no more Florence. Fucking Eve ate the apple and now I have to suffer. I refrain from sticking my head in the oven. I’ll figure something out.