I spend my Monday at thinking about all the things I should be doing—those that working keeps me from and those that keep me working. Should I quit my job before or after Regina’s Liberty Tax job disappears? Should I quit my job before or after I finish my godforsaken book? Is the book forsaken, or am I? Can God forsake you if you deny His existence? How can any fictional character forsake the living? We don’t refer to “Hamletforsaken weather” when our eternal Portland winters drag on into spring. We don’t speak of “Pipforsaken Hell Holes” in Iraq, Brazil, South Africa, America. Jesus didn’t ask, “Frodo Baggins, why hast thou forsaken me?”
If there is a god, has it forsaken me? At one time I deluded myself into believing I could sense the Force—the eternal, uniting principal of all life on this planet—nay, all the living systems of the universe. I imagined I could make myself aware of this principal and literally feel the live around me, a physical presence in my airspace. I can’t imagine that any more. I’ve lost the knack. Skills need practice. Without practice, there is no progression. Without progression, no evolution. No evolution, no survival. I’m up to Voyager’s Fourth Season, the Seven of Nine season, so I occasionally think in Borg. I will adapt. I must survive. The big question is always how?
Do I get the job before I go back to school? Landing a job at the college would generate the greatest amount of reward in this department. Or do I go back to college, securing a job once I know what my class schedule is like? Why am I rattling my brains so much, wasting time on this absurd plan? Enroll in to college to get a job that will secure me cheap prices on college? Does that sound like a good reason to re-enter the American educational system? Is it anything other than a half-baked, bullshit excuse for plan? The last flailing of a desperate man? A wage slave lashing his own back?
I walk down the street thinking about all this. It’s Monday afternoon. Dark clouds hug the tree line like spectators in Persian art, peering over the far horizon with their hooded, rainy eyes. But I’m on 82nd Avenue, walking to the bank, and for the moment I walk in the sun. I pass the crosswalk I cross each day on my morning way to work. I pass the carwash, the Bar and Grill, the newspaper box that I set my coffee on as I pause in the morning.
A man walks up to me as I approach the bus stop where, nine hours ago, I waited for the bus to work. “Hey, man.” He’s a late-twenties, unremarkable man. Taller than I, like most, with dull blue eyes and hair like wet sand. “Do you know where I can score some crystal meth?”
Immediately my brain performed an operation in what I call Narc Calculus, a complex system of logical postulates designed to recognize the Narc from the simply ignorant. Narc Calculus indicated this man was out of his flippin’ mind.
“Nope, ‘fraid not,” I said, not bothering to slow down. I didn’t apologize, as I might have had the man asked me where to buy weed. However, I did have a revelation after I’d walked a block or so.
“Now there,” I said to myself, to God, to the invisible audience that’s followed me around since I became aware of the mechanics of television at age three or four, “there goes a man who’s got his fucking priorities straight. No moral grays in his universe. Nothing but black and white. And I hear Irvine Welsh, author of “Trainspotting” in my head. “When you’re on junk, you’ve got only one worry: scorin.
But when you’re off it, you’re suddenly obliged to worry about all sorts of other shite.” (Translated from the original Scottish.)
For a moment I envy that anonymous methhead his simple, moral clarity. Then I go back to despising him. Fucking methheads.
I love my neighborhood, but goddamnit I hate cities. Human civilization disgusts me. I could never be a sociologist. When it comes to study of human society on a marco level I can’t help but agree with Agent Smith of the Matrix and see parallels between human begins and diseases. Particularly sexually transmitted ones.
And now that I’ve had a horrid, eternal Tuesday, I can’t help but be cynical. Maybe humankind is really planet Earth’s syphilis. We’re certainly know how to crazy up the place. National Weather Services across the globe agree that 2008 will be colder, wetter and stormier than 2007 ever dreamed of being. Thanks La Ninia. Thanks, other humans. When we’re dead and gone, alien historians will probably chisel something like, “They got what they disserved” onto our figurative headstones.
I don't know if you can tell, but I had a horrible day on Tuesday.