It's almost 8a.m., but you don't have to worry about time and stupid things like that. It's your day off. You've earned today- punching in and out at your shitty day job, keeping you from the so-called "important" things in life while you sell the hours of time you have on this planet to further some other person's dreams, providing comfort to someone else's family while you cry yourself to sleep at the fragile security and paper thin well being of your own. THIS, is YOUR day! Rejoice! Sleep as long as you want and deny the existence of the rest of the world for as long as you are physically able. Things will never get better than this warm moment, inside the only world that allows you control absolute.
And then, like a C-Section to the womb of dreams, you are brutally ripped from the cocoon of imagination and wonder. That place that helps piece together what sanity fragmented bits you've squirreled away into a puzzle that doesn't quite match the image on the box, but makes you feel close enough to passing that nobody else will notice.
There's a noise echoing through the walls of your house that sounds like a screaming machine. The sound of some terrible mechanical beast gaining self awareness and crying out against the horror of being born into knowing all of the world all at once. It idles for a moment, like the machine found a place to sit and sob quietly to itself for a moment and then angrily bellows through the walls again- shaking the glass by your head and flinging you finally out of your bed and into action. Throw on some clothes or don't, it doesn't matter. Once the machines have started gaining self-awareness, you know it's only a matter of time before they realize that they can do it better. But not with us in the way- oh no! They need to get us out of the picture fast! And maybe wear our skins like tuxedos made of people and throw robot parties where they dance around in our loose hanging flesh over their rigid robot exteriors, dancing like morons, mimicking the race they destroyed during the Almighty Robot Revolution!
If you are absolutely lucky, it is not the beginning of the Almighty Robot Revolution. In fact, it's probably just a lawn technician and his crew performing tree shredding at sun up, decimating the other forms of organic life that threatened to rise up from the Earth and reach out to the sun. Sorry little cherry blossom tree, but you and all the other Icarus-ian (Icarus-ish? Icarusi? You know- the little bitch looking angel kid with melty wings? Anyways-) all you bee fuckers need to take a hike! That's right! I know how you get those blossoms to open up so nice for you with all that sweet talking bee jive you've been spreading, you cross species fornicating heathens! The Republicans were right! We barely legalize gay marriage and now I have to deal with bees that fuck trees?! WHERE IS THE LINE?! ALL IS NOT RIGHT IN THE WORLD! And the only way to properly sneak up on you all unawares like, obviously, is at 8 in the God damned morning! So a neighborhood full of hard working tax payers sacrifice their dreams, spreading the blood of their nocturnal imaginings on the Altar of Arboreal Haircuts. (Well, mostly good tax paying citizens- except the meth headed no good neighbors across the way that burn those "incense" that waft into my apartment smelling like bleach and electrical fires. You know who you are. In Apartment C- in case the police are reading this and want to wake me up on my next day off to the sounds of doors being bashed into splinters and the rude realization that somebody shit in my bed)
I know it's your day off and all, but you can give a little more, right? For the sake of slightly more appealing trees? Besides, now that you're awake, I've been meaning to tell you- you've got a lot of grown up shit to do. You've been working 45 hours a week and now that you finally have a day off, you want to spend it sleeping in a little? OH. I think NOT! For shame! You oughta feel consumed with guilt, you poor selfish little twit. You have grown up chores to attend, so put your big boy pants on and let's do something responsible. How about we pay some bills?
2) DO NOT PAY YOUR FUCKING BILLS:
Sure, you should try to pay your bills. Maybe even do a little something for yourself in the process. Get a fresh cup of coffee going and sit down. If you have one tab open to Facebook, it doesn't really feel like you're wasting your time punching digits into a keyboard that makes all your hard earned money go away instantly, does it? Of course not! It was never your money to begin with! You owed it to the electrical company, the phone company, the water company all as it was being earned! The Christ forsaken WATER company! Oh... they are the most fiendish to all of the utilities- which by definition means "useful." And I suppose it is useful for life and the living of it if you're into that sort of thing. Point is, these Nazi Ass Hats could charge whatever they want- and at least in my city, they do, because water isn't just useful- it's a mandatory requirement for life! They've got you over a barrel and they know it. In my city, in fact, the water bill includes lots of little bonuses- like what it takes to maintain the parks in the city and otherwise keep the streets looking pretty. It's roughly $100 a month... and we STILL have to get jugs of drinkable water DELIVERED if we don't want to swallow a liquid riddled with little floaty flakes that tastes like it's been using D cell batteries for ice cubes inside of copper cups.
No, don't bother with the water bill today. That one will have to be deferred to the missus, who is a saint for picking up the grown up tasks that would have ended you years ago. Do not even look at the Water Bill... otherwise you might paper-cut your wrists open on the envelopes and stuff your throat full of stamps until you choke.
$45 Eye Doctor appointment. That sounds swell. I mean, my kid still wears a patch for three hours a day in an attempt to correct his googly-wonk eye, which if I'm not mistaken is Pirate Aged Technology. Not exactly what I'd expect from modern science- but hey, she went to school for this. I'm sure she knows what she's doing. And of course, I do have insurance for my kid, so $45 is a little strange after the hundreds a month I'm paying to not have to pay for this exact kind of thing. Now that I think of it, he's on his mother's insurance too, which means that this $45 is the culmination of what two different insurances refused to cover after all was said and done.
Is there another type of bill or utility that works like this? If I went to a restaurant and paid my bill and they sent me a second bill in the mail a month later, deciding that it was actually going to cost me more for my Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs, I would be legally allowed *by law* (as I understand it) to shoot them in their stupid fucking face, right? It's robbery- pure and simple! And that's not even the same, because the International House of Pancakes (so far) doesn't defer money from my paychecks every month to supplement my mother fucking Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity habit! But it's only $45. I breathe deep and wonder if I shouldn't have (air quotes) "relaxed" to my cup of coffee after all of this adult shit. So I'll let it go and move on now.
It's not only forty five cockamamie dollars though! It's another $100 for glasses and a few bucks here and there for prescriptions and Buddha forbid I have to go somewhere out of network! I may as well brand a swastika on my forehead for that crime, because now I'm no better than the Nazis! And the co-pays! I want the insurance plan that never asks me for another fucking penny ever again. I don't care what the monthly rate is. I will pay you three thousand dollars a month or three million- but figure out what that fucking number is and then I never want to see or hear from you death dealing leeches again!
So I'm typing these numbers in to the online bill pay feature, which I believe was invented because back in the day people driven to the madness that consumes me now would be spewing this shit at a poor unsuspecting teller instead of packing it into a bottle and sending it into the vastness of the internet sea.
Anyways, I'm typing these numbers and they want my email address, but it's optional. They want my Account number, but that too is optional. The want my phone number, optional. I make an executive call on the Account Number- I think they ought to have that information when I'm paying a bill and not providing it seems like a recipe for disaster- which at this point in the morning I am still hopeful beyond reason that I can avoid.
The email address though? They can go fuck themselves right up their own asses. In fact, I've even got an email address that used to be just for dumb shit like this, when people forced me to give one, but now both email addresses are full of such stupid shit that I can't hardly find the important stuff in either. What I need is for one of you tech savvy folks to create an email management site- I would call it emailbukkake.com but that's just a working title. And then I would like to have all of my junk email forwarded to that location and let them all party together in there lite the twisted dirty smut show they deserve. Then if I ever want to see the naked pictures of some girl Diane, who the subject line says I met at a party last week, that I don't know but she lives locally, and she totally knows one silly top secret trick that will add four inches of pure dick to my ball pit, I'll spend a day diving through those emails.
But for the record, I know enough dudes to know that if there was one simple trick that added four inches of rugged cock meat to their downstairs mix up? It would be a matter of public interest. It would read on a constant ticker tape across the bottom of every news channel. Forever. And old-timey air planes would write this trick in the sky every 4th of July weekend. And we'd use our satellite guided laser beams to carve it into the face of the moon so that it could literally be read from space. I'm saying it would be a very well known fact. If the technology was out there, Hellen Keller couldn't keep that secret from us.
I don't really need to be in the know on all the late breaking Eye Doctor advancements because, as I mentioned, in my household we are fully up to date with the latest in 1720's Pirate-Tech, so I figure it's going to be another 300 years before we dare make another advancement in that field- to move any faster would just be reckless, and despite popular belief, eye doctors are really nice people who do not think themselves as medical gods.
If I give them my phone number, I know they're going to text me about vacations I won that require me to try some dick pills in order to claim my tickets. So, obviously, I let them have my cell phone, my work number and my mother's cell in case they need to get ahold of me on a deadline.
Jittered up on coffee, I am shaking at this point- high on leftover adrenaline from the Aborescent Genocide taking place even as I type now, just outside the security of my household walls but echoing murderously within. I am convulsing spasmodically with a twitch in my eye at having confronted so many parts of adult life that I absolutely abhor.
I watch the green box in the middle of the screen with its little ring of traveling circles that surrounds it, reminding me briefly of the cycle I am caught within. Reminding me that once again, I've chosen the title of adult over rebel, tightened another shackle and guaranteed that my escape from this pattern is useless. Every day is exactly the same.
Either out of subconscious insurrection or more likely the afore mentioned jitters, as I tried to slide my credit card back into my wallet but it fumbled melodramatically and crashed into the keyboard. With ZERO grace, I tried to catch it and only managed to further mash it into every possible key on the damnable board. Looking up at the screen where this delicate communication between my financial institution and my son's eye doctor bill, the green box turns red and flashes savagely, letting me know that I fucked up as bad as I suspected. "Your payment has not been processed," the screen yelled at me with bullying letters that seemed to be poking me annoyingly on the forehead and saying "Fuck you." to me. My bank's website says the money cleared, the Eye Doctor site denies this outright. I am balls deep in fantastic right now.
3) Try to talk to some customer service agents:
I work in the customer service field and I am as nice and subservient a person who could be placed in that position- not because I think most of the people I deal with deserve to be treated that way, but because it's my job and I have a sick sense of responsibility that chokes me into submission daily and keeps me in line. I am secretly jealous of all the college students and fresh faced young shits that I hire who couldn't give a fuck about the people they are helping, who don't yet have the co-dependent relationship with employment that we all come to dread but insist our children develop anyways and won't be happy until they do.
I long for the days when I would make up a story about my friend Dustin, who didn't exist, but suffered a terrible death, shot in the face at his own hands the night before. This would put me in mourning for at least two days. Maybe three. Just to be safe. I long for the days when I would meet an irate customer who clearly deserved to be put in their place with just the right directions on how they should pull their head out of their ass and make room for their own dick, to properly fuck themselves right the hell out of my presence. Not now though. I'm amazing at my job, which in turn means I've given over all of my personal beliefs and opinions for 40-50 hours a week of my waking life. A programming that took years to achieve, but has turned me into the perfect worker bee. The only problem is, I fucking hate being a worker bee. I turn my brain off for 40-50 hours a week and then cold boot it on and try to shove an entire life's worth of living into the 30 hours of waking life that I have that's all my own. My time. To pay bills, run errands, get my kid to the eye doctor, bond with family, clean the house and maybe if I'm really luck? Write a retarded blog post every now and then that I can sometimes fool myself into thinking is getting me further from going back to work.
Does that division of time seem adequate to anyone else? I'm not a lazy worker. I wish I was and I hate myself for every second spent being responsible to a system that makes me feel like my life if worthless- purchasable for a wage that still leaves me in debt. I work more often than the time I spend awake and not working, trading hours of my life for the privilege of spending my free time in pseudo-comfort. I say pseudo because I am never truly relaxed, not really comfortable. I'm swollen with anxiety right now. It's a feeling that I'm used to managing, until every now and again it breaks my skin open and starts pouring out the fissures.
Yesterday was my first of two consecutive days off, today is the last. Instead of being jubilant that I was at the beginning of my reprieve, I was literally catatonic for most of the day. Paralyzed to the point where I didn't even realize that time was passing for large gaps between things that I did that don't mean anything. I tried to write for a little bit and did so successfully, to a degree. I started three new stories, worked on each of them for an hour or so a piece before spinning out and pulling away. I worked frantically at first, but then I realized what I was working towards.
Nothing that I could do at the keyboard today would keep my day job from coming at the same even pace that it always held. It was like running away in a monster movie and the guy with the machete that was stalking you just walked patiently, yet somehow managed to keep the same amount of space between you. Until eventually, while you were looking backwards at the thing you were running from, you turn to face forward and run headlong into him, driving the machete into your own gut. And then you take a god damned shower and get ready for work, and you don't want to do it but you do it anyways and you fucking leave your baggage at the door and you do your job because they pay you and rent is due again at the end of every month.
THAT is work ethic. Which I'm starting to suspect is a term that corporations invented and convinced us is a desirable trait to strive towards in the same way as Hallmark makes cards to sell holidays.
As I'm sitting on hold waiting to speak with somebody who can tell me whether or not my payment has gone through, the impossibly obnoxious hold music is intermittently interrupted by an even more offensive audio assault that for some reason plays at decibels five times louder than the music, squeezing another ounce of adrenaline into my bloodstream with each interjection and ensuring that by the time I get to a real live person I will already be agitated beyond the retention of skills required for communicating to another human amicably. "Please continue to hold. We are currently experiencing higher than average wait times and will answer your call in the order it was received."
You've heard that one before, right? Some five or ten years ago, somebody realized that if they played that over the speaker every so often they could casually blame the people who were calling in, in need of assistance, and that people would take it. Being placed on hold for an insane period of time used to be an offense on the part of the people who were responsible for staffing customer service agents to answer calls at the other end. Not anymore! Now it's your fault for calling when you did, clearly not that they need more people to answer your calls! Trust us. We've run the numbers and this is an allowable amount of your time to be eaten up while we pump this shitty musak into your cerebellum.
And furthermore- it's a mathematically unbalanced equation! If the default recording for any long hold time states that "We are currently experiencing higher than average wait times" which is a recording I get ANY time I call anybody who doesn't want to speak with me about a problem I have that is actually theirs, then your absurdly long wait time that you ALWAYS HAVE? That is your average, you mechanical tyrannical cock gobblers! Anything longer than your preposterously, ever expanding wait times would be like trying to calculate a number higher than infinity!
I finally get through to somebody and am relieved when it sounds like we both have the same native language. One less rant for my blog I've already decided I will write about today. They ask me for my account number, my phone number and my email address... I shit you not. Before they even asked for my name, they wanted this information that was "optional."
When I notified them that I did not provide an email address, they let me know that if I would have that I would have received a confirmation that showed how my payment did actually clear with a follow up email that explained that there was a problem processing the transaction but everything was hunky dory now and the problem has been fixed. Everything is peaches and cream. Except now that she's looking at my account, I actually owe them $20 more than what the initial bill stated because my insurance declined to cover a portion greater than what was expected. But she can take care of that right now for me if I want because everyone is super fucking sweet when they want your money. And she'll go ahead and add my email to their mailing list so that I can avoid any future complications and stay up to date on their Fucking Eye Doctor Newsletter. And for a small additional fee they can ship me some liquid plumber to get this shit taste out of my mouth and hollow out my insides that are so caked full of other people's bullshit that I can't hardly find myself inside at all.
So you've followed these simple steps to starting your day off wrong. "How does it work?" you might be asking yourself. "What was the point of all that?" I hear some of you grumbling against belief. Like these simple every day things that we're confronted with could somehow rock a person's world so hard that they are on the edge of a psychotic break before noon? "I've still got the rest of the day ahead of me! Now what do I do?" The simple answer? It doesn't fucking matter. Everyone you know someday will die. Just keep your head down, stop rocking the boat, do your job and follow directions. There's no point in speaking out- you'll only get strange looks from those around you and possibly even fired from your job! Oh no! The best you can hope for is to bury all of these little nasty seeds in your gut and hope that one of them takes root and makes a nice little cancer plant in your intestines- then you can get some time off work and say goodbye to everyone before it eventually kills you. End of story.