I started Friday searching for something to write about while sitting at work. My thoughts went to my New Years Day bus ride to work on which was packed with anxious Hockey fans heading to Wrigley Field to see the winter classic. I was going to compare how much I hate the bus being packed with Cubs fans, but didn’t mind it as much when it was the blue collar hockey fans. By the time I got half way through this horseshit attempt at trying to write something witty and interesting I knew the piece was forced, fake, and just me trying to be something I’m not.
I made a promise to be as honest as I can as your humble investigative reporter of our times. I was doubled up at my job Friday which was a bit weird because the store was small enough to just have one mindless drone running it alone. As a matter of fact my schedule next week had me doubled up with this guy a few times. We talked about it and figured it was just the company trying to give us a paycheck as they have over hired do to a uneducated power hungry Oprah wannabe reclaiming her castle. Turns out like me he was a fan of old school wrestling and we bonded on that note.
I figured I could write about pro-wrestling as it’s currently relevant with the great reviews for the movie ‘The Wrestler’ one in which I also enjoyed. I figured that would be my default story but it being Friday I’m sure in my travels home or my day off on Saturday I could find something interesting to connect with you my fellow travelers.
About an hour before close my regional manager came in from the cold. He was in a down mood but given the number of sales lately that was understandable. He asked the other guy to step outside because he needed to talk to me about something private. Now being the egotistic asshole that I am I assumed it was one of two things. Number one being I would be getting my own store as my last one closed in September, and I was told January they would give me a new one and he didn’t want to hurt the other guys feelings. The second being I did something wrong and needed to be talked to about it. No big deal.
Not sure if I was blind to the situation or just plain stupid and didn’t see that writing on the walls wasn’t talking about calling a number for a good time. As a matter of fact in the last ten years I have found most bathroom shit stalls to lack a number for a good time. I guess times are hard all over.
My manager told me I was fired. He continued to jabber on about how it wasn’t my fault, something about budget cuts, and I was simply a victim of life’s circumstances. The average American only listens to one third of what said as it’s the brains natural duty to start formulating a response instead of listening. When you’re fired or encounter any other life changing dialogue your mind goes crazy as all emotions battle out in a 30 feeling over the top rope battle royal.
I felt ANGER. I felt SADNESS. I saw Relief being tossed out by insecurity. I felt like FUCKING KILLING SOMEBODY. I felt like FUCKING KILLING MYSELF. I felt for my supervisor who truly felt bad at what the system was forcing him to do. I felt SICK to my stomach. I wanted drugs, I wanted money, I wanted my FUCKING job back. Then I simply stopped feeling as just like a computer the blue screen of death popped up and my emotions had to reboot as apathy filled the void until a winners hand was raised.
The question was, as I stared in complete emptiness what response would win out in this emotional war. Would it be anger? Would it be rational? Would it be guns blazing? Would it be sadness? I really didn’t know as all control was lost. Then like usual the old cowboy in me took over and I shook the man’s hand and thanked him for a good year and a half. I got my things and walked out into the whipping cold as the hawk wind of Chicago blew my skin numb to match my emotions as I was now one of the 7.3% unemployed.
Now I had something to write about. Now I really had emotion to pour into my words like the secret ingredient in the Big Mac everything was in place to be over a billon served. The rage and demons that wanted to drag me into the depths of their darkness and baptize me one of their own a sick unemployed bitter minion of misery walked along with me. The saints who seek to show me salvation in the toughest of times like the holy book of Job whisper to me it’s all a fucking trial by a diluted and egocentric God whose sick sense of humor I normally appreciate, now not so much.
For the first time in my life I will have to seek the help of the United States government. I will now have to depend on the working for support and help, a position I’m very uncomfortable with. Perhaps a few week of smoking weed, drinking heavily, and engaging in vigorous masturbation well watching Judge Judy may be needed. I don’t know, and I don’t think I can now afford the drugs or the masturbation for that matter. I’ve never really been here before looking up at the world thinking, damn this is a mountain and I’m too fucking tired to climb it.
I did what most do on the day they lose their identity in a world where you are defined by what you do and that’s seek mental dilution. Thankfully the store I was at was near my friend’s house so I stopped over there and immediately placed distance between reality of my world, and the comfort of the intoxicated world with the help of drugs. They took my mind and hid my pain and the joyous, jubilant, jolly; me emerged with Chinese eyes and grass growing around on my brain stem.
The jester took my hand and we went swimming in an ocean of caramel and chocolate as the bats flew over head. Too much of a good thing often turns bad fast and that’s where this trip was quickly going. I got sick on the smell of caramel and the bats were swooping in closer and closer and I didn’t know what they wanted. I knew if it was a loan they were seeking they were swooping around the head of the wrong dude. All I had was myself at this point and that was good enough for me.
I woke up the next day a bit dazed and certainly confused to reality and the sickness that this world can produce. I engaged in another round of drugs before taking the bus home to tell my father that his only son was now an unemployed loser in the toughest of American times since his father’s generation.
Everybody keeps telling me it’s not a big deal. Unemployment checks are like a short vacation, and in there wise sage like advice they tell me that this is a blessing in disguise. Blessings in disguise tend not to be the kind of surprise one should appreciate. It’s a polite way of saying fuck it and move on. Easy to spew harder to swallow if you ask me just like vomit.
It’s true that I know I will be fine as I have confidence in myself and the world around me that this too will pass. But I am angry, I am sad, I am scared, now knowing that my tomorrow is going to be harder than it was just a few days before. Its stability and comfort we all seek and now that is gone.
We’ll get through this, we always do.
More to come…