303-5815. 303-5813. 303-5814. 303-5828.  The ringer on these phones has a strange sound that sounds like it is being picked up at the end of each ring.  A little upturn or brush of noise, like a quick gust of wind or the shift of paper across a desk.  It is not actually being answered.  One after another, answering machines click into being, with helpful bits of advice about the next number to consult or the next day to call.  This person is only there on Tuesday.  This person is out of town until next Thursday.

I can’t help feeling like I am being tested.  And failing.  I can’t help feeling like I am being ignored.

Margot and The Nuclear So and So’s The Dust of Retreat thrashes around in my CD drive for several minutes before appearing in iTunes.  When I try to import it, the estimated time for the first song reads “38:01 (0.1x)”.   I eject the disk.  Too anxiety inducing for the time being.

“How does it feel?”  is the constant, smiling question.

It feels nice to walk home from First Pick Games on Wednesday nights knowing that I do not have to write a paper for tomorrow and knowing that I do not have to go to bed at a reasonable hour.

It feels bad to be consistently unemployed.  I have a presumption as to what I am worth, and society consistently tells me that I am not worth that.  I might be worth $8-10 per hour to stand around somewhere and smile at people and collect their money.  Maybe.  If they have an opening.

It feels bad to have to feel greedy spending $30 going to the grocery store to make sure I can eat for another few days, knowing that it is another hard-earned $30 out of the pocket of the providers.

It feels bad to have to constantly, unchangingly, bewilderedly answer the question “what are you going to do now?” with “I don’t know. Work?”


“I don’t know. Somewhere?”

It feels bad to hear the ringing and ringing and ringing and then voicemail picking up.  But I also long for it because I fear the seemingly inevitable rejection.  If someone answered, I would have to say something, and I would have to receive an answer.  And that answer would almost undoubtedly be less than ideal. At least if they never answer, there is always a glimmer of hope.

“What do you do all day?”  This question is asked with the kind of incredulity that bemoans the fact that I am leeching society with the kind of laziness that only a slacker such as myself could muster.  It comes from my friends, my relatives.

Here are some things that I am capable of doing:

  • play video games
  • watch tv
  • watch a movie
  • listen to music
  • read (books, magazines, internet blogs, etc.)
  • look for work

That’s it.  You can all stop asking me.  That’s what I do all day.  I know, it’s completely shameful that I am not gainfully employed and contributing anything to society.  I’m sorry.

Here are some things I’m looking forward to:

  • The Dark Knight
  • getting an iPhone

I think that’s it. Yes, it is very selfish and greedy and materialistic and I’m a horrible person for not valuing intangibles more and not appreciating what I have.  I’m sorry.

“What do you do all day?” “What are you going to do now?” “How does it feel?”

These are all different versions of the same actual question.  The actual question is “When are you going to grow up and get a life and stop being lazy and stop being such a miscreant and why aren’t you doing it now and why are you such a horrible person for not doing anything productive and what’s wrong you with you you fucking loser fuck you and never reproduce or do anything to leave any sort of legacy for your stupid worthless parasitic existence why don’t you just commit suicide right now?”

Yes, that is all one question.  And another one that I have no answer for.


About this entry