Thursday, January 19, 2006

they ask

they ask me why i'm single why i must be gay they ask me who I'm looking for...the perfect girl, cause she doesn't exist they get all up in my business, bothering me, questioning my tactics and motives...whaddya mean you only drink two days a week, that's pure insanity....they ask me myriad stupid questions to which I can give no reply except a sly shrug of the shoulders. i know what I'm holding out for here people and she's going to hit me like a bolt of lightning on a late february evening. a gust of wind and she'll come blowin in and I won't question it. i won't ask why. i won't lean over to the old woman seated next to me in the el train and wake her from her nap, begging for her attention, "m'am....excuse me m'am, can you pinch me quick...here, in the cheek, so I know I'm not dreaming...."and why are you waiting, they ask me, why, tell us why, we NEED to know....because my young friends, because I believe in...but they aren't listening....they love to hear themselves talk...about themselves....they love to ask questions......why are you single?

because parker posey is taken..


Friday, January 13, 2006

acquiesence. (draft one)

I awake, bathed in sweat, convinced that I'm still dreaming, aware yet longing for the truth to unfold. I walk to my bathroom and turn on the faucet. My hands form a cup as I lower them to the basin full of water. An eerie sensation overcomes me, causing my skin to crawl as frigid soul refreshing baptismal liquid slides down the surface of my face. Each moment feels real enough to believe that a pinch would hurt and yet time and space aren’t coinciding. Am I alive, dreaming, or severely sedated?

I peer into a mirror that never lies and see visions of a forgotten past. A face of perpetual fear stares back, smiling, hoping that I’ll accept him as a reflection of myself. A voice in the distance is laughing as a snake begins to slither into the room, tempting me to give in, tempting me to give up, to lose control and curl up in fetal position, to shout out for my mother to save me from the madness. “Left or right, fight or flight, left or right, fight or flight,” I mentally repeat in a bout of near hysteria and yet I’m frozen stiff, afraid to make a move. Nerve endings explode with apprehension. I’m pleading with a god I’ve denied exists. Time accelerates at break-neck speeds, bringing with it my heartbeat, leaving my body and any semblance of control. In a last ditch effort I reach to a wooden drawer and pull out a scored white pill, 100mg, and toss it in my mouth. The taste is bitter and harsh and I cringe as it scrapes the back of my throat. “Sexuality or Sanity” my reflection responds, but I can hardly accept such terms. In a fit of rage, I slam my fists into the marble counter and shout to the firmament, “Why are those my only fucking choices, why must I choose between one or the other, god damn it, just give them both back to me…..what have I done to deserve neither? WHAT, FUCKING tell me what I’ve done, TELL ME!!!” A tear would form at the base of my eye if I was capable of displaying such emotion. My stomach begins to absorb the pill as a warm feeling of calm dissipates any lingering anxiety. I realize how futile such a display was and yet I’m so frustrated I know not where to turn. “A joint or a bottle of jack, that’s what you need,” my reflection responds, as it begins to roar a rolling thunderous laughter that fills the entire room with confusion.

I open the door in an attempt to escape back to the serenity of an uncomfortable bed, stepping into a waiting room saturated in fluorescent light. Expired People magazines align the counter and the smell of disinfectant nauseates my stomach. A knock on the door stirs the silence as a fiftyish jovial male doctor enters the room. He lowers his bifocals and surveys the clipboard resting on his stomach. “Well son, there’s not much I can do for you.” “But you’re the top doctor in your field in all of Chicago,” I want to mutter but my lips won’t open. “In twenty five years of work, I’ve never seen a case like it and I really can’t figure any medical basis for why you’re suffering.” My heart sinks through the second and first floors, ending up somewhere in the basement where a janitor’s mop is tossing it from left to right, covering in filth and muck. I can’t help but squirm as my blood begins to boil from the certainty that there are no solutions to my disposition, no pinch that will “snap me out of ‘it.’” I slam my fist against the counter causing it to shatter into a thousand indistinguishable fragments of a distorted reality.

Subconscious fears become mixed with dream state illusions and yet my physiologic response is very real. I’m tossing and turning, throwing pillows from the bed, rambling nonsensically. My feet manage to kick the cat from the bed that then sends a glass of water from the bedside table crashing to the floor. A harmonic thud cuts through the silence resonating loud enough to bring waking consciousness to my body and mind. I pull the covers close and cringe as the residue of soul stirring reverie fades into the present. It’s four o’clock in the morning and I’m alone, lost, and afraid, stuck in a vicious state of mental disturbance, one issue dove-tailing with another, no scientific answers, no spiritual solutions. The frigid darkness closes in as I rise to both feet and head towards the bathroom, acquiescing to the control modern medicine wields over my fragile mind. “Sanity it is,” I mutter as I toss 100mg of Zoloft to the back of my throat and swallow.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday, 11:10AM

Today has been the longest day of this first week back after winter break. I’ve been at work for 2 hours and have dreaded every single moment since I arrived. There’s a high school intern here today, an attractive brunette about 5’-5”, taught physique not yet corrupted by the freshman fifteen. For the next two weeks she’ll observe and attempt introductory tasks to provide her an idea of what life working in this civil engineering firm is like. It’s a kind gesture on the president’s part, as I believe this girl is a member of his church. Yesterday was her first day and she’s already a pro. Thirty minutes before the bell was rung, she was checking her yahoo email account and sending text messages on her phone. I couldn’t help but smile as she clicked out of the internet in haste and or fear that I’d discover she was bored and trying to pass the seconds until it was time to head home. I can’t imagine what must be going through her head. I can imagine, though, approaching her for an exclusive interview, my first as I contemplate my change in careers from disgruntled overpaid engineer to average underpaid unemployed reporter. Writing seems to be the only task in which I find enjoyment and a will to improve. I can wholeheartedly relate to the high school girl. If this is how my job is now, at such a ripe young age, how can I possibly hope to ever find solace or success 10 years from now? Sure, my generation, Generation Me, loves to complain. We’ve been catered to for so many years with advances in every technology which makes being lazy that much easier. And quite possibly I’m simply complaining to pass the time or to fit in with my peers. But why not complain. If we’re a generation with the most opportunities available to us in the history of humanity, why not question the validity of the pipe dreams we were fed as young children, “you can do anything you put your mind to?” I have no desire to be an astronaut, or a doctor, a construction worker or policeman, or even a rat in a cubicle. If my kindergarten teacher had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I might have said architect or photographer, until I realized I had little natural talent in either. It would have never occurred to me, though, to say, “Ms. Davis, I’d simply like to be content with waking up every day and dedicating my life to the pursuit of happiness and not money.” She’d probably have smiled, called the school counselor, and wondered whether I’d wandered into my parent’s stash of pot. Money, Money, Money…the save all end all, object of America’s youth’s obsession. I’ve been offered more money in this career in trade for more creative energy sapping dedication, more weekends, less sleep, less exercise, not to mention 2 hours fighting traffic each and everyday, Saturday and Sunday included. With money as the sole prize, the side effects seem hardly worth the pill. Luckily I’ll end up being paid for this 15 minute’s worth of rambling nonsense. Indirectly, of course, but I’ll be paid nonetheless. And the high school intern will be paid for the game of solitaire I just saw her lose for the second time.

Ciao readers and thanks for reading this unedited nonsensical bit of lyrical verbosity.

Jobe. (11:25AM)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

this is merely an entry in a diary of curiosity........(most likely a bore)

I ask myself day in and day out whether or not I should be doing what I’m doing…engineering, designing storm sewers and ponds for a living and enjoying said living. I struggle with the question of whether or not I should remain in this company, enjoying a slightly better salary than a civil engineer of a similar age in a similar company. The benefits are a little less than good. The vacation is 10 days per year, with one added for every year after five that a dedicated employee remains. I know there’s a dream I’d like to chase….a dream which involves movement and this reality smells of stagnation. I work for a firm whose employees are forged by being “tossed in the fire,” a term I associate closely with not having to invest in training. Furthering collegiate edumacation is not top of the pops either, what with a whopping $3,000 a year as the limit of their investment.

I talk much about change and growth because talk is easy, cheap, something to do to pass the time. Besides, the illusion of progress is created. I believe I’m moving forward because I talk about a desire to move forward. But nowadays forward isn’t such a clear direction, it’s no wonder I’m lost in a fog of indecision. Money is super, but hardly the answer I seek. More money in this career means becoming a drone, gluing my ass to the fabric of an uncomfortable seat and plugging away for at least 10 more years. And by then, well by then I’ll have a family to support, a house to pay off, new cars, a retirement fund…..enough financial distractions to all but eradicate any semblance of hope in changing careers. I’ll be wealthier and miserable. My creative spark will all but have faded into a sea of discontent.

I know I’m not alone. I know from perusing blogs and chatting over lattes, that many young adults feel trapped like hamsters in a cage, spinning the wheel to make a buck or two. An MBA or Law Degree become the next stepping stones in a life devoted to the pursuit of cash. But what about those of us who were always smarter than our peers? (or at least thought we were.) What about those of us who yearn to express themselves creatively and intellectually? What about those of us who pursued difficult degrees in college and knocked out decent GPA’, calmed by the knowledge that dedication would lead us on a road to comfort in life, not boredom and monotony? Where does that leave us?

The answers must be somewhere inside, or out there: on the internet, or in a prayer. Foresight and faith might be the best to qualities to exhibit in times like these. Maybe the best solution is to post questions to which similar souls can respond, creating a discourse on how to rise above.

I do not know that answers to my questions.

I do know that I’m 15 minutes closer to the comfy confines of my loft.

A dieu and happy 2006.