Some writing to break the clouds from my drab sky…
What am I going to do? And this isn’t enough I suppose? You want me to fall back in line this morning, find a good job, and do to Saturday what every man does with a Saturday after he gets a good job. I could make a thousand Saturdays to come my own private, special world, and grow up just like that miserable neighbor of mine, Tim the snow-blower. Of course if it’s snowing on Saturday, the day after I get the great job to beat all jobs; if it’s snowing and I could be leaning back on the couch in celebration, I’ll make sure to shovel the driveway first, just to relax and not get too excited about my excellent job. Of course it must not matter to you that I would actually jump through the roof if I sold a piece of my writing for five dollars to an interested reader. No, the great job has come into my life with benefits and all those sick and personal days accrued. That there is a difference between being sick and personal I never knew. The employer must anticipate the employee being a fat liar. The personal day was invented for the employee to call in sick and not worry about being seen at the McDonald’s drive-thru.
401K, dental plan, health insurance, excellent pay with room for more? I could shovel my driveway and hope to get a great job. I could spend all day Saturday dreaming that I am as good as the next guy. But I don’t want to be as good as him. Probably because I don’t think he is any good. It is too careful and safe a thing to be employed with benefits. Because somewhere at the top of that ladder waits a millionaire to kick out his filth onto you. The price paid for security is high, too high to spend any night on a couch waiting patiently to view a movie made for television. Was it just a dream last Saturday, of some time long ago when I ran shirtless along the rock face and leaped off into the shimmering light dancing on the water? I don’t want the past. I would rather the holy spirit slap me on the back and my teeth fall out. 401K? Man, I repel the future as much as the past. God, how can any man think that far past tomorrow? Why would he want to? What spell has come over the men of this country for them to wonder if at seventy there will be any hair left to comb? A powerful spell it must have been to have such foolish worries when knowing that hair or no hair, there’s still those flabby titties to consider? Is everyone with a good job a frightened, quivering bunny figuring a car payment? If I ever got a good job I’d be too embarrassed to walk out my door with my head held high. How humiliating to be given a title that the world of men can understand.
“What does he do?”
“He’s a mailman.”
“Wow, I hear they got great benefits at the post office.”
“Yes, but he had to pee into a tiny plastic cup. He got some drips on his fingers, and walked over to the nurse with his head down. She got pee on her fingers too, when he handed it over. She blushed and giggled with embarrassment, not because of the piss (she gets that all day), but because she knew that getting a good job is a very humiliating thing to happen to an honest man.
And then there is the rectal exam to consider. Your employer needs to know about your colon. In fact, a good interviewer will decide immediately if you’re the right man for the job. Any man is the right man who would allow a stranger’s finger in his ass. It can only go up so far, but once that’s checked out, it’s three percent of yours to five percent of theirs until you hit sixty-five, and are considered by your employer to be dead and gone, no matter how many strong Saturdays you think you have left. Don’t bother getting your shovel out to prove a thing! You could have cleared the whole block of snow, but if you pick up a fifty pound box of staples and a disc pops out of your backside, then it’s an early retirement for you. We are sorry, but the truth is you are a highly expendable piece of furniture. Which means we don’t give a bird about you, Mr. Folding Chair! Your great personality cannot pick up that box of staples, can it? So sayonara! What good are you to us without a strong back? Heck, you can always fall back on the benefits, which is a safer thing than finding a gruesome abnormality up your ass, which might have eliminated any hope for you to get hired in the first place. A bump in your colon or a broken back? Neither are very beneficial, but one is much safer in the long run, don’t you think?
I like to think of my brother in law, who shovels his walkway like a pro because he has a good job and would never eat crow no matter how many times they got him to drop his drawers for pay. I like to think of him bending over the exam table talking about drill bits or the Tuesday Night Movie to a frustrated doctor, who is having the damnedest of times trying to find his anus. (My brother-in-law has a very big ass.)
Well his colon and urine got a clean bill of health. Now he is as free as he’ll ever be, with a good job to boot. It is always his own special Saturday to be exactly the same as the next guy.
Here is something men these days will not talk about. I think they buy new trucks to cover for the humiliation of dropping their pants for a job. Any job that pays well with benefits.
You might think that it is a personal quirk of mine, but no amount of money or security is worth a stranger’s finger in my rectum. Thank you. Now I’d like to welcome prostate cancer and poverty to my retirement dinner. And leave all empty pillboxes at the door. I don’t have a penny to fill them.
Thinking on my retirement… How wonderful it will be to work for minimum wage again. I am practicing that feeling now, by considering a bookseller’s job. Who am I kidding? I want it. I’ll take it and keep it for as long as it remains in business. Provided the boss doesn’t ask any more of me than greetings to the customers, general shelf arrangement, dusting, vacuuming, and register check out. If I decide to retire come old age, rotten teeth, and an all-night wrenching abdominal pain, I will bow to my employer, expecting nothing in return besides the good memories we shared selling books. First I’ll make sure my wife and I have a little something put away. Enough for first month’s rent and deposit, plus two bus tickets to the Florida beaches. Leave it all up to providence I say. I’ll get a job cleaning pools or selling bait and tackle from a stool. Because I want no one tickling my stool, I have thought out my retirement through and through. I will not pay that high a price for shoveling my walk on a snowy Saturday. I don’t need to dream about the golden days, which was any time before succumbing to the acquisition of a good job. I am living them right now, for as long as I can hold out against the piss-in-the-cup and finger probing mob.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone you knew took on a minimum wage job? Your brother and sister? Your best friend? Joy is poverty shared. I know this to be true because I have experienced it and so have you, dear reader. But you have forgotten. We were all young yesterday. I write to tell you that tomorrow we can become even younger. Why wait fifty years not knowing where or what will become of you. The age of beauty is just around the corner. Prepare for it now. It is easy to see the end of money. I am a living example of that future world. And I am not a lone anomaly. There are millions alive like me who desire life shed of all its warm and cozy money blankets. I cannot find many of them. I should not have to look much further. I already know enough people who are fit to play some of the many games which the creator has graciously set up for us. Life is play. Your wife, brother-in-law, best friend, your father, mother, and anyone else that you know and they know, must burn their stinking piles of pretend money. It is time to play. We have our homes, the knowledge and ability to make food and collect it with our hands. But there is a long time lasting between the first seed planted and the harvesting of crops. I get so damn sad watching the old people die off without ever coming to this realization. Well.., never expressing it anyway. I
suggest a playtime for the rest of our lives. Can you show me a better way? Can you honestly say the path you’re on now is the right one? Or is it just the safest way to afford your coffin and save you the embarrassment of being dead and in debt?
But I tell you the truth and the truth says the reality of tomorrow is Ron’s advice today. I like you all well enough for surface conversation. Don’t you think now is the time to dig deeper and pull ourselves out of this pit money’s buried us in? Moments of clarity sing of this one, all encompassing truth. That we have suffered enough already, no one would deny. The age of beauty is flowering before our very own eyes. Why do we remain blind and crouched low inside our deep holes? We don’t want to know about the easiness of sharing. We think that is a sin because the President tells us communism is a sin. Stop. Put the book down and dream about the sweet and happy passing of your childhood. I like to think about the football games I starred in after school. There is my room in the evening, and those mysterious jaunts to the dangerous lands within the boundary of my parent’s yard. Even then they had us practicing to be alone. To take things as they come, alone. To live alone to die alone. It was a rare occasion when I was forced to share with my little friends. But when pressed, I didn’t complain. A toy truck, a train, the igloo block maker… The grown-ups paid lip service to the virtue of sharing, but never practiced it. No example. Never. Never ever. Oh, Mom might offer her friend coffee, but not the house, at least not for too long. She would share her dinner, four, maybe five times a year, but not one square inch of her land. She would share the money with the borrower’s promise to pay back fast and on time. But share it all as if it wasn’t hers to give? And for a lifetime? Holy mother of God no, no, NO!
Now I will show all of you how to share. Let us have just enough money to buy us some time with friends who are smart enough to want to play games. This is what everyone needs after the roof, the food, the clothing and the heat. What is all this stuff we got if not a constant reminder of what little we have? Imagine now without my help the massive, smothering amount of waste laying about you. Layer upon layer. This is not an earth of you all alone with wild animals and no place to sleep. We have many places to sleep. Heaps of crap we have accumulated thus far. Some of it is worth keeping for survival in the age of beauty. In our homes, among our things, each will find what he needs to live out his natural life alone. Yet who is strong enough to brave the poverty and loneliness? In the age of beauty, it’s time to use each other, to exchange only those ideas which bring us closer together, to share our energy and love before we die. This is not a good will paragraph. This is the truth. Once we remained together for the purpose of survival. That was noble and necessary. A warm wisdom in a cold world. Fences went up. The work was hard. For some, getting food was the most demanding chore. Now in the world of 246,964 boxes of Fruity Pebbles waiting at this moment on grocery shelves all across America, can we stop for a day and reevaluate the meaning of our existence? Do you think it will all go to pot without the Fruity Pebble factory? I don’t. In fact I think our lives much improved without it, and the million or so other useless commodities. Uh-oh, without them some of you will lose your jobs. When a grown man loses his job he might as well slash his throat, since he has been conditioned to believe all his life that the job is the man, and vice-versa. Inside yourselves you are laughing at the man who lost his job. You’re just happy that it’s not you. Oh what a pleasantly cruel and pitiless intelligence we are! Human beings capable of wisdom again? What a long shot! In fact, all other creatures in existence are the wiser. The human being is a million years old? And this is what he has to show for it? God mocks us. But I don’t have to tell you that. Go to your home old man, and I will drive over to mine. And someday we’ll visit our daughters and go out on Friday night with the Miller’s and the Moody’s. Everyone condemned to their separate house, separate home, separate family, separate friendships, separate possessions, separate ideas, separate hopes, separate plans for a future that most certainly will come exactly how we imagined it, because we bent over willingly and allowed a stranger’s finger up our butts. It is the cruelest of jokes we play upon ourselves, to be so separately the same until death sets us free.
What is any wisdom worth if it cannot provide the outline for a deliriously happy existence? What old man wants to die unfulfilled? How can we respect the old man who died without ever giving us permission to play for the rest of our lives? These are questions to ask yourself before you are an old man, young man. I don’t think I am crazy to desire my street to open up its doors this Saturday morning to show the people running out into the sunlight looking to catch the start of the next game. But it is so quiet today. All I can hear is the lone, cold snow shoveling from the nice old lady next door.