Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Exhausted on all fronts

I haven’t written here in over a month because I’ve been exhausting my brain writing meaningless crap for other people’s blogs and websites.  By the time I’m done finishing the 20th travel guide for an obscure town in Texas, I just want to hug my bottle of wine and cry.
The freelance writing jobs section of Craigslist is a real downer.  It seems to me that most of the idiots that post there are under the impression that writers don’t need to eat.  Yes, sure, I would love to write quality content for your personal blog for free.  I have nothing better to do.  I don’t need to pay rent or buy new underwear.  All of these scams end with, “unfortunately we cannot pay you right now, but this is a great way to get your name out there!”  Out where?  I hate to break it you, but your poorly designed blog about dog fashion is not the Rolling Stone.  A housewife logging on in South Africa is not the same thing as getting “international exposure”.  God, it pisses me off.  Do I ask artists to paint me free pictures in exchange for wall space in my living room?  I don’t think so.
I finally moved the rest of my things out of my old apartment with Joey.  It was more nerve-wrecking than I expected.  The process required a 6-pack, wine, and a horrid top 100 radio playlist.  I’m still shell-shocked from our monstrous love.  Not in the sense that I have any lingering feelings.  More like he’s a heavy sack of potatoes I have to drag around with me for the rest of my life.  I’m afraid that because of sharing a severe drug addiction we are forever tied in some ugly, unavoidable way.  It’s my eternal punishment for having been so rotten. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Working Girl

I was walking down the street today when the crowd parted to reveal a familiar gap-toothed goblin waving down a cab 2 feet away from me.  Same long fancy black coat and bald head.  Xander was my old boss at a fancy advertising agency and the bane of my post-college existence. 
I was excited at the beginning, my first real job and at such a cool place, boy oh boy!  Then I was given a cubicle and a trainer named Rita, and my disillusionment with the corporate American dream began.  Rita talked to me like I was a retarded 3rd grader that didn’t know English.  She used her chewed up nails to point at the screen and say things like, “we call this italic, but not like Italy..eeetaly..no, this ‘I’ is pronounced ‘eye’, say it with me eye-ta-lic.”   I’m not even kidding.
It then dawned on me that she thought I was stupid because I was young, blonde, and tan.  It also dawned on me that I was hired precisely for those attributes, and not because anyone there thought I would be a valuable employee in the future.

I humored her.  I nodded enthusiastically, and said things like, “oh well I better write this down!”
I figured they were paying me and if they wanted to waste money on conducting special ed classes then that was their business.  That doesn’t mean it wasn’t slowly killing my self esteem.
Then I was assigned to work with Xander and Alicia, who well deserved each other on account of both being such vile creatures.  Nobody wanted to work with Xander except for Alicia, and I got shafted because I was new and couldn’t complain. 
He was just a dick, but it wasn’t really his fault because he didn’t know he was one, and therefore couldn’t do anything about it.  Maybe he was bitter because he had gone bald in his 20s and could no longer use hair to distract people from his watermelon shaped head.  You could tell he was evil from a distance, but they like that son of a bitch look at ad agencies, so it worked in his favor.
Once we went to a fancy French restaurant.  Our waiter was an elderly man who clearly belonged at home watching Family Feud in his slippers.  Xander talked down to him, clinked his knife against the wine glass whenever it needed to be refilled, and sent back his steak twice.  That was the way he treated everything and everyone.  He was a man without an imagination, who strongly believed in adhering to social hierarchy.  He gloated at those he deemed below, and cowered in front of those who made more money.  He also didn’t think women could be as smart as men.  He never said so outright, but you could tell.
Around that time I was living with Joey and he had started bringing home a lot of painkillers and xanax, which made cubicle slavery not so bad.  He had been a junkie before I ever moved in, but he was very sneaky about it, and I was too excited about my first steps as an adult to pay much attention.  Then I came home early one day.  Joey was in the kitchen making lasagna and singing along to the portable radio.  I said, “I think I have the flu” and he said, “I think you need a fix,” and then it was already too late.  That job, Joey and the drugs damn near killed my soul (and body). 
Sometimes I get all creepy at night and watch Adrian sleep.  I think about how I may be broke, and my parents may be dead, but I’m alive and in love with someone who thinks I’m the bee’s knees.  The last 5 years have been hard for me and people keep insisting that I MUST be depressed but I'm not, I just don't freaking feel like it, it's counterproductive and boring.

Monday, January 3, 2011

I think I'm hibernating

Happy New Year everyone, thank you all for all the comments. I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone’s blogs.
I spent the last week murdering brain cells with wine and clogging up arteries with fat.  It was divine but now I feel fat, stupid and uninspired.  I quit all kinds of drugs in the past but I am powerless against cheese and white wine, it's shameful.  I had 5 cups of coffee today in hopes that I can snap out of my gluttonous state but I am immune to any legal stimulants. 
Winter is just such a drag, especially after last week’s snowstorm.  I have no patience for dodging vile black pools of slush or the proper footwear to do it.  I have two pairs of hooker boots and I’m not sure what occasion they are for, or why I bought them.   I desperately miss flip flops and iced coffee.
Right now I can’t concentrate on anything except a puffy, bright orange faux fur coat draped over the chair across the room.  The owner is a little Asian lady in plaid pants and an atrocious leopard vest.  I’ve spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to figure out why she would want to look like a pumpkin colored yeti even though it’s none of my business.  Between that and the heat being on so high that I feel like my brain is melting, I’m giving up any hope for getting anything accomplished today...keeping my fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Encounters of the strange kind

Why do public restrooms look like nuclear holocaust victims?  It’s amazing how many women aren’t properly potty trained.  Unfortunately I’m never home and I pee often.  There is nothing like a public toilet to remind you that human nature is filthy when no one is watching.  
Once I had a really unsettling experience in a public bathroom late at night.  I thought I was alone and I had just unzipped my jeans when the stall next to me whispered, “Are you mentally ill?” and dissolved back into complete silence. I knew that I wasn’t but my neighbor clearly was.  No one was around, and for a second I thought that I was going to die right there on the pee stained floor, next to someone’s used tampon, murdered by a lunatic.
I’ve always been terrified by encounters with the mentally ill.  Nothing is more disturbing or hopeless than a lost mind.  My fear began with Betty, a woman who wandered the neighborhood in a potato sack shaped dress and smiled at everyone in the kind of disconnected way that made you think she just returned to earth after being abducted by Martians.  Her greasy hair and the sad looking flowers all over her sad looking dress haunted me for years.  To this day when someone on the subway gets up and starts to preach about seeing Jesus at breakfast I want to pee my pants.  On rare occasions you can’t help but laugh if the situation is too ridiculous to feel sad.  Once I stood next to a man who was coaching the other men on the true nature of father’s day.  He was wearing a blonde wig and encouraging the male passengers to do the same, suggesting that for the holiday they borrow their wives undergarments and have themselves a real nice party.  “Don’t be ashamed,” he comforted them, “you dress yourself up real nice in them silky drawers, stand up and say, world here I am!” I would’ve loved to be on that guest list.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mama told me growing up is hard but she didn't say it sucks more than Jenna Jameson at career peak

I have been a great sinner since at 4 I poured my mother’s French perfume onto my father’s Persian rug and found the whole act of it much more titillating than keeping my hands to myself.  I have never asked why?  It’s always been why not?  The only why I ever asked myself was why being bad felt so good.
I think a couple of months ago I finally repented.  Being young and stupid was fun while it lasted but the jig is up.  I knew one day I would get too old for foolishness but it crept up on me like a perv in a dark alley. 
The truth is people have started calling me m’am.  For my self esteem, it’s a crisis of BP oil spill proportions.  The problem is I’m not cut out for a 9 to 5.  After my parents died I lost the ability to see any meaning in office work or the higher purpose in taking abuse from your boss.  I’ve developed an intense fear of shuffling someone else’s papers in front of a fax machine for the rest of my life.  If you are a trader and getting on the floor every morning to you is what a fix is to a junkie in withdrawal, that’s a whole different story.  You love it, you live it and you breathe it.  I have no such talents.  All I have ever amounted to was a miserable office assistant.  What really used to offend me was that people acted like I should have been kissing their feet for giving me the once in a lifetime opportunity to keep their files organized and fill up the coffee machine. 
In my opinion office politics and hierarchies are worse and crueler than middle school.  I once got fired because my male boss developed a habit of obsessively winking at me every morning.  The queen of the office began feeling like she was losing her underling to forces she couldn’t control and so off I went.  As if I personally asked him to please undress me daily with his shifty eyes. With unemployment so high, what is that word employers use to describe employees?  I’ve heard “disposable” and “replaceable”, like you are a Gillette razor blade and not a human being that needs to eat.

Sometimes I dream so hard about being a writer.  I travel the world.  I walk around ancient Greek ruins, visit tribes in Africa and eat falafel in Lebanon.  Of course someone pays me to write about it all so that I never have to stop.  Of course I’ve already received the national book award for my bestselling novel back home and now someone uses it as an escape the same way I’ve used my favorite books.  I picture it so clearly I almost believe it but not enough to forget that I’m broke and bills won’t leave my mailbox alone.  Still I persist with my delusions every day, food for my struggling soul and all.  How, how do I get there for real?  From here?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Elevators (and how they relate to social inequality)

What really bugs me is the way people behave in elevators.  It’s like an alternate universe where they lose all understanding of how to function properly in a crowded society.  They go to extremes, either imposing on your personal space with a nervous “it’s cold out there huh?” or sidestep into a corner and stare at the ceiling so you wouldn’t get any inkling to strike up a conversation.
I’ve noticed that people who are snobs in the general society take it up a notch in elevators just so you wouldn’t get any funny ideas that since you happen to be in tight quarters for a minute together you are in any way equal to the likes of them.  I notice a great deal of that elevator snobbery going on in Adrian’s building.  The residents are beings who fancy themselves New Yorkers but often hail from the suburbs of Connecticut.  They always live in Manhattan and see the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island as distant lands made to accommodate common trash, human and otherwise.  They generally have no idea that you can’t buy the privilege of being a real New Yorker with a doorman and a big crystal chandelier in the lobby.  You can’t get authentic New York Flavor in Midtown like you can in the Queens, Brooklyn or Bronx and it’s free too!
There’s this one girl from the 12th floor who gives off bitch fumes from every cell of her body.  The effect is so overwhelming it’s enough to make you lose all faith in the inherent goodness of people.  Maybe she can smell Queens on me and can’t help being disgusted.  I can see that to her all people are like different foods on the same plate that can’t touch each other or her head might explode.  The problem is this city is like a big bowl of stew with mystery ingredients all floating and mixing together, no one knows what the recipe is or where the hell it came from.  And I know that she feels bad that I don’t live in her fancy building but I feel bad for her that she does.  Funny how that works.
I get the joy of NYC from other things than carpeted hallways in my building.  I get a little bit from dreaming about winning the lotto with the Pakistani owner of the corner bodega.  And a little bit from Guido Johhny over at the 7-11 who hurls his orange body towards the door every time he spies a frequent female customer with an enthusiastic, “EY THERE SHE IS! Looking beautiful!  Gorgeous! Where ya been eh?!”  And sometimes if I’m lucky Jose at the deli might give me a big cookie on the house.  It’s a twisted world where such things are free but some people pay to avoid them.  How so very sad for them.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Sometimes I entertain myself with the thought if it wasn’t such a damn sin punishable by life in prison would I have the balls to kill Joey for being the piece of shit that he is?  No one would really miss the overgrown, dirty, selfish oaf.  Even his mom thinks he is a drag.  The only social subculture that would miss him is the dope dealers.  The junk pusher over in the South Bronx probably wouldn’t be able to afford Christmas presents for his kid without Joey’s help.  That would be sad indeed especially since the kid works for his dad full time without knowing it, carrying dope hidden in little toys in case senior gets busted.  He deserves a lot for Christmas…like a new father who doesn’t use him as a drug mule.
I kid though.  I may be a bit wicked (especially to myself) but I’m no murderer.  I’m just itching to do something that would hurt him bad but he’s so thick skinned...like one of those prehistoric looking giant lizards from Australia.  Maybe I’ll kill him with kindness, isn’t that what nice God fearing folk would say?  Who the hell thought of the phrase “kill them with kindness” anyway? Obviously that idiot has been getting killed with kindness his entire life because if someone shit all over him even once he wouldn’t be saying that.
I would probably have reached some sort of divine forgiveness people preach is necessary to move on if I wasn’t still legally living with Joey seeing how I’m a broke orphan.  It’s all fine and great to preach forgiving your enemies but when they’re still eating your food and leaving their dirty socks in inappropriate places it’s pretty much impossible.  It’s a good thing that I can avoid seeing Joey in the flesh by going to Adrian’s but it’s a bad thing that Adrian has a roommate who has never done anything bad to me but I can’t help vehemently disliking.  Maybe it’s subconscious and it’s because he prevents me from being able to scatter tubes of lip gloss and hair products wherever I please, I really don’t know.
I understand that the theory of gravity can be applied to life, what goes up must come down and all that.  But for once I would like the universe to bend the rules a little and make something go my way without a single glitch or drawback.  If you can only make that happen dear universe I would gladly tolerate your bitchiness for the rest of my life with a smile.