The Cost of Living

The problem with life is that there is nothing to compare it to. My parents think I’m not working hard enough because they think they’d be working harder in my situation. Well, actually they wouldn’t. But it’s so easy to say shit like that when you’re on the outside. I don’t know why I’m so goddamn tired all the time. One of my coworkers told me I never seem tired, which is amazing, because I’m almost never well-rested. I have only recently become aware of the fact there is already a name for the generation after the Millenials: apparently, they’re called Generation Z. It’s kind of arbitrary to lump people together based on when they were born, but as far as I can tell, the cutoff date for Millenials is somewhere around the mid-90s, so odds are that if you’re old enough to hang out with me, you’re a Millenial. I don’t know what’s going on with kids these day. Frankly, I’m not sure I care.

I’m feeling ever-so-slightly more active these days. I applied to a job recently for the first time in, like, three months. So yes, someday, that second job might eventually become something that I actually have instead of something that I talk about here. My mother does not like her job. Apparently, they pay her a lot for doing very little, which sounds like the dream job of everyone on the planet except for her. She also mentioned something about her position being terminated in September, which might result in her moving back in with my father. I intend to be gone by then. If I have to sell my body on the streets in order to pay for some ratty apartment underneath a nightclub where bass notes shake the walls and threaten to bring the ceiling down on my head while I sleep, I will do it because there is no fucking way—and I mean absolutely no fucking way whatsoever—that I will ever live with both of my parents again. Just so we’re clear.

I finally finished season five of Deep Space Nine not too long ago, and season three of The X-Files shortly before that. It feels good to finish something that you’ve been working on for ages. Sometimes weeks would go by without me watching those shows at all. That’s not the end of the world; it’s just annoying, because I like to finish what I start. It’s not uncommon for me to start reading something, then put it aside for months or even years before picking it up again. Usually, I do finish it, eventually. It’s never useful to get locked into this idea of closure as if everything needs a nice, neat ending. But I have a very hard time following anything in a straight line. I’m starting to realize that I might be unusual that way. Most other people have an easier time of it than I do. I wonder if they have any idea what it is like to be me.

Things that are groundbreaking never present themselves that way, and things that present themselves as groundbreaking almost never are. That’s a rule of thumb for me: if you really are something, you don’t usually need to say it. I like to think of myself as sexy, funny, and cool, but except for just now, I try not to say so very often. Because nothing is more annoying than somebody who tries to convince themselves that they are something they aren’t. I’m in my mid-twenties. A lot of the people I work with are a few years younger. That’s not that big of a deal, but it is a bit of a contrast from grad school, where I was one of younger ones. I’m not sure what I’m trying to get at here. It’s not like I want to go back and relive my teen years. I wasn’t very happy then. I’m not much happier now, just more used to being rejected. I just take a long time to get started. My freshman year of college, I made, like, two friends, and kept in touch with none of the people who lived on my dorm floor. Sophomore year, something changed. I started forming tight bonds with the people in my dorm and lived with a couple of them my junior year. I’ve lost touch with most of them, too, but at least we were friends for a while even though I was a year older. So forgive me if I still feel like I’m one step behind everyone else. It may not be true, but I can’t just wish it away.

I felt like an old man even when I was in middle school. I watched movies and read books that most others my age had little interest in. You could say I was one of the “gifted” kids, but that doesn’t quite cover it. Some people really do seem to view me as an alien (or a robot, if you will). I don’t really know how to get what I want, and sitting and waiting isn’t going to do it. I believe, as has been said by some folks before me, that the best cure for loneliness is maturing into the sort of person other people want to be around. They’re still not beating down my door, so I guess I have work to do.

You can’t always play the long game. Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns, as the expression goes. I can’t survive on my memories. I can’t just bask in all of the shit that I’ve done (and I have done a fair amount so far, if I do say so myself), but I have to work through my insecurities to the point where I can actually enjoy myself rather than just worrying all the time. I’m getting closer, I suppose. Very, very slowly.


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