From Where the Sun Now Stands

If you’re like me, you probably spend most of your time alone. The problem here is that I kind of have to be my own cheerleader. I do not need anyone—not friends, family, or readers of this blog—to follow me around with pom-poms telling me I’m wonderful. So don’t even try. But since I am alone with myself basically round the clock, I have to look to myself for reassurance. I am not always the best support group, which is surprising, considering my naturally optimistic and upbeat outlook.

two livesIf you spend most of your time alone, you have probably had those days where you can barely even drag yourself out of bed until late morning (or later, really). Eventually, you work up the energy to shower and eat breakfast (or not, if you’re way down in a hole). Somewhere around the early afternoon, you start to wonder if you’re going to get anything done that day. Then you start doing shit and keep doing it, and before you know it, you’ve gotten everything major out of the way for the day and several hours left to kill before bedtime. This describes most of my days off work. I’m not always good at estimating how long something will take, and in its own way, that’s almost as disorienting as shit taking longer than you thought it would.

If you’re not good at estimating how long something will take, you probably experience a lot of stress over whether or not you can get all of your shit done on time. I experience this at work. I was emptying the trash and was right in the middle of it when the shift leader gestured for me to come back and hop on register. Emptying the trash takes a minute, and it’s not the sort of thing you can leave midway through and just come back to. Yes, I could see there was a line, but couldn’t she see I was busy? (I think there might have been a small coffee spill to clean up as well.) “It’s just a job,” some woman said to me. I wanted to marry her.

If you’ve ever wanted to marry a total stranger, you are probably familiar with the feeling of suffocation that can arise from being surrounded with and having to deal with the same damn people day in and day out. Nobody is right 100% of the time (except me, of course), so you can only tell people to go screw themselves for so long. I don’t have the energy to fight everyone all the time, so I have to pick and choose my battles. Some days, I’m pissed off at my manager for sending me home after only two hours, meaning that getting to and from work that day takes me longer than actually, you know, working. Other days, I’m pissed off at my coworkers for the way that they already seem to have formed a little circle of friends after working together for a relatively short time. It wouldn’t be such a big deal, except that the social dynamics that they have outside of work often influence their behavior at work. And that means that I am often left out.

If you’ve ever felt left out, you probably know what it’s like to need a good laugh. I watched Night at the Museum on pay-per-view one night after a hard day of traveling. I was not in a good mood. I’m also not a big fan of Ben Stiller. Under any other circumstances, I might have thought it was pretty damn mediocre, but that night, it came like a breath of fresh air. The “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” YouTube series is amazing. This video in particular had me howling.

And then there’s this one. I question the writer of this review’s sanity.

I feel the need to reiterate once again that my brilliance is beyond compare. Have you forgotten that? Allow me to remind you. Because I’m not even sure if I’m joking when I say that anymore. There is no one who can push through your rough spots except you, anyway, so why not think that you’re the greatest human being in the world? Sooner or later, my robot army will wipe out everyone and kill all who displease me (this almost certainly includes you), so try to have fun in the meantime. It is becoming clearer to me that I cannot use this blog to vent all of my frustrations the way I once did. It doesn’t seem to contain all of my crazed fantasies anymore, which might explain my growing sense of unease. When I was in high school, my class voted me…well, I won’t name the category, but basically, it amounted to, “Interesting guy, but we don’t know what to make of him.” I don’t know what to make of me either.

Part of the reason I work my current job is that I don’t know what my dream job would be. If I could make a living writing fiction, I probably would, but that wouldn’t solve all my personal problems, and maybe the root of the issue here is that I’ve been thinking that it would. I’ve touched upon this before lately, but so we’re clear: I am not going to give up blogging anytime soon. I have said nowhere near everything I want to say. There is, however, a part of me that is definitely getting tired of this shit. Tired of the same old routines, the same old problems, the same old (sniff) crushing loneliness that actually isn’t that crushing, just persistent and oppressive. There are answers. You may never find them. You may not even like them if you do. But they’re out there.

deal riker


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