So here is the thing. Why is it that we receive so much inspiration from dissatisfaction? Why does contentment breed complacency and a settling? Or maybe we are never content, but fear of motion keeps us still and comfortable, ignoring the mud at our feet that we wish were tile. When I started this job, I felt a surge of promise. It felt like a new thing, but the overwhelming suspicion is that the feeling was not new, that I had felt the same rush of enthusiasm when I started the job previous, and the job previous, and the job previous. I don’t ever expect to live the dream of Allen Ginsberg, getting by and getting what I need based on my looks alone, but shouldn’t there come a time where we find a place that accepts our flaws by embracing our gifts?
“When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks? America after all it is you and I who are perfect not the next world.” – Allen Ginsberg, America
It is just incredibly frustrating. Or maybe I am only bitching because I have been eating beans from a can, macaroni from a box, and still I find myself trapezing precariously from paycheck to paycheck. What is it that I am doing wrong? I realized before that I had a slight problem, that I was spending a bit too much money on the things I don’t need like CDs and random magazines to occupy my mind during lunch, and even that lunch itself could be moved from the restaurant to my own kitchen (such is the benefit of living near your place of employ). So cold turkey I quit. No, that is a lie. Let’s say I am weening, allowing occasional extravagances that are piling up slowly and stealthilly to consume any hopes for savings.
What are the things that drive us mad? Other people and the repercussions of their actions toward us, or our actions towards them. And money. People are relatively easy to handle on the local level. Wars, poverty, corruption, they are all issues created by people above us and the most we can do is lob idealogical notions at the powers-that-seem-to-be until our pitching arm grows too sore, hoping that those powers will step down from their dias and reestablish a connection with their misplaced compassion. But the things within arms length, those we can typically can a handle on. Make an apology, defend an opinion, declare an affection. When you have a face to place with a name, and that face is before you, you have been afforded an opportunity to find some kind of peace. It is when these fences of position and stance picket up between us that things become unwieldy. What drives us mad, to return to my point, is when we can no longer see the person to whom we are speaking, but instead we see the flourescent lights of our society glint sickly off a faded porcelain mask that says “policeman” or “bank teller” or “homeless” or even “lover.” We should be able to talk to one another, find an understanding, but instead we forget. Or more often, they forget, and when someone forgets you are human, there is little you can do but agree.
And money. What more can really be said about money than we already know? While to give it credit with the development and nurture of evil is extreme and unfounded, since evil existed long before the almighty dollar, we have to admit that lack of money or excess of money will push us all into positions that we never considered. I think at this time that if I had a better job, or a second job, that I will have more money and therefore have to worry about the presence (or lack thereof) of money in my life. I hate to admit it, but money is making me do things now. I am not stealing a car, robbing a bank, mugging the mayor, but I am letting my personal satisfaction, my happiness, be the second or third motivator for my direction in life instead of the first. I will quite possibly get a second job, and this job will take up so much of my free and available time. I will have two supervisors to whom I will answer. All to collect two paychecks instead of one.
But right now I see no other options.
I want to go home, curl up on the couch, eat decent food, and then sleep. When I wake up, the situations will all still be there, but I might be able to see them a bit clearer. And maybe the next time I look in the mirror, I won’t see that damned mask.