A Tale Of Wrath : Taking Care Of Business

The ground was pretty tough, but I was tougher. I will admit, it wasn’t easy digging a big hole over 6 feet deep. But I had to dig it deep. Very deep. I was going to need it. I tossed another shovel full of dirt out of the hole, onto the ocean of dirt piled beside it, the wiped the sweat from my eyes, and took a big chug from my Coke. Real Coke, you know. Not that Coke Zero shit, or that Diet Coke piss. Real Coke. With real caffeine.

Then I dug some more. I’d been digging off and on for a week. In the middle of the woods. At night, so no one would see me. Not that anyone would have seen me anyway. The nearest neighbor was a quarter mile away, and my back yard butted right up to the woods. The last house on the road. I’d picked it, so I could escape the stupidity of the world.

Watching the news pissed me off. Like that marriage shit. Yeah. The government said, “anybody can get married.” And that was fucking wrong. Everybody with a lick of sense knew that. Only a man and a woman could get married. That’s what marriage was. Two people making babies. Not fucking adopting them. Jesus, the world was fucked up.

Then there was that Bernie Sanders ass hole from what, Vermont? One of them pussy states that was ruled by them feminist women, and their pretty boy men. You know, those stupid men who’d sell their soul to Satan just to get permission to fuck their wives or girlfriends. You know what I’m saying?

I concentrated on shoveling more dirt out of the hole. I really wasn’t sure if six feet deep was good enough. Maybe eight feet would be better. As I dug, I thought about the type of brick I’d need to weigh down the corpse, so it wouldn’t float to the surface in a good rain. So it’d stay in the ground, and never be found.

I knew exactly what I was going to do. I had it all planned out.

See, this… Thing… Thing’s the only word for it. Thing. Abomination. Spawn of Satan. Whatever the fuck you want to call it. This thing was ruining everything at work. Everybody talked about it, too. How they’d made this unisex bathroom, where anyone could go for a leak. They’d made it so that thing could have a place to piss. So everyone would know where it went to piss, and could avoid that place like the plague.

And that’s what everyone did. Like Julie said, “I’m never setting foot in that one again. Even after it’s gone, even if after it’s gone they pour 300 gallons of chlorine bleach on everything in there. Nope. Never setting foot in there again.”

Julie wasn’t alone in that feeling about that thing at work. I remember too well when the office bosses came around and laid down the law, “Anyone treating this person impolitely will be fired. She’s a person, just like all of us. With the same rights, and the same privileges.”

Yeah. It was an it. Used to be a girl. None of us ever knew her. She’d worked there for years, in some department or other. Then, one day, the bitch decided she was a guy. And she had this surgery shit done.

I heard its parents, brother, and sister disowned it. Can’t blame ‘em.

So, I spent a year watching people where I worked go nuts. It was hilarious, the way they acted like everything was OK when It was in the room, and how they all relaxed, and talked about how they thought it would never leave when it finally left.

Hell, I knew what to do before I ever saw a story in the papers, or on the TV. Remember the first time I saw a story, “Another Transgender person beaten to death.” Like that’s news. Like that’s a bad thing.

I kept digging. I figured another couple of nights, and I’d be ready. Then all I had to do was get it alone. With no one around. And I’d be able to rid the world of another one of them.

I’d been working on that for a couple months, being polite to it. Going to lunch with it. Hell, I even let it borrow my Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Said, “Keep it. I’ll get another. It’s fun to look at.” Yeah. Hot women wearing paint. I knew how its mind worked. It was only a matter of time until I invited it to a cookout in my backyard.

It was never going to leave my backyard while it was breathing.

So, I kept digging, knowing I was doing the world a favor, and working to remove something evil from it. Just doing my job to make the world a better place.

The Violence – One

The alarm goes off each morning,
Five times every week.
It tells me it’s time once more,
To do what I have to.

It doesn’t matter if I’m tired,
Have a cold,
Or the flu.
It tells me I have work to do.
And it’s time to do it.
It says to me,
“Fuck you.”

Everything is on the clock.
Every minute planned.
Five minutes max in the bathroom,
To gear up for the workout.
Five minutes and no more,
Or else I’ll be behind schedule.
And have to cut time somewhere else,
To get back on track.

The 30 minute workout
Is always the same.
Five different workouts planned.
One for each of the five days.
Monday push the arms and shoulders,
Tuesday push the legs,
Wednesday climb a million stairs,
Thursday push the arms again.
The legs again on Friday.
And spend 10 minutes every day
Working on my abs.

When the workout time is done,
That 30 minutes up,
There’s 10 minutes for a shower,
Just 10 minutes to clean up.
Another 5 is set aside
To shave the whiskers from my face.
So I can look professional
Throughout the day I’ve yet to face.

5 more minutes to get dressed,
And then it’s time to eat.
But there’s never time to cook.
A bowl of cold cereal and milk,
And a daily vitamin,
Washed down by coffee
Always have to do.

I pray, as I always do,
Nothing happens on the drive
As I race to work.
I pray no one does something stupid,
Has a flat,
Or a break down,
That causes a back up,
And makes me late.

The bosses don’t like it
When you’re late to work.
They don’t like it at all.

I don’t ask any questions
About the life I lead,
The schedule I live by each day,
I don’t have to,
I get paid,
And I have bills to pay.

It doesn’t matter how I feel.
Or what I want to do.
It doesn’t matter if I’m sick,
If I have the flu.
The schedule’s set
And I have a job to do.

So to myself,
That tired, weak, being
I know I am inside.
There’s just one thing
I have to say to you
When I hear you whine
Or cry,
When I know you’re tired.

Fuck you.
I have a job to do.

I Never Told Anyone

Today, at psychotherapy, I finally said something I’ve never said. And it’s something I need to get into the open. So, I’m going to put it here. My doctor said this is one of those things that older far beyond my years, and certainly was beyond my years when I said it the first time.

I can’t remember if I was in 6th or 7th grade. Yeah. That long ago. Dad had just finished a big project at his work, and I got to see the finished document he’d written. It was a stack of paper, notebook sized, a good inch and a half thick, maybe two. He was proud of it, and I knew to write something that size took a lot of time and effort.

But I heard my thoughts back then. It was years before I finished burying them. Back then, I’d just started burying things. And that day, I heard my terrified thoughts. The work he’d shared didn’t terrify me. Neither did his pride in having completed that work. No. What terrified me was what I saw in him, and the people he worked with.

They were all practically dead. In lives that didn’t change. On career paths. However you wish to define it. Every aspect of their lives matched a plan each of them had made years, perhaps decades, earlier. Many of them were in their 30s. As I watched them, I knew they would never really change. Never really do anything other than what they were already doing.

They’d stopped growing. Stopped changing. Stopped learning. Stopped exploring. They’d grown up, and there was no room in their lives for such childish pursuits. They had responsibilities.

If someone was a Marine, he’d stay a Marine. If Navy, they’d stay Navy. If civilian contractor, or civil servant, they’d always be that. If someone was an administrative assistant, they’d always be assisting someone.

It was the first time I understood how life in our social system worked. That’s what terrified me. And I heard my mind, screaming, “I’m not going to be dead at 30! I’m not going to be like them!”

Of course, I can say this all I want. I can share it. I can talk about it. But sharing it is useless, because, as I’ve said before, no one will understand. Oh, there will be some that understand. There always are, always have been, always will be. But many people will never understand what I saw that day, or how I felt about it.

My doctor and I talked about many things today, centered around that thought.

I told him if you ever want to see the true nature of someone, murder their smart phone. Break it, and watch what happens to them. Watch as they go crazy. “Do you know, there are guys out there, if their phone shuts off, and they can’t turn it on, I wouldn’t be surprised if they throw that sucker through the drywall.” Yeah. I said that.

“Same with their computers. Or their video games. Or NetFlix. Or the Internet.”

I reminded him of the study I’d talked about a couple of weeks ago. The one about 67% of men in the study electing to endure a painful electric shock to get out of sitting still, in a room, by themselves, for 15 minutes, with no electronic devices. Yeah. That’s right. Put a guy in a room with nothing but a chair, and a button that administers an electric shock to himself, and tell him he can leave after 15 minutes, or he can shock the shit out of himself, and he’ll shock the shit out of himself.

And that’s when the lightbulb turned on over my head, and I said, “Holy crap!”

My doctor knows exactly what I mean when I say, “Holy crap!” I’d just had an epiphany. I’d just realized something. Or, as I like to express it, another piece of the puzzle of life finally fit into the puzzle.

“They’re escaping, aren’t they.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement. I was reciting a fact. “They’re escaping from their lives. That’s why they go crazy when their phones die. Why they spend hours glued to NetFlix, watching streaming media. Why they bury themselves in video games. They’re escaping the misery they live in. And when they can’t escape, and have to sit silently for a while, they can’t. They’ll shock themselves to escape. So they don’t have to deal with who they are. What their lives have become. The truth that they’re all walking dead.”

My doctor and I spent a lot of time talking about that today. About how people try to escape.

I know. I hear the voices screaming, “It takes one to know one!” and “Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!” Yeah. Most people will never understand, I know. I’m flawed. I’m guilty. I’m not perfect.

On my drive home, I listened to my music, playing through the car stereo. I turn it to 24 on the power meter when I’m in the car alone. I can feel the door panels shake in time with the music. I can see the rear view mirror vibrate as the sound waves move it around just a touch. I can feel the music through every cubic inch of me.

It’s my escape. From the misery. My own personal misery. Of dealing with a world I don’t understand, and never made.

But, what happens when that music goes away. In May, 2012, it did. I got dunked in some rapids leading to a waterfall. The camera I owned at the time drowned. It never worked again. The MP3 music player I owned also drowned, and never played another note from any music. It never turned on again. My cell phone took days (at least 3) to dry out. I was without any of those devices for days.

This happened on day two of a five-day camping trip. We had no TV. No Internet. No electricity. And pretty much no cell phone service. It would have wrecked many of the people I know, and have known in life.

I did OK. I was happy to get a new player, a few days after we got home. I was happy when my phone started working, also a day or two after we got home. I was happy when we replaced my dead camera in July of 2012.

I survived without them. And I can survive without them now.

I know people who would shrivel up like grapes turning into raisins if they had to endure such an ordeal. I know people who can’t live without being on their cell phone, on Facebook, or Twitter, or being able to watch another movie on their phone, to kill the time.

Time they can’t face on their own.

Because, if they had to face it, they’d have to face their lives. They’d have to face themselves. They’d have to deal with who they are.

And I see people like them every day. People who will do anything to escape themselves.

“I don’t want to be dead at 30! I won’t be like them!”

I never told anyone.

Until today.

Here’s a link to the study I mentioned.

Study: People Would Rather Suffer Electric Shock Than Sit Silently