I’m not doing so hot today. I could just be hungry. It’s another day in the prison cell. Another day wearing someone else’s clothes. Listening to the hourly workers yell on the other side of the wall. Their room is hotter than mine. Their clothes are dirtier than mine. Their workspace is louder than mine. I’m the establishment. They are the proletariat. And yet, I can’t stop thinking about how shitty this day has been so far today. I’m listening to a podcast, but I’m not really listening to it. I’m doing work, but it’s not really working. I got up and producted my hair this morning. It looks bad. On ‘working, but not really’ days, ‘passable’ is the high water mark. Is the phrase ‘high water mark’ used to indicate a good thing or a bad thing? Am I tipping down again? Will I be sad for the next week?
The other day, I started and stopped a piece of free writing that was supposed to say something to the effect of “I mistrust happiness.” I can’t put my finger on why that is - both the fact that I mistrust happiness and why I kept stopping - but I think the events of last night and the fallout of it has helped to elucidate it. I get a picture of what I want my life to be, and then I’m brought rocketing back to the ground. It’s the out-of-body experience that is Bootsy Collins’ Sorry to Bother You. It’s falling through void space as a lifestyle. It’s the feeling of being a bystander to your own life. Last night, I was having a great time. Extroversion given form and colliding with other people like molecules in a system or variables in a theorem. Then, I laid down next to Sofia and went to sleep. 7 hours later, I fell through the gaps between the fingers of space-time and landed in an office chair without enough padding in the seat for my bony ass. I’m not convinced that I ever woke up. It never feels like it. I’m sleepy the entire day. I wake up when I go out for coffee, but maybe life resumes when I get to the coffee shop. Yet, I’m wearing my orange jumpsuit throughout the entire day. I’m wearing the team jersey pledging support for a team that I hate.
There’s a pithier, wittier, cleverer, writer-yer way to say that, but I’ve rendered out something important. A valuable observation about my life: I hate my work clothes, and I want to shed them as soon as possible when I get home, because they’re costuming for a play. It’s a play that I get paid $45,000 a year to participate in. There’s an audience pleasure meter superimposed onto my heads-up display with three sections: Ecstatic. Satisfied. Displeased. If I keep the needle in the top two, all is well. If I spend too much time in the third, my part gets cut.
It’s not a great metaphor. It’s certainly not an original one. I’m not the first person to have come up with it. If I made it into a film, people would say that it’s derivative. Motherfucker, it’s my life. I’m living it. Do I need to come up with a more contrived metaphor to satisfy you, you art critic fuck?
I’m attacking nobody. I want coffee.