When I was young, say, 8 or 10 years old, I kept up the struggle to be optimistic in spite of everything life handed out. And a lot of what it handed out was shit. There was food on the table, and it was damn good, as my mom was a great cook. Mom stayed at home most of the time and dad worked two jobs at any given time to support our family of 6, and it was almost always enough. I was never made aware of our limited income, except when I went to the store and wanted something. I did all right in school in spite of bullies. In the modern day, knowing what I know I suppose I would have put the bullies down fearlessly, but back then I was this timid kid. But I was optimistic and I thought I was smart and had a good future ahead. I had no clue what I wanted to do when I grew up, I just figured it would all pan out well.
I’ve been coasting watching a slow decline over the years. I worked hard for a marriage, I worked hard for two kids, and I’ve worked hard to keep it together, but the edges keep fraying. By “the edges” I mean everything, and by “fraying” I mean shit falls apart. Everything from cars to plumbing, This is natural and I should just roll with it and deal with it, but it’s happening faster and faster. Perhaps when I was younger I had the energy and patience and time to deal with shit, but frankly, I’m tired of everything. It’s taking a toll on my home, my kids, my wife, and me. There isn’t enough money for what I want. There isn’t enough money for what I need. I have a number in mind, of how much is enough, but it’s pie-in-the-sky. And no, the number is not 3,141,592.65 although that would be a nice start.
I could just be depressed. I’m a bit like a robot or a zombie or something. A robot, if you only count I’m going through the motions without any meaning or purpose or end in sight. A zombie if I really am looking for something and I can’t die to free myself from the endless search (for brains).
Work is boring. I’m not going to divulge any details but it’s a minute by minute struggle to focus and there is no joy in any of it. I dread the next assignment, the next task, the next mind-numbing stupidity. I also dread the tiny tiny paychecks that haven’t grown over the past seven years. When they did grow, it was immediately swallowed by insurance increases.
At home, I’m going through the motions. I’m running out of any real passion left since it wasn’t reciprocated when I was trying. Push me away all the time, almost every time, and eventually you’re going to either hear me, or feel me, say, fuck you, you aren’t worth my time. I don’t have the energy I used to have to stay up and take care of chores like dishes and other quiet housework. I sit on the couch and watch television until I fall asleep or until I fall into my cold bed. I’ve surrendered to the realization that although she is physically present, she isn’t there. She’s asleep and if I do anything except sleep, my advance is batted away like a line drive to some poor schmucks head in a baseball game. I’m the schmuck. Fuck this, what’s the point? Why keep trying?
She’s always been impressed with money, which is why I was amazed she married me. I had none, still don’t have enough to impress her. I somehow doubt that even if I had what I feel would be “enough,” she’d still be distant. Maybe even more. A woman at work touched me today and I realized how much I miss it. She asked permission (!) and then fixed my collar. That was it. I don’t want the woman at work, fine as she is. And she is. I want my wife back. I want my life back, but I want it better than it ever was before we started slipping away from each other.
What I want is freedom from this shit. EVERYONE I read wants to be free from their shit. There are so many blogs out there where people are looking for a greater degree of personal freedom, Which doesn’t bode well for the hope that someday I will find myself free, after seeking out and finding whatever opportunity wasn’t ready to knock until I did the knocking. I used to knock on doors to see if they would open, but they would tease me and slam shut and I reached the point of fuck this, what’s the point?
What I need is a windfall that releases me from these constraints- the rising cost of living modestly, the increasing speed with which things fall apart. I need a season of repair and rest. An extended season. I want to fix it, or replace it. I want to have time to write more of what I want, drink more of what I want to drink, eat more of what I want to eat and less of the crap I’m eating now on this so-fucked-I’m-helpless survival budget, and then after eating more, time and liberty to exercise more. I don’t want champagne and caviar and lobster, but I bet my wife would like that. Damn good thing I like rice and ramen and mac and cheese. But sometimes even that loses its flavor in my mouth and I feel sick. I want a fucking huge ribeye steak and a bottle of pinot noir and no time limit. Once every week or two. I don’t think that’s much to ask for.
I wake up in the morning and regularly have stress attacks. On weekends when I don’t have to do anything I stay in bed longer and when I do get up, there’s no stress attack. I wonder how many days of not having to get up would make the attacks go away. I force myself into the routine of morning, and then into the routine of the day.
I want to get up in the morning and choose what I want for breakfast and either cook it myself or go out and get it, and bring my wife with me to get whatever she wants. I liked doing chores, when I had the energy to do them. I like breakfast, but I don’t want it at the crack of dawn. I want it at 9:30, after a cup or two of coffee. Rich guy fantasies. What do rich guys want? I want to find out first hand. I want to wonder where I want to go today, and then pick a spot and go, instead of being unable to have any choice. I get up, I go to work, I come home, I watch TV, I go to bed.
I don’t want to be a recluse. I just don’t want to do this any more, and until I figure out what I really want to do, I want to be rich enough I don’t have to do this any more.
In short, I’m more than just sick of everything and this is more than a simple tantrum or a rant. The woman in the old commercial used to call out for “Calgon” to “take [her] away.” And then she’d be in a beautiful bubble bath. Yeah, I don’t want a bubble bath. I want a lot more.