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When I roll my sorry ass out of bed, jump in the shower, and have a quick cup of coffee, I’m not thinking about what’s next. The future, landing a job, and the chance at living another year in total misery are all too out of reach for my dead brain to comprehend. I’m only thinking about the moment. Morning is a sketchy time like that. Even though there’s a whole lot of pain ahead and maybe a little satisfaction, I’m too busy trying to focus on waking up and not the endless deluge of shit that will surely pour down throughout the day. In those moments, I only halfheartedly grumble about waking up from a dream where Walter Payton saved me from that spider web outside my apartment. Those fleeting seconds of disheveled, robotic isolation before I get in the car are the closest thing I have to a happy place.
Soon, my day will be filled with yammering professors and peers who think “getting ahead” means opening their mouths every twenty seconds to lick the PhD’s grundle. Between that, as I idly shuffle from room to room learning about the intricacies of camera operation or theories from dead guys who took a lot of LSD, I might see a person I know. They’ll want to have a conversation about anything ranging from what I did last weekend to what I’m doing next weekend. It’s incredibly well thought out banter that invokes the genius of Socrates or Eric Clapton, and their well-articulated repartee always leaves me with the same response – “Probably just hanging out with some buddies.” Lies. I’ll be in a recliner watching football and counting down the seconds until I can wake up to that disorienting miasma of loneliness. If they knew that, they’d think I was a nut. The truth is, I just want to get out of here.
There are a lot of implications that come with entering the workforce. Moving cities and not being able to put down a Tuesday 12-pack are some of the changes people fear the most. For me, it’s the fact that “getting lucky” means I’ll be doing the same damn thing for a whole lot longer. Whether it’s a classroom or a cubicle, I know I’ll be stuck with those same taint-sucking peers, mouthy bosses, and friends who can’t make conversation to save their lives. Instead of doing it in a place where failure usually requires a great deal of effort, however, I’ll be doing it for a company where even a post-sneeze dirty look can get someone placed square on the shit list. Office politics are real and, obvious sunny outlook on life aside, I’m not exactly one to play the game. It’s that prospect of a future where everything is just pointless noise that fills me with dread to leave this town. If solitude only comes in small doses now, how much worse is it going to be when there are sixty hour weeks and consequences involved?
Every night that I lay in bed doing something other than dreaming the ghost of Sweetness is rescuing me from arachnids, the mental routine is always the same. First comes the dread, sitting on my chest like a hefty serial killer who gets off on smothering people betwixt his buttcheeks. Then, comes the realization that life has just become one pointless race to avoid living in a gutter. Finally, the sight of a quiet cabin tucked between towering conifers slips into my mind and I wish only to go there. A fly rod, a camera, and a mailbox for receiving checks is all that it would take to make it. As the sleep finally closes in around that vision of heaven, I’m almost at peace. All until I open my eyes, hit the shower, and grab a cup of coffee to face another day with only one desire – to be left the fuck alone. .