I have made a big decision. No, I'm not having gender reassignment surgery...yet. Rather, a new chapter has started in my life while my head is still buzzing from the bells of the new year, like a swarm of angry Africanized bees. My world has been rocked, and if this were the big leagues, my coach, performing a post-mortem for the media scrum would vaguely announce that I have 'concussion-like' symptoms and I'll be out indefinitely, for today I have quit my job of five years.
Everyone always tell me, "You have to have a back up plan before you quit your job." While I understand this concept in theory very well, I failed to implement it. I understand a lot of things in theory but do not implement the knowledge and practicality therein, so I have to listen to people (good naturedly, of course) explain the concept of work. Too much work, I say!
I bought a new pair of shoes the other day (I was still employed), which is no small victory. Must have visited twenty different stores. A shiny pair of white Lacoste's. When I buy shoes I invariably think to myself, I'm not a -------- kind of guy, am I? My last pair of shoes were Diesel's. Now just going on shoe selection alone, one might think I'm a pumpkin-coloured pumper of fists, but I couldn't be farther away from Tha Shoar, aside from my shoes.
I'm now sandwiched into a liminal phase, post old job and pre new one; a murky world of endless career potentials. If I can't decide on a pair of shoes, how the hell am I going to decide on a career though? It's a crisis of sorts, no doubt. Figure it out, dummy! That's what your brain is for. Focus on your skill sets. Hmmm...I can say words backwards really well...
rolyaT tibseN. That's me.
asluT. That's Tulsa, OK in case you didn't know. I would tell that to Oklahoman customers on the phone; they usually thought it was funny--if they were younger and male.
"Did you know that 'Tulsa' backwords is 'a slut'?" And we share a little chuckle, and then it's time to get down to business. What are your measurements? Where are your specs? Your shopdrawings? Your photos--they work best. But I won't be telling that to any Oklahomans anytime soon will I? Americans love it when Canadians say, 'No doot aboot it!" Warms the cockles of America's collective beating heart. I don't think it's funny either, but you can't argue with laughs. I'd hyperbolize it, of course. Not too many Canadians really say 'doot' and 'aboot', it's more like a 'boat' sound, but apparently it's funny when hammed up over the phone to a semi-stranger. That's the key, you have to be strangers or it's not funny. If I say, "Noo doot aboot it!" to a fellow Ontarion, they'd look at me like I have a two-headed dick growing out of my ear, but you already know that.
I had a whole repetoire of stock phrases, phrases which I will never (hopefully) utter again. A part of me will miss my American bretheren. Say what you will about Americans--they're fat, xenophobic, hillbilly rednecks eating McGrittles in their SUV's, but by and large they're good people. Take it from me, I've seen it first hand. I talked to them for hours every day. Shit, I know Americans better than Americans do. Or at least I did. They want to do right by their families and make an honest buck and God bless 'em for that. At first, I was shocked that Americans, mostly in the Southern states deferred to me as 'sir'. The American South is so cordial! I'm no Full Metal Jacket general, I'm just some kid, and now forty year old Americans are deferring to me a 'sir'. I was only sleeping, hard-wired into the dream that is America. But I'm tapped out. I've cut the cord.
One day a locksmith from Florida, West Palm Beach to be exact, lost it on me with almost no provocation. Admittedly, I can be a prick on occasion: Condescending, arrogant, short, patronizing, unhelpful, but this time I was none of those. He just went ape shit because I could not provide a quick, simple answer to his simple question. He couldn't fathom that it wasn't that simple. There are multiple options of which I was trying to politely explain.
"It will only take a minute," I said.
"I just want the price of a goddamn gate for a door!" He screamed at me like an axe wielding maniac. I will typically react in one of two ways to difficult people, and I will be so kind as to give you a simple answer: Unfazed or Crazy. You wanna get nuts! Let's get nuts! I can be that guy, but with this particular case I was unfazed. I prefer to match wits or insults, it's very cathartic to call someone a 'dumb motherfucker,' or a 'cock-sucking infidel' but I can't really compete with a seizure-like fit of rage. The guy's filibustering me. I depress my index finger on the volume button until the level descends to a tolerable pitch, and just let him go. I think to myself, as his vitriol spews through my VOIP connection, (that's Voice Over Internet Protocol): America must be really scary with guys like this and easy access to all those guns. That's why Cops will never be cancelled: It is a renewable resource. Whereas sitcoms and reality shows stagnate after a few years, Cops never runs out of material.
I took out the business card in my wallet, the one I keep in case I lose it, the break-glass-in-case-of-emergency card so that a good samaritan can call me, and tossed it in the trash. The last vestige of my former employer. Where do I go from here?
For a brief while I will enjoy my new found freedom. Wouldn't you? I've celebrated the first week of my unemployment by being a total wastoid. Through the mist on my currently calm seas I'm hoping that I'll see land, or at least an island where I can dock. But I can drift for at least a couple months and live comfortably, with beer in my belly and a warm bed at night. The world is my oyster! I don't like oysters though. I'm the king of the world! Or something like that. I will take a sledge-hammer to the frozen sea of the job market!
Perhaps I'll blow off some semen--I mean steam...go to a strip club, plop myself down on pervert's row, and crane my neck up at the naked women preening about the stage on vertiginous heels. The pleasures of the flesh are always there for you in times of need, like a dog. To sit amongst the sleeze balls with their fixed gazes, silently tuned into their own private thoughts hidden behind their thousand-yard stares, oblivious to the pulsating strobes around them.
"Baby, you got an hour glass figure," I would coo into the ear of the dutiful stripper on my lap, "and I want to play in the sand."
I would not think about job interviews and office politics with Gia offering me a nibble on her suckle-berry breasts. I'd enjoy her company with a Moosehead in my hand and Kickstart My Heart ringing in my ears. This is an escape. Our very assimilation--commercials, vacations, stripclubs, shopping, etc., relies on the notion of escape. But why do we need to escape so badly? Why is so much effort put forth toward it? What are we escaping from exactly? I can't really stand strib clubs, it's the men not the women. Or maybe it's the sharing of women with the men. Who wants to ogle the same woman as twenty other guys? Forty eyes engaged in the ocular gang-rape of a young woman who happens to be afflicted with beauty and not much else. Thanks, but no thanks. Imagine all those boners she has to sit on every night--Yuckers!
I must get back to the business of making money for the coach to keep me in the game. What am I doing here typing away, pussyfooting around? There's a lot at stake here. I have to pay the bills. It's all about money and that's what I want...that's what I want. It's more important now than ever. You know, it's kind of exciting--I hoard the pennies in my coin stash, I ration out my soaps, creams and deoderants, I carefully tear two squares of toilet paper at a time for my bottom, I am diligent in turning lights out. I'm fucking Greenpeace over here.
I haven't eaten the stockpiled cans of Campbell's soups stored in my nether cupboard regions, beyond the easy reach of everyday use, but that day may be coming. I had planned to donate the whole lot, about twenty cans, expiration dates all well into the fall of 2013, (apparently Campbell's doesn't abide by Mayan time) to the Salvation Army, but now I, of all people need them. Precious, precious cans. In a month, like a peasant, the savings account sucked dry, I will painfully slurp at the disfigured vegetable or chicken noodle soup before me, which is imbued with an unearthly orange hue topped with yellowish specks of just-this-side-of-edible detritus floating on the surface. How incredibly unnatural! No wonder there are so many cancers, heart attacks, tumors, respiratory failures, diabetes, BAD JOBS, lurking around every corner. Look at what we eat for Chrissakes! The convenience of efficiency is the king of this land. It just never fucking ends. Quicker, QUICKER, man! Quickly Nezbit, get back into the relentless machine of economical commerce! It's your duty as a citizen of Ontari-ari-ari-o to contribute, to work those fingers to the bone for it. Or else. Or else what I don't really know. Maybe end up in that dungeon in the old abandoned farmhouse in Pickering that was discovered recently. Did you hear about this? A brand new 'containment' room found in an uninhabited, hundred and fifty year old house. A room, 12' x 8' complete with chains, multiple locks, glass too thick for a crow bar to break, four jugs of water sitting neatly in a row by a white, clinical bench. What was going on, or about to go on there? To quell public fear, I heard on the CBC that the police put forth the notion it might be a movie set. Yeah, right. Saw VIII. Sadly, we may never know because the house burned down sometime during the night of Jan 5-6th of this year. Somebody trying to get rid of forensic evidence? Hiding something?
So anyways, *cough* please hire me.