ALL OF MY COWORKERS IMPRESS ME. I'm impressed by everyone I see at work, and everyone I see at work has my respect. Everybody there is smart. Smart, capable, and interesting. They're all real characters.
Two dozen of us work for a very successful business with multiple locations. We sell everything needed to build homes. The business makes millions and millions of dollars a year. We're the only game in town, and we move an incredible array of product. For me it's a brand-new skill set. I love working with people, but my favorite part is when I drive a truck. Because that really is a skill. Check the classifieds. Two positions are always advertised: Registered nurses and experienced truck drivers. I'll never be a nurse--and I have no problem with that--but I'm getting experience driving a truck, and I like that a lot.
I also like operating a forklift. I've done it before. It's fun. And sometimes I use a chop saw and a table saw. With both I'm quite precise. I know how to use a tape measure, and with the table saw I know how to run a cut smooth and straight with the wood firm against the rail. Couple days ago a customer who had received a bad plywood cut on my off day was told by the front desk to ask for me by name. I like that.
I like everyone at work. Sometimes I get a chance to speak with people individually. Then I get to really learn about them. It's essential that we see each other's humanity. What a terrible waste to be stuck with people you can't stand. And I've been there. I've had that kind of job, where there were lousy people around. But those days are long gone.
I can even walk to work. Sometimes I take my VW bug, sometimes my Chevy pickup, sometimes I ride my mountain bike. It's all good. Like living in a TV show. I meet lots of people. I'm busy. Busy being self-sufficient, busy being involved in life. I am open to the universe. I have nothing to hide.
I've lived many lives. Enough to appreciate this one. Exactly as it is.
The fob to my bug doesn't work. It used to lock and unlock my car with the press of a button from a distance. Then one summer day I forgot it was in my pocket when I went swimming. Ever since then it's just a key. But the key won't stay down. It pops up like a constant boner. So I have to keep a rubber band around it or it'll put a hole in my pants.
Never mind all that. The point is, while things do work, they do so only barely. The bug itself, for example. Every single bit of it is falling apart. Evidently it was constructed by mentally deficient monkeys right before lunch break. I would never recommend a VW to anyone ever. Not even an asshole worthy of an open-handed face-slap. Mostly because why recommend anything to an asshole? But that's beside the point. Point is, nobody looks at VWs. Least of all mechanics. Not the one or two worth a damn. Or even an open-handed face-slap. Sure, the Divorce-mobile is, at first glance, entirely adorable. Which I entirely hate. But it was literally the only car in town. From a satellite dealership with one car left. And then they skedaddled. I've had more problems with that car than anyone has had with anything ever. Literally.
Forget the 98 million little plastic bits and pieces that have fallen or are falling off. Let's just talk about the turn indicator. Guess what? It doesn't work. Having a spine made of steel, I graciously rolled with that punch and said No problem. Why, I'll simply roll down the window, and use my arm to indicate signals. Golly life is jolly. Haha! So easy.
And then the window started sticking. And then it wouldn't roll back up at all.
Haha! So jolly! Not a problem.
Then the Service Engine Soon light came on my Chevy S-10.
So I left the S-10 on the street and pulled my bug into my ex's garage--that would be the garage at the house I picked out, the one with the shop next to it where I wrote most of my work late at night while the world slept--and I pulled out my old mountain bike. Sadly, in my four years of solitary confinement doing time in Northern California, my mountain bike's gears ceased to function. Plus one brake squeaks like a vat of boiling rats. And a tire with a slow leak stays perpetually low.
Surely, I said, the Lord doth test me.
I work my goddam ass off! I have yet to see the fifty year-old man who can lift anywhere near the shit I lift all day, plus write to beat the goddam band. Well, not now. But usually.
Everything's falling apart like fuckin' dandelion spores, yet still I manage to retain my pleasant nature. This has not in human history been done 'til now. Check the history books. Go check it out.
And women. Don't get me started. Too late! I deserve love. Big fat juicy love. What a craphole world where I, of all people, go loveless. What I get is a bunch of old cassette tapes. Because the CDs don't play on my ancient machine. The one I used all those times in my shop. Writing books, for humanity. The lid to my CD player pops up constantly like the boner key on my fob. So I have to hold it down with the last two copies of my three print books.
Spores barely holding together.
I know of no writing professor who puts so much on the line, or keeps such consistent readership. I know of no corporate-published author more inventive or capable than myself, and I've never heard of anyone who pays anywhere near the dues.
Sometimes I'll see a hundred pageviews in Russia. Sometimes it'll be a hundred pageviews in Poland. I'm thankful for my reliable readers in Germany. Plus a few in France. Randoms in Spain, Ukraine, Norway, Mexico, China. Countries all around the world. Sometimes places I never knew existed. Mostly of course the US. Everybody helps keep me going. If I wasn't so poor, I'd pay you.
It means more than I can say that you care about what I write. Or at least want to see me fuck up. I don't know what I'd do without you. Wouldn't feel as real, that's for sure.
Hundreds of pageviews at a time. And I have to wonder: Colleges? Prisons? Mental institutions? The pageviews go for hours at a time. Plagiarists stealing my work? Ah, how sweet. Whoever you are, you're terrific fuel. You're like God to me. Always there, invisible, never saying anything.
I worship you. You are my religion.
And you know what? I'll kill for you.
Dear reader, I managed to lure someone back to my apartment for you. I swear, those hidden hands. Just always there to help.
It was dusk, and the golden autumn leaves, profoundly prolific, danced across the street like the innumerable pages I've penned and scattered to the wind. That was when I saw him, this worthless little punk-ass piece of shit who used to work at Sawyer's. I recognized him because one of my buddies at work pointed him out one day when he tooled down the breezeway with his flamboyant sugar-daddy looking for plywood...