You probably wake up around the time she does. Not really by choice, that’s just when the alarm goes off. You’re practically conditioned at this point, you couldn’t stay asleep past 6:30 if you tried, and believe me, you could really try most days…
As she gets ready for work, you lay in bed, thinking to yourself that you really should get up, stay in that work-mode habit that the rest of the world seems to be in. Yeah, right. Fuck that. If you aren’t going to work, you might as well enjoy staying in bed and going back to sleep for a few more hours. But you know you won’t. Your brain is already awake, going back to sleep is pretty pointless. Too much to think about. What sites to check out today, how to cope with the boredom after you’ve combed over the half dozen new job postings that you’re either over or under qualified for. You think about these things instead of doing them, for some reason. The most unproductive of all activities, you lay in bed and ponder what you’re going to do, or perhaps going to avoid doing. Other options creep into your head. Stay in bed all day, too boring. Drink all day, too expensive. Video games all day, been there. It’s getting as expired as watching yet another daily dose of Judge Judy would get. You look over at the clock. It’s finally 9, or maybe 10. You realize most productive people in the world are already working hard at their jobs. Not just that 8:15-get-to-work-and-kill-30-minutes-on-the -coffee-and-bullshit-mode, but actually doing productive things that contribute to society. You’re loafing in bed. You grab your laptop. Thank god someone took the time to invent that thing. You check your favorite news aggregators, google news, digg, and so on, hoping against hope that today would bring good news of economic recovery, a public works project, the expansion of Unemployment Coverage to recent college grads, but nothing. Kim Jong Il this, Michael Vick that. You open a half dozen articles, thinking you’ll be entertained by them, only to grow tired of them a few sentences in. You check the social networking sites, hoping a long-lost friend messaged you, maybe having that perverse notion that some long lost love interest is romanticizing over you, even though you’re more than happy with where you are in life. Well, at least in relationship terms. Myspace, facebook, livejournal, deadjournal, blurty, some days you check the sites you joined 5, 8, 10 years ago and have abandoned shortly thereafter. Hoping something has changed…maybe some new excitement pops up. It doesn’t. You dwell on facebook, the only one of those god awful sites that is actually somewhat useful. A comment here, a poke there. Nothing useful after all. Nothing entertaining. Are any friends online to chat with? No, they’re at work, of course. The days of constant friends online to chat with at all hours of the day are long gone. You’ve known this for some time, of course, but it still stings. You grow restless, checking sports sites, gaming websites, anything you can think of that you might be interested in. But you’ve seen it all before. Wikipedia is stale with articles you’ve already glanced through, grabbing whatever tidbits of information your wandering mind picks up. You wander to your favorite pornographic and otherwise explicit non-pornographic sites, which you immediately realize will do little more than bore you as much as the rest of the internet does. Your laptop battery dies, far sooner than it should. You realize your laptop is ancient by modern standards, of course it is. You got it your freshman year of college. It was a beast. Unstoppable, invincible. Then again, so were you. You realize the irony of then, plug in your computer, and consider sitting near naked at your desk to continue your miserable morning, but you eventually head to the shower.
The shower isn’t as refreshing when you’re already awake. When you’re still half asleep, the shower is your wakeup. It’s like being baptized every day, a new life given to you with water. Not today, not lately. The showers you usually enjoy are little more than another stale routine in your day. You smell nice, and you have to dry off. Lather, rinse, repeat. Brush the teeth dry off, back to the bedroom. You consider crawling back into bed, but you’d just be as bored as you were before. Without the computer.
You get dressed, eventually, putting on the same pair of shorts you always wear when you want to be comfortable. You pick out a nice looking shirt, even though you have little doubt that you’ll be staying inside today. You head down to your kitchen. By now, it’s anywhere from 10:00 to 12:30. Half of your day is already wasted before most of the world even eats lunch. Which brings your next problem to rise. What to eat? Slimfast shake? Lunch meat sandwich? Soup? Leftovers? These are the things you would be eating if you were at work, but god damn it, you want the variety and luxury of choosing what you want. You want Bruger King, Wawa, a hoagie, anything but what you have in your pantry. You struggle to reason with this, but come up with no conclusion. You close the pantry or fridge door unsatisfied. You decide to make coffee while you think over your options Pull the zip lock baggie of ground beans out of the fridge, it reminds you of a bag of cannabis. Alluring, potent and pungent. Your drug of choice, the coffee.
Your coffee routine is equally as repetitive as your others, however this one is different. No one can destroy your coffee routine. Not now, not ever. You dutifully scoop the grounds into the bottom section of the fake espresso steamer you have, fill the water to just the right level, screw the Ikea contraption back together ad wait. Flame on. The pressure builds in the coffee maker until you hear the steam and boiling water shoot through the crushed grounds. It hisses, gurgles, and steams until the warm, thick fluid erupts into the top chamber, like a coffee-pot orgasm. This is why you got out of bed today, you realize. You dutifully pout half the carafe’s contents into your mug, topped of with milk for a makeshift latte. It’s not Starbucks, it’s not Dunkin Donuts or even god damned McDonalds, but it’s the way YOU like it. And you make the best coffee in the world.
You still haven’t figured out what to eat for breakfast. Or is it lunch, by this point? It’s probably both. You decide either meal’s food s would be acceptable. Eggs? bacon? Hamburger? teak? You still want that hoagie or cheese steak sandwich from your favorite shop dwon the street, but you resist. Spending money now means that much less for beer later (or rent…or bills, god forbid you lose your HBO). You settle for tuna fish. Again. The tuna fish that was on sale last week at Shoprite, not the fancy, tasty, non-mercury filled kind. It will have to do today. Open the can, find your favorite condiments, mayo, dressing, you’re out of onion powder, garlic powder will have to do, even though y ou know you won’t like it as much. Mix with a spoon, slap onto bread. Chew. No, wait…something different. You have wraps today. Hot damn, a break. You pile your tuna onto a spinach garlic wrap, load n some croutons and carrots, and roll it up, realizing that this might actually be the highlight of your day.
You avoid looking at your computer while eating. You’re going to be staring at it all day anyway, why burn out your eyeballs during lunch/breakfast? What now? You’ve finished eating Go out? no money to STay in? don’t feel like it. You want to do something spontaneous. Climb onto a roof, get a tattoo, sneak into a building, climb a water tower, but you know these things would no work out. You swear to do them tomorrow. You check your email for the 100th time, hoping against hope that one of the people you contacted for a job will get back to you, but they won’t. They will tomorrow, you’re sure. You check for jobs. Indeed, monster, careerbuilder, the same jobs you saw yesterday. And the same that were there last week.
new one pops up here ad there. Someone you know heard that such-and such- company was hiring, so you check their website Unqualified, overqualified, or not applicable. Same as usual. You fire one or two resumes off in hopes that someone will realize the hidden talents you have, despite your lack of experience and professional license. Now comes the phase in your day where you’re worse off than before. Worse than boredom, worse than frustration. Bored frustration. This is where you start to worry…where dangerous things pop into your head. Maybe you could drink a few beers and kill the afternoon. Maybe you could find some pot and watch a movie. You don’t have the money for either, and wouldn’t even know where to find pot. You consider video games, but realize that your collection hasn’t expanded since you looked yesterday. The same old games. The ones you’ve been playing for 2 years because you can’t fathom spending 60 bucks on a new one. By now, it’s already 3pm. Only a few more hours until the missus gets home. Then maybe you’ll go do something fun. But she’s been working all day, like most good grown ups. She won’t want to go crazy tonight. You get a phone call…a second interview, scheduled for tomorrow, are you available? You are now. This is the scary one, the technical interview. You can bullshit your way through HR, but this is a different beast. But you know not to get your hopes up. This interview will go like all the others. Thank you for your interest. They’ll let you know real soon.
You slink back into the couch, glad you didn’t have that pot connection, or else you have sounded the damned fool on the phone, and maybe failed your drug test. Email, CNN, syndicated reruns, CNN, email, reruns, CNN, email, reruns. You can’t choose, because none are satisfying. You grab a beer from the fridge, just one, to cool off with, or perhaps to comfort you just a little. 4pm, 4:30, 4:45, you’re almost there. Your day is almost done. You yearn for 5 o’clock to come around, but you don’t know why. The missus won’t get home until almost six. But something in you still strives to make it until then. You start making dinner, eat when she gets home. She’s your breadwinner, it’s the least you can do. You’re exhausted for some reasn, and lay on the cough until she gets home. Then you eat dinner, clean up, and watch TV. At least you aren’t doing it alone, and can share a laugh or two.
You watch the same shows every night, TMZ, Simpsons, Family Guy, and whatever prime time show of the day that’s on afterwards. Then you go to bed, following the same routines you do every night. Wash your little face, brush your little teeth, take your little pills to keep you alive for another day. Things you used to take simple pleasure in, but not so much anymore. You head to bed, knowing you won’t sleep well, wondering how to pay your part of the bills and rent, hoping that tomorrow will be the day you hear from a job, and get your lucky break. It’ll happen. Maybe tomorrow.