Sep 12, 2008

Self expression Trilogy #1: Sunset in vain

Fingers peck mindlessly on a desensitized keyboard that knows exactly how you feel. All letters show up the same on the screen but your hardware isn't fooled by typography, font size or line spacing. It knows it's taken for granted and that it's probably hated for being the direct link between your thoughts and the computer screen. Posts-its scream reminders of things pending, things done, reminders you always forget and little haiku messages to secretly express your dreams or your frustrations. A note pad looks at you from the corner of your desk fully knowing everything you write in code, in reverse or that you pass a sharpie's ink over. The empty bag of menthol lozenges yawns in boredom while it waits for you to finally make up your mind to throw it away and clear up your desk. Half assed briefs mock you with their emptiness daring you to play the hangman's game as you try to fill in the blanks you've been assigned to decipher. The A/C is either too hot or too cold but never just right. That's because just right shall never be at work because deep down you can't feel just right in a place where you have to be. Classrooms have been traded for office space or the gag inducing cubicle. Stickers and action figures try to stay in place but gravity sometimes wins, especially with your favorite figure, the one that smiles at you, pointing a gun in your face while holding a glass of wine and toasting to the futile attempts of your brain to function. Your starter is fried; the mind's spark plug is dulled by bureaucracy, emails, conflicting messages and bipolar clients who know they can do your job better than you. A humming bird buzzes in your left pocket. You take the call even though you secretly wish it were a wrong number so no explanations would need to be given regarding the tone of your voice. Someone sneezes seven cubicles away... you taste it four minutes later and you gag, half because you're breathing someone else's nose junk and part because you know you'll probably inhale it more than once since there is no escape from the white collar purgatory you're thankfully in, hey at least it's a job. Numbers fly across your brain as you realize that working overtime has just guaranteed you to earn less than what you would if you left at 6 PM every day. You stand up and look at the other mules pushing the company carriage along and you see how a yawn dances from one person to the next until you're tagged by it and pass it along to anyone who sees or hears you. You look at your CD and your ACD and wonder if being single and over forty is part of their testament to their success. You also realize that you used to hear the term CD and think compact disc rather than Creative Director and you almost miss those days where you felt invincible until life humbled you with the death of someone you thought would live forever. Mortality suddenly becomes rather relevant and airs of rebellion are roused though quickly extinguished by a ludicrous sense of responsibility towards an industry that is magnificent in theory and utter shit in practice. You wonder whether you should have been a psychologist and you remember when you changed majors justifying it by saying that if you had a practice, you'd need a psychologist and that such full circle scenario doesn't work for you. You constantly wonder how some people get paid to do nothing and you realize you're doing nothing for a second, a minute or an hour. You justify yourself by saying the mind needs space to produce the best creative and you sound so convincing you almost fool yourself. But you can't fool yourself because the glint of the computer screen and the halogen lights sap enough of your life away from you to convince you how utterly marinated in apathy you have become. You read blogs and news and see how the world seems to fly by. A comedian dies, an actor crashes, a musician you appreciate gets cancer and dies in two weeks, some type of particle accelerator is invented that has no function to it except to be one of Dr. Evil's WMD's though you much rather have two mice be the culprit, one having a hydrocephalic like head while the other one munches on a piece of lint while saying Narf. You pop a pez in your mouth and give a small chuckle as you realize you are munching on the extracts of a toy’s tracheotomy. You look at the window and see the final glints of purple and orange sky streamers and not so secretly wish that you were someplace watching the sunset or surfing it. You see your RX medicines wagging a finger at you reminding that you need to pump a pill now, drink a syrup three hours later, spray your nose with the equivalent to Evian Salt Water solution and a wallpaper comes into view that almost prompts you to rip the screen off your desk and see if you can throw it farther than you can trust it. A sunset shines in all its glory to you, trapped within thousands of mal-aligned pixels, little blocks of regret that feel the contempt you project to every document you write that starts with a job number rather than a chapter title. But you give thanks for your computer because it could be much worse. You could have real problems to deal with. A child to feed, an elevated mortgage to pay, or survival against the un-fittest but best armed. You could have cancer or AIDS, or diabetes, but instead your worries are a couple of levels lighter in the scale of real problems. You know of people who have been looking for a steady job for two years while you bitch about the one you have. You suddenly realize your problems are trivial at best and though you know you can make more money some other way and have more time for yourself, you still have a job, a family, friends, and a way to solve the situations you come into contact with and ways out of problems rather than dead ends. It’s not that you’ve fallen into a lagoon of complacence, it’s just that you look to your left or right, or maybe walk a block or two in any direction from your office and you realize that in that microcosm of the macro you ignore while falling into self centered isms, you’re a lot better than 90% of the people out there. You fish through your pockets and pick out a one fold piece of carton that has your grandma’s name on it and a line that says, a tear evaporates but a prayer for my soul shall be forever. You think a few words to yourself in hopes that the message will be relayed to heaven even if you weren’t that close for some unknown reason... or reasons. Another sun has set in vain. You know you were told there was only one sun but you cling on to the child’s idea that every day there’s a new sun, a new day and a new world. Another sun has set, was it in vain? I still wonder.


Anonymous said...

Holy shit - how did you get inside my head and explain it so well? I guess your week in the Western hemisphere mirrored itself in mine here in the Eastern one.

Thanks you for your thoughts. They didn't necessarily make me feel any better, but at least now I don't feel like I'm walking around with thirteen heads. (only 5)

Excellent post.

Joker said...

Thanks for the comments. Sorry to see someone else feels as dejected as I but I can't deny that the company is comforting in a sad little way. Lets hope I write a super positive post and that you can also relate. Best wishes from across the ocean and my thanks for the kudos and for reading.


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