why are we doing this?

people complain about their jobs all the time. my biggest fear is that i'll one day join them. a few weeks ago, i asked my dad, a uc davis custodian, if he liked his job. "not really," he answered. "it's just kind of...monotonous." my mom wants to quit. i have family members, friends who work for the state, or other jobs, and none can honestly admit he/she enjoys what he/she does for a living. i understand the necessity of an elephant-sized retirement fund, and the fact that social security is going to run out by the time my generation gets up there, and health care, and the problem of boredom, etc., but i also know that there are other things out there which can provide one or more or even all of those listed above. so, why do you do it? and, if you are currently doing it, are you constantly looking for something better? i realize this might be an awful thing to ask, since i am a privileged (i like to think humble) little shit who can sit back and live with my parents for as long as need be, but i ask because i think everyone deserves some small speck of happiness.

i tried cutting my own hair today. i butchered the front. i don't see very many people these days, except for my cousins, so it doesn't really matter what i look like. claire, sabrina and bubut finished (i guess you could call it that) the job. i have a girlfriend i don't see on a regular basis, so my hair can look like a stupid coconut for all i care. i'll pay for a haircut when i see her again.

i feel a lot like joel knox in capote's other voices, other rooms. he's looking to meet his father, and when he finally does, his father is paralyzed and can only stare and grin stupidly. joel is a lonely kid whose only friends are zoo fever, a black housegirl, and florabel and idabel, two country bumpkin twins who hate each other. i loved it, but i won't do a book report.

i'm reading the best of american splendor. in one particular box, harvey is reading raymond carver's where i'm calling from. for those of you who haven't read any raymond carver yet, you haven't been living. perfect short stories include: "cathedral," "so much water so close to home," "a small, good thing," and "where i'm calling from." short cuts is a collection that has most of them. carver used to be a janitor at mercy hospital in sacramento. most of his stories take place around here, or in washington. he took some writing courses at csus, then taught as a visiting writer at the university of iowa. somewhere i read that he spent most of his teaching days getting drunk and missing classes. i wish i knew him then.

i'm going to give gina my tv. i have no use for it anymore.

1 comment:

grachan moncur said...

most of us are just trying to feed ourselves and/or our kids. and make rent or mortgage. no grandiose dreams about a flatscreen t.v. or a vacation home in tahoe or an an elephant-sized retirement fund or cruise to the bahamas. we are coerced to "work" by this wonderful system of ours or else be out on the street. we're just trying to get by. sometimes we take the first hustle we can find because there's not enough time before rent is due to pick and choose. i've gone from one job to the other(teacher, bank teller, social worker,dishwasher etc.) and they've all ended up sucking because the dollar is a noose directing your every move. i can't speak for anybody else, but why must we fit in to this economy in the first place and find a "career?" some of us don't fit, most of us are barely holding on . . . don't blame the victim, take aim at the system because that's the source of the problem. we are acting out of necessity and circumstance. often times our dreams don't fit into the limitations of this economy. it's an ugly situation all around, but we find happiness where we can. we resist where we can. most of us do not define ourselves by the "wage-work" that we do, we just tryin' to survive, ya dig? there's more to say, but this comment has gone on too long.