the state that i am in.

earlier in the day, i stood in line at comcast with my dad. it was really busy, and the place was packed with people. this rhianna video came on, the song "s.o.s." a few people were watching it. i held the defective cable box in my hand, and i suddenly got claustrophobic. i wanted to get out of there, but i knew that any escape would signal full-blown dementia, an inability to function in normal, everyday social settings. so, i just stood there and waited. y-o-u are making this hard... i want to turn around and yell at my dad. "is this what you wanted? is this what you expected before you came to this country? to be surrounded by a bunch of money-hungry assholes who waste their lives drooling over sluts like rhianna?" you got me stressing, incessantly pressing... "is this why you wanted so bad for me to get an education? so i could afford fucking cable and have a boring, comfortable life?" they were horrible, selfish thoughts, but i listened to them anyway. but i can't control myself, got me calling out for help...

i pulled at the line dividers, a spool of black cloth like the kind they have at airports, and i thought about tolstoy's short story, the death of ivan ilych. i don't know why i thought about that one exactly. in the story, ivan lives leisurely and is a mild-mannered family man. at the end, though, he retires and has nothing to do with his time, so he busies himself by fixing up his house. while putting up some curtains, he has an accident on a ladder and hurts his side. after that, it's all downhill. he gets seriously ill, and the illness eventually takes him. right before he dies, he says that the death he is experiencing feels like he's trapped in a giant black bag, and there's no way for him to get out. when we talked about the story in class, it became apparent to me that ivan was being punished for some form of indecision in his life. he just went through the motions, did what he was told, did what was best for him and his family, and he never really went after what he really wanted.

i hate that image of the black bag.

so, i stand in line, thinking of tolstoy, thinking of ivan ilych. i don't want to have these thoughts. i think they come to me because i want to think that i'm different. i have to convince myself that i'm different, that my thoughts are different, and that i am, in some cheesy, hallmark kind of way (with no offense to sprout) special. i have to persuade myself of these things, otherwise i become just another living shitbag that breathes, walks, talks (though i don't do much of the last two anymore), and who, apparently, returns defective cable boxes. it's arrogance, i know. it's not healthy for me to feel this way... even though no one can read my thoughts, i seem to be sending god (if he's there) a message that no, i don't like what's happening; no, i don't wish to be a part of the hooters, the bed bath & beyond, the circuit city, the coca-cola, the pepsi one, the rachel ray, the giada delaurentis, the save-marts, k-marts, the wal-marts, the direc-tvs, the hd-dvd/blu-ray "war," the kfc, the ps3, the barakmccainclinton orgy. y.o.u. are making this hard...

i would like some kind of order and meaning. i would like to pursue my passionate purpose. what's this "calling" i'm always hearing about? who's calling, and when is this happening? is there really a unified field? s.o.s. please someone help me... we're all made from the same shit, so, how come we don't all get the same results?

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