Thursday, October 13, 2011
Another day, another absence of dollars
Unless I hear otherwise tomorrow, I have most likely failed to wow yet another group of interviewers and will continue to be unemployed for the foreseeable future. I can keep on staring into the gaping maw of uncertainty indefinitely. Stare into that gaping maw! Stare into it! It's really gaping. I've never seen a maw so agape. Thanks, pointless unending wars, every American politician, corporate CEOs, and big banks for bleeding this country dry for the benefit of a baker's handful of bloated, greedy pigs and keeping me and thousands of other Americans like me out of work so you fuckers can buy some more ceremonial yachts where you pray to your god, the Invisible Hand. At least some day we will all be dead. Thank Christ, Superman, Mom, and U2 drummer Larry Mullen, Jr., for that.
At least it's not as goddamn unbearable and parched and on fire outside as it has been for months and months, am I right, fellow Texans? I took a two-hour walk in the neighborhood today because it was beautiful out and my wife emailed me and asked me to get some beer. Normally, I don't cotton to unexpected errands, but she had me at "beer." As I was walking to the convenience store through the neighborhood, I felt a strange sensation. I think it's called "wonder." I've grown used to feeling only angry desperation or that absence of feeling I believe is known as "dead-inside" in certain billiards halls and salmon farms these past few years, so I was momentarily confused. I eventually got hip to what the day was throwing down. The circle of life picked one of the streets in my neighborhood to put on an exhibition. A dead squirrel in the middle of the road had attracted four large turkey vultures, one on the street getting deep into some squirrel eye socket and three in the adjacent trees. I generally only see vultures eating dead stuff in our neighborhood early in the morning and they tend to get lost as soon as they see people or cars, but this was a bright, sunny afternoon with automobiles and people passing by every fifteen or twenty seconds. I stopped and watched their Dark Crystal-looking asses for a long while. A drifter with a rolled-up sleeping bag on his back stood across the street watching them, too. He looked at me and started gesturing, so I took off my headphones and walked over to him. He began to mouth words silently and mimic the vulture eating some expired roadmeat. I nodded and smiled. He kept doing it. I was wondering how long this was going to continue and how to extricate myself politely when a pickup pulled up. The driver began taking photos of the vultures. Then the pickup pulled up even further until they were right beside us. Two older, rough-looking, drunk-smelling men were in the pickup. The homeless man I'd been having the weird non-conversation with started mouthing soundless words and mimicking the vulture again, this time to the passenger in the pickup. To my mild amazement, the old man started doing the same thing back. Then the men began talking in sign language. Apparently, they knew each other and were deaf and dumb. To paraphrase my dad, they were some rough-looking characters, so I resumed my walk to the convenience store, a shiver running through me as I passed the large vulture chewing on some squirrel. I didn't want my eyes pecked out once they realized I was unemployed.
At the convenience store, I bought a six-pack of tallboys and a lottery ticket. I won 2 bucks, exchanged it for another ticket, won 2 bucks again, exchanged it for another ticket, and lost everything. Then I walked to a different convenience store and bought a Gatorade. On my way there, I nearly stepped in a wholly intact, freshly dead raccoon. I wanted to text the vultures, but none of us had our cellphones. They were crowding around a snack when a feast was two blocks away, theirs for the taking, and the poor carcass-eating bastards had no idea. A non-smushed dead raccoon must be worth at least eight partial squirrels.
There is no moral to this story, but if you're the type who likes high school English-style reductive symbolism, the dead squirrel and the three lottery tickets represent the American worker and the Gatorade represents the futility of human endeavor.