Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Time For Showers

I’m supposed to be getting ready for work, but I don’t feel like it. If motivation were currency, my bank account would reflect that of a man so far behind and so deep that suicide would be the most appealing and (seemingly) logical of conclusions for how to get out of his current plight. It’s ugly. I’ll go to work today, unshowered and at the mercy of whatever body odor I produce in the 3.2 miles from my apartment to the job. Best not to think about the odor that’ll come from standing by the oven all night.

But fuck it, it’s not the real job, is it? Not the one I care about. It’s just the gig that pays the bills and puts food on my table, Books on my shelves and liquor in my gut. The real job, writing, is what matters. And I’m in a rut with that job, the rut being that I simply don’t want to right now. I’m on vacation, which many literary types would consider to be sacrilege, possibly even an act of domestic terrorism on literature itself. But who cares what they think? Literary is just another word for boring and elitist. You can’t trust anyone who uses that word and means it. Just smile, nod, and step back slowly towards the door, where freedom and a lack of dull idiocy await.

I’m done with the book, and right now it’s in the hands of others. One final proof reading is underway by a trusted source, and the cover art is in progress with this lovely married couple I begged to give me something that wouldn’t embarrass me. What did I say on Facebook? Oh, right:

I don't feel like writing. This happens now and again, and most days I tell myself to shut the fuck up, quit being a whiny little shit, and fill up the god damn page. But not today. Or yesterday. Or even the days before. I've been giving myself a break since the publication date is so close. I feel like an expecting father, just waiting for the word that it's time to rush to the hospital. I don't want to focus on anything that will distract me. I'm playing the waiting game for the final pieces. So for now, no work. Only patience

It’s true though. I’m just patiently waiting on others and so I’d rather take the time to give the brain a chance to relax. Why force myself to work on something right now? I could be called to work on the book any moment now. So screw it, a vacation it is. Maybe all writers need a vacation from the work. Many will disagree, as there are so many twats out there who preach writing daily as though it’s the dogma of the Church of Literary Practices, a religion to which I am a militant atheist. Maybe more on that to come. The clock is ticking, and sooner or later I really will have to get out the door. I’ve already sacrificed time to shower. If I keep this nonsense up I’ll be sacrificing time to eat. And then where will I be?

So here you go. Have a nice day, full of peace, love and the macabre. But no edits. There’s no time. I need to get ready for the day job to help pay for the art. Cover art and proofreading cost money, you know. So adieu to you and you, but not you. You can piss off.


Monday, April 6, 2015

A Career Cock Block

I always feel as though I'm one step behind the other managers I've worked with in the last year. One thing I've noticed that always separated me from them is their complete and utter dedication to The Job. The restaurant is their career. They wake up and go to work and their complete focus is on the job and making the place a success, not just to appease the higher ups, but because it's also what they want. The success of how they run the place is also how they measure their success. 

I can never get my head around it. 

I wake up and go to work and my primary goal, which is also the goal I have in most other walks of life, is to get things done in such a way that I won't get bitched at. I prefer to be left alone and ignored, completely and utterly invisible, which makes shift managing the one of most ironic occupations I could have. My employees make a mistake, I'm the one my bosses approach about it. In order to stay invisible, I have to focus my efforts on making sure that a group of kids (who don't get paid nearly enough for they shit they put up with) do their job as though it's the most fulfilling thing in the whole wide world. 

The difficult thing about working a career that isn't what I want to do and what I love (writing!) is that I'm never 100% in it. While labor costs and employee productivity haunt the minds of my colleagues and superiors, I'm often wondering about market strategy for She Sees Metaphors and Tales of Timeless Springs (my sophomore release). While the others are trying to figure out how food prep is done to best reduce waste cost, I'm rolling character dialogue over in  my head. It's something that's always going on in the back of mind, which from what I gather, is just how writers do. It's a constant haunting from a welcomed ghost.

I call this constant haunting a career cock block. No matter how much effort I put into whatever I'm doing to pay the bills, it's never going to compare and it's never going to wind up anywhere but in a later slot on my priorities list. And that's okay with me. It's the life I want. Even if I never find myself in the position to write full time, I will keep writing and keep polishing and keep publishing because at the end of the day, it'll take me to the grave in a much happier and fulfilled state.

There is a sense of defeat in this, because I know that I will never push myself into greater careers. I tried it for a year. I wrote almost nothing and I hated every second of it. I am much happier with my current lot in life. But the risk is quite frightening. The stress and fear of it all will sometimes keep me awake at night, because being poor is really, really, fucking lame. But what can you do, except drag your ass to the desk every day or night and pull out the manuscript and hope to heaven and hell that what you're putting on paper is something that just might allow you to live your dream one day?

Jesus, I think I've had too much coffee. I'm shaking here like a man sitting in the electric chair, waiting for the first tingle of the end of his life. And I've got some more words to put down on paper and a lunch that should probably be eaten before I slip out the door and make my way to the day job, for yet another evening of ensuring that the restaurant looks pretty and is in perfect working condition so that the people who live and breath its existence can rest easy and know that their personal legacy is safe and sound. Although, in truth, I'll probably watch Mad Men and read a bit. I could use some creative nourishment before I carry on with the story at hand.