Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Somewhere Drugs Don't Go

This morning fizzled and crackled in its beginning with the pulse
and throttle of my busted ass alarm clock, speaking the only truth into
my life and that is the reality of slagging my tired ass out of a warm
fetus of a bed to do something I really don't want to do but nonetheless,
HAVE TO do. Yesterday in an online gaming session, I was playing pretty
early (around 5:45 am) because I couldn't sleep and had one of those
drastic death-defying, heart-skips-beats sleeps with alot of evil dreams and
falling asleep only to find myself back in the same horrid dream. I usually sign
in (especially in Enigma 5) as an anonymous user because those fucking
computer half-men that live out there in a world of 1's, zeroes and hypertext
would probably just lunge from their piles of filth to snatch my email address
and fill it with child porn, spam and worm virus attachments. Fuckers.

Anyways, though I'm running late for work at this current juncture, an
interesting thing happened with one of the Enigma 5 gamers. He sent an
instant message for all to see that was really kinda profound and gritty.
Usually, these instant messages are nothing more than cyber-nerd trash
talk which amounts to little less than profanity, XXX sites and cheat codes.
But at one point, this particular unidentified gamer, posted a message which
really commanded my attention. He (or she, I should say) wrote: 'Does anyone
out there really give a shit about me?' Now obviously, at first, I grabbed the
sludge-boat mentality of laughing and thinking 'what a fuckin loser' as his
overall score was slowly slipping below mine by the second. But then, and for
a split bleeding instant, I looked up from the computer at one of the grayest
skies I have ever seen and thought about how morbid and how real of a
truth was lying there in that instant message. Now, mind you, it was quickly
responded to by other gamers with many colourful phrases, encouraging the
deep-thinking gamer to engage in intercourse with his mother and horses and
the like, etc, etc, but for some weird reason...I couldn't keep playing after
that happened. My focus was shot and something inside the abyss that is me,
None, was rattled. So, in noticing the lateness of things, I signed off without
notice, screwing over my probably 14-year old teammates, and went to work.

'I GO TO WORK' -Kool Moe Dee.

On the way to work, my usually unnoticed passage over the Welland Canal was
bitterly cold for some reason and for a second, I caught a glimpse of those rushing
currents in the cold, cold late November waters and thought 'What if I was that
guy online this morning and decided for whatever reason, to pack it in, and hit
the bricks, and send my body over the bridge into the waters because its just too
fuckin hard most of the time' and it made me start to cry. Now this was not a bitter
weeping like that of a mother losing a son to a war, but rather an internal crying
which led to the trickling of a lonely tear to the edge of my glasses. And I guess it
just hit me really hard for some dumbass reason, thinking about people like Vance
and Ember who really drive me fucking nuts and who I think about smashing
with a TV tray most of the time, that if either of them were to get hit by a bus or
stabbed in a post-bar drunken stupor in downtown Niagara, where the street dirt
lurk and seek victims, who would be there at their funerals?

Right now, I'm on the phone at work, and I can't help noticing how hard I try to
categorize people and place them into neat little boxes so I can go about my safe,
little ways in peace. And yet, here I am, constantly complaining about shit like
how sucky my job is and how much I hate everything and the world around me
without realizing that though I push and push and PUSH really hard to keep
everyone the hell away from tears me up inside because I really do want...
something. I don't know. My mind isn't really working and my hidey-tidey
supervisor is bounding over here, looking cheery and ready to give me a
dickslapping evaluation that will ultimately mean nothing in the grand scheme
of it all. Hopefully I'll write more soon, but then, who will care.

I am None. I am No one. I float through and make do.
I see the terrain but mostly in rain.
I am the nothing beside you, the no one far away.
I am the forgotten child. I am a waste of space.
I am the garbage piled. I am a voice with no face.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Just Say You're Wrong

The clouds are low today, protruding ominous shapes in
the darkest of gray. I went to make some coffee before trudging
off to that maze i call 'work' and i realized, i have no cream.
Coffee without cream is like popcorn without butter. It
totally depends on your tastes, I suppose. I am sort of at
a loss of what to say today, because I feel that really, to this
point I have said too much without saying anything at all. Words
are useless, really, though we put so much emphasis on them.
Because I can sit here and burn away at my keyboard, churning
out thought which seems really witty and captivating but on
a second read, comes off as drivel.

but i'm starting to realize something...

Those people who I wrote about in my first segment, people
like Vance and Ember and Pat the talking cuckoo clock, appear
to be a lot different than my surface view of them. I could
really use some coffee - it would put this train of thought more
securely on a track but oh well, here goes. What I mean is after
our first few days of training (and by the way, I DID have to do
a group poop presentation not just with Vance or Queen Ember,
but with BOTH of them - if that's not irony, what the hell is?) I
really rushed to place all three of those people in a safe little
box of categorization almost to appease my own mind or have
them 'nailed down' so to speak. But really I was pretty headstrong
in my dumping on them - I think I just really don't like this job
and the corporate salve-labour bullshit manifestos that go with
it and projected my feelings on to them.

Because what I found out is that Pat, though I swear she is
completely CUCKOO for COCOA PUFFS, actually has a bit of
strange lisp because she only has 30% hearing in one ear and
85% in the other. Therefore that slurring of speech and nasality
I was hearing is due to her inability to hear well. Still, who the
hell uses 'Oh LA LA!' as a phrase in regular speech? Unreal.

And VANCE, oh dear Vancey. Vance, as I commented earlier,
has a real problem with telling everyone how it is and how his
opinion is not just his opinion, but the ecumenical according-
to-hoyle standard of the industry. But again, as I learned from
a lunch conversation where his eyes scanned the cafeteria quickly
to find a spare seat to sit in and my heart crapped as he saw
the seat next to me, he's got more than meets the eye in his
own battles. It appears that Vance has been, for 4 years now,
and is currently in the midst of a nasty divorce dispute (now
I can see where his wife would have found some flaws, but...)
that involves everything from children, to land, self-started
businesses and even the new golf-course of which he is a 10%
owner. SO even though he is a Wilford Brimley wanna-be or
look-alike (take your pick) and he should be selling oatmeal
instead of telemarketing, I can sort of...kinda...see what makes
him the way he is - defensive, cornered, easily angered, bitter,
argumentative, selfish, stubborn. I...don't want to like him but
I think I'm starting to understand.

(case in point)
Ember, the drama queen of this great north land. She ices my
blood and makes me want to chew off my own skin. But again,
weird stuff goin' on with her. Apparently, Ember (from a convo
I overheard) just recently lost her father to a long battle with
the c disease. I guess she was closest to him and hates her sisters
and mother with a fiery passion.

See where I'm headed?

Does anyone?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Of Low Importance

Ever read 'Ode to a Grecian Urn'? I think it's by Keats but
don't quote me on that. It's interesting in that from beginning to
end you're reading about a (granted, corny Romantic era horse
puck stuff it is) scene which is painted on an urn of a young boy
sitting beneath the summer shade of a (i think it's a) weeping
willow, playing his lyre (of course, everyone and their damned
uncle had a lyre back then) and a young lass with pigtails is peeking,
from around the corner, at the young musical lad. And initially
you're thinking 'Yeah, yeah. Pastoral Poetry with the element
of eros. Who really gives a...' but the thinking of the reader shifts
when you give it a second read. Because really what's happening
is that the narrative voice of the poem is the author himself,
Mr. Keats who at that point in his life was dying a dastardly death
due to disease. That's alot of d's in a sentence. But what's interesting
is that the point of the whole poem is not the young laddy or the
young lassie or the lyre or the cotton-pickin willow tree. It's about
Mr. Keats who was basically coughing up blood while writing
this stupid poem wishing only to be in the place of that urn but
as he starts to understand, and stand in the realm of the tangible,
the urn is nothing more than paint and stone. And the truth is 'beauty'
as he puts it and the sad truth of his life is that he's sitting there,
wishing he could be a picture on a fucking vase, rather than being
himself. Because being in a timeless place of beauty and love is
easier than being in the here and now.
And that's the sad reality of all of us when we wish to be someplace
other than where we are. But it's drilled into us, isn't it? Dorothy,
good old Dorothy from Kansas clickin' her frickin' heels together
repeating the sullen phrase over and over and over - 'there's
no place like home...' What kind of a message are we sending to
people with this Midwestern literature that pervades our schools
and trains of thought? Click your heels or maybe just find a
rabbit hole to a parallel universe and you'll be okay?
That's bullshit. The truth of it is that there ain't no time
machines, there ain't no rabbit holes, there ain't no fucking
matrix. We are stuck. And we trudge our way through this life
in knee deep mud fantasizing about useless escapist bullshit
that does us NO good. There is a good and I'm certainly
convinced there is an evil, too. We all must walk that middle
line at some point and stick to the path, no matter where
it takes us, because the road that lays ahead in each of our
lives is all we truthfully have to journey on.

I don't want to go to work today.

But then again, who gives a fuck what I want. I'm a slave
to the grind, a cog in the wheel of a giant machine that is
advancing more and more in territory each day. I think
we have to do some kind of 'group seminar' today in our
training class and I just KNOW i'm gonna get stuck with
either Ember or Vance, and I'll be biting my tongue purple
the whole time and peeling off underlayers of the desk each
time one of them opens their piping-wide cakeholes that
spout mammoth amounts of shit and bad breath by the
millisecond. Here I go. It's off to work I go. Not because
I want to but because I have to - I'm a number in a system
to these people and nothing else.

Billy Corgan said it well.

I fear that I am ordinary
just like everyone.
To lie here and die among
the sorrows,
Drift among the days.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Who Am I

My name is not significant, though it is noted in a cerificate somewhere.
I don't really know where to start. I guess what I can do is tell you all
I know from the beginning...

I work a moderate, low-level seniority job in a cubicle farm on the
east side of the Welland Canal. When I say cubicle farm I mean just
that; a building with no real identity so far as the outer appearance,
which really just looks like any other building in a metropolitan.
The town I live in has an extremely high unemployment rate which
is mostly due to slovenly sloppy ass clowns who infect the streets
and beat the shit out of anything moving for kicks. I live in alot of

I fear death, I fear life, I fear losing my job but that's kind of
ironic since any monkey could do what I do and I hate the
administration because they're all 'prissy hi!-hi!' and I can't
stand that phony shit. They prowl around the office in business
monkey suits which are pretty damned ridiculous looking
but for some reason, it gives them a sense of power. That's right.
A piece of clothing gives these prowlers a sense of power. It's
all horseshit because they keep the low-levels (like me) drowned
in farcical make-believe rabbit-hole world where they drill
into us that advancement is possible, given the right set of
'values, attitudes and job-related output'. I kid you not.
That's their code of ethics, word for word. And I put up with it.
Why? I guess because I know that with the wrong combination of
tact to a supervisor or results to a reviewer that I am only one
step away from being one of those street jockeys wearing
dirty nascar gear and smoking 3 packs a day. Sometimes when
I walk home, I see visions, images. I see the street dirt hiding
in the alleys, ever ready to strike, especially some poor weak
bastard like me, not because I'm different really, and not
because I'm better than they are, but because I have something
they want and are cursed not to have; a job.

SO let me tell YOU about this job I have. Ever heard of the
expression FAB? Fucked At Birth. That's me. I never received
the appropriate amount of education needed for a high-level
job. Nope. I'm a low-leveller. My expectations of myself in the
world of higher education were thwarted by a lung-busting
amount of epinephrine, caffeine and various dried leaf products.
My lungs are fucked. I hack all day because I talk all day.
I talk all day which causes me to hack all day. It's a vicious
circle. SO this job. The vicious circle job. The fucking 'Oh
I'm so amicably amorous about this job with so many a-words
that it anesthetizes my anus'. I'm a telemarketer. I talk on
the phone all day because the United States of America has
so many dumbass people with nothing better to do with their
time and inherited money that they order products. You see,
products=happiness. You need to remember this. Write it down.
Yeah so the U.S. of A has so much phonework outsourced and
farmed over here that it disgusts me when I really think about it.
See, they can afford to pay a low leveller like me $10 Canadian
per hour, because they don't give a fuck about Canadian currency.
All they really care about is the fact that Canadian currency is
cheaper than American currency. (i.e. $10 Canadian converts
to $8 American. Per hour. Mulitply that on a mass scale and
you've got downsizing in the worst way, which is kinda ironic
because since the American economy sucks so bad, it's
actually creating jobs for Canadians?? Weird shit.)


Enough banter. I'm in a room. A room with windows that
have long since been covered with drab blinds because the
only view those windows show are of hellish concrete that
goes in every direction. We have this 'I'm a giddy sorority
girl' trainer who thinks she's teaching us 'cool' lessons. She
is 23, overly eccentric and energetic, completely unattractive
in every way, wearing an Old Navy shirt with a blue palm
tree on it because it's dress-down day for her but not for us
low levellers. Nope. It's our first day - Orientation day!
And it's all bullshit. No matter how hard this flip-flop
wearing, slightly overweight loud party girl drives the
ethics into us, it's goin in one ear and out the asshole.

Picture this.
There are 20 of us in training, and believe me, I use the
term 'us' loosely. Some of these cretans are unreal.
On the far left of the training tables, we have Ember.
Ember is a victimized obviously anorexic blonde who is
semi-attractive except for the fact that she can never
shut the fuck for 5 seconds. Loud trainer girl can't even
get 10 words in without Ember either interrupting, protruding
a point or displaying her vast knowledge of call centre
terminology. She's a victim. She talks out loud so that
everyone can hear her problems and somehow be
compelled to feel sorry for her long list of people who have
apparently 'fucked her over'. Sorry Ember. Your giant
horse teeth scare me and the tattoo of your own name
on your upper right shoulder make me wonder what
planet you're from. Ember has exceptional interpersonal
skills and knows the ins and outs of manipulation. She
will probably be the best salesperson in my class.

Then, to the left of Ember, moving down the line, we have
Vance. Vance is a 60+ golf-shirt wearing, mister know-it-all
in every field from the employment standards act to the
monetary business in the Corporate sector. He really, really
likes to show everyone just how much he knows at any given
time and has vast amounts of call centre experience and
often likes to take over the role of the trainer, without
any semblance of tact or awareness. Vance drives me nuts
and looks IDENTICAL to Wilford Brimley. The apexes of
his cheeks turn almost purple whenever he gets 'heated'
about an issue. This happens at least every 20 minutes
in any given day. Vance has poor interpersonal skills and
is apparently a 'part owner' of a golf course. Fuckin
bullshit. He needs to find a new career selling oatmeal
because whenever he talks, that's all I hear; "Warm your
bones with some good old Quaker Oats, folks."
Wilford Brimley, or Vance or whatever you want to be
called, you better stay the fuck out of my way because it's
only the first day and already I want to feed you to the

I digress. There are too many people to list, but might I end
with one last lady who fits about 20% of the class perfectly.
Her name is Pat. Just like the name would indicate, Pat,
ladies and gentlemen, can only be described in one word;
kook. Pat is 40+ and whenever SHE talks, all I hear is the
sound of a cuckoo clock. It almost makes you smile. Now,
let me get something straight here. Pat is not a kook in the
sense of Kevin Corrigan's description of a girl he liked in
Living In Oblivion as 'kinda kooky'. No, no. I'm not even sure
if she has reproductive glands inside of her. I think that her
insides are probably gumdrops, lollipops and balloon
animals. Pat has a lisp, enjoys gardening in her spare time
and when asked what kind of phrase she would use over
the phone to sell a certain kind of product, she chose the
phrase 'Oooh-La-La'. She was serious. I'm not kidding.

These are the people I'm expected to work with, folks.
And I sit here, and write this shit on this paper and I think
'whats the point?' but then I think, I guess I can at least
stick around to see what kind of comedy surfaces from
all of these cartoons.

Hit the grind.
Run the race.
Find the cheese.
End the maze.
Make the green.
Buy the stuff.
Eat the shit.

And so for none, I am. Faceless and nameless.