There’s never enough time. Always too much or not enough. My shift at work isn’t normal. It’s neither first, second or third. It’s 3/4ths shift. I wake up earlier than God. 4:15 in the morning. And I’m done with my day at 12:30.
High noon and it’s time to go home. People are taking their lunch breaks or waking up or getting ready to go into work. And my day is done. No one is available when I get out and by the time other people are free I can’t keep my eyes open.
The end of work is also the beginning of more work. Because you can’t go home and disintegrate. Eat microwaved mac n cheese and masturbate yourself into a coma. Your life can’t be what you do for subsistence and then purely passive consumption.
If you want to eat well that’s another job. First you have to get the groceries. Yesterday I went to my neighborhood Kroger. Full of privileged, racist white people without teeth, wearing tattered loony tunes t-shirts and stained sweatpants.
Poor white women either have gigantic, quaking asses or they have negative space where their asses should be. They have a back and then their legs begin. They’re too poor to afford an ass. And they’re on meth.
When I look at the twisted, emaciated figures ambling down the aisles at this grocery store, I think of how great it is to be white. Because that’s all it takes in this racist country. To enjoy wealth, respect and ease all you have to do is be white. And then I thought about the systemic systems white people built to elevate these malnourished tweakers above the downtrodden, superstar, mega rich black athletes and entertainers.
If you’re white and you don’t have millions of dollars and you’re not a ceo of a monopolistic corporation, if you’re not at least a lawyer or judge or tech mogul then you’ve squandered your unearned birthright. You have no one but yourself to blame. Choice and hard work and not murdering half your neighborhood over a drug dispute are concepts we only consider when evaluating whites.
Anyway, you get your groceries and then you go home and cook. Eat what you make and then you have to clean. I wash dishes all day at work. Wave after wave of steamed milk encrusted cups and pitchers.
People do god knows what with their napkins, they wipe their asses and cough their lung disease into them and then stuff them into their cups and mugs. They think this is consolidating the mess but it only makes my job harder and more disgusting. Because I have to pick the soggy napkins and paper out of the cups before I put them in the washing machine. The sensation of touching lukewarm, milk soaked napkins makes me want to vomit.
So I wash other people’s dishes at work and my reward is to go home and wash my own. I wipe surfaces and clean counters all day at work and then I go home and wipe and scrub and scour until I’ve lost the will to live. Then I need to go to the gym, a hideous, alien space that reeks of sweaty rubber with skin peeling and eyeball incinerating overhead brain surgery lighting.
Everyone in the gym is annoying. I hate people who do endless sets of curls but I also hate anyone who takes up the benches or squat racks. In shape or not, skilled powerlifter or bumbling nerd, I hate them all because they’re in the gym while I’m in there. I don’t have a portable music player so I have to listen to the grating mix of modern pop and classic rock they’re always playing.
Sometimes I’m not sure why I insist on working out. I’m back in the Midwest where the majority of the people look like melting bags of shit. Unevenly massaged balls of dough. The men have tits and narrow shoulders. There are no male beauty standards here. No one cares. Attractive women still go out with fat, sloppy men and I don’t get attention for being ripped.
The real motivation is the inner contentment of knowing you’re overcoming the natural tendency of everything to bloat and decay. You’re strengthening your will as you strengthen your muscles. Just like in this moment now as I’m typing up this piece for the second time because I just spent two and a half hours writing and then lost everything when my new computer crashed.
I violently suppressed the urge to destroy everything around me and end my own life by breaking a glass cup and slashing my throat and instead resolved to write everything I’d lost all over again. This version won’t be as good as the first but it’s better than nothing. It’s better than letting a piece of cheap Chinese technology rule my life and prevent me from creating art. I’m hungry and tired and I should have been done by done by now but nothing except the sweet release of death will stop me from giving the world my greatest gift: self absorbed ramblings about poop and being a racist.
You have to work to make the money to rent a place that you then have to work more to maintain. Work your body and mind down into unfeeling nubs and still go without recognition. You have to get enough sleep to work all day without murdering anyone or smashing anything. At least 8 full, uninterrupted hours of properly timed REM sleep with the right brain waves at the right time. If you don’t do this then you’ll wake up an irritable, incompetent mess of a man.
You’ll cause multiple car crashes on your way to work. Get your arm caught in a thresher. Even if you don’t work anywhere near a thresher. You’ll cost your company millions of dollars in lost productivity because your eyelids sit heavy on your eyes and your fingers move a millisecond slower than they would have if you’d only done the responsible thing and slept like no actual human being ever has, like a mythical person without a guilty conscious or a constantly running, disjointed, commentary in his head, without the hybrid monster of regret and fear that stays quiet and still in your guts until you’re alone in the dark and then it moans and creeps up your spine and chills your soul.
You have to work at your first job to make money and then your second job is to work on your house and body. And your third job is to establish ideal sleeping conditions. You need a delicate, two hour descent into unconsciousness. Hot milks, herbal teas, deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Soothing sounds and lulling tones, eastern methods, meditation and mantras.
You can’t do any fun drugs because they’ll disrupt your sleep. No heavy meals or spicy foods. You shouldn’t use your bed for anything other than sleep and sex. You can’t even glance at your bed unless you’re physically passing out on top of it. No light, no sound. Ear plugs and a sleep mask. You should sleep in a sound proofed, padded chamber deep in the earth’s crust. Keep a copy of Finnegan’s Wake on the bed table and read it for half an hour before falling asleep. Or Hegel’s Phenomenology in the original german.
If you don’t arrange what little free time you have left around getting peer reviewed, scientifically tested restorative sleep then you’ll endanger your health. Risk your life. You’ll get multiple types of cancer at the same time. Hemorrhoids and autoimmune disorders. You’ll become diabetic and wart ridden. The common cold will kill you.
You’ll grow deaf and suffer from chronic diarrhea, just like Beethoven except you won’t also compose world changing musical pieces and inaugurate the romantic cultural movement where the artist emerged as an icon, a defining figure of an ethos, as a subject of worship and reverence rather than as a servant of aristocrats and kings, which was the old, time honored role. You won’t change music and culture and no one will overlook your filthy lodgings and unkempt hair and raw, sputtering rectum.
So get some sleep and don’t stress out about sleeping or anything else because then you’ll sleep poorly.