Monday, October 02, 2006Razed By Wolves
[insert resigned sigh here]
This is a special post for a special boy, who will simply be known as E.V. Why is E.V. special, you ask? Because E.V. is one of those rare readers, of the remaining 3 of you, who continues to intermittently e-mail me offering kind encouragement to get back on that blogging horse.
But I've got nothing left anymore, kitten. I'm afraid taiwan_on is feeling rather finito these days.
Actually, that's not entirely true. I've got more rage, bitterness and misanthropy than you could shake a severed limb at, and on top of that, I'm positively swimming in guilt that I have such negative feelings to begin with. See, kitten, I have a pretty amazing life. I found a love that is totally stable, fulfilling and mature yet still deliriously exciting. I have an apartment that I adore in a neighborhood that reminds me exactly of the one I grew up in. I have a family that loves me, amazing friends that would take a bullet for me, and just like me I am still never, ever bored. But there is one thing in my life making everything else in my world almost impossible to enjoy; my job. (still at Drugco, but the downtown location now)
I piss away roughly 13 unpaid hours a week by bus getting to and from this air conditioned nightmare. I spend my entire 8 hour shift on my feet save for about 7 minutes wolfing down enough of a lunch to keep from passing out. I don the metaphorical hats of at least 3 different departments a day out of the total of 6 I can be counted on to work at any given time. I get paid for exactly one. Granted, it's a few dollars more than most in my listed department get paid, but naturally, I am listed in the lowest paying department despite doing some of the second highest paying job in the company. This, while enough to make me a bit indignant in and of itself, is more or less counterbalanced by the fact that I have more slack than just about anyone else in the entire store. Add to that the prestige of a 3 week paid vacation, 6 sick days, 4 personal days, and decent medical/dental coverage that comes with 5 years of grudging service and it's easy to get complacent, right?
Hold on. Did I mention that I'm working at one of the most dangerous stores in the country? Thanks to our location, and the volume of sales, we are a magnet for every crackhead, junkie, prostitute, mental health case and assorted malcontent one could never hope to meet. We've been robbed at gunpoint twice, knifepoint once and mystery weapon (maybe nothing) once, and that's just in the past year. I've personally dodged the spit of at least two confirmed HIV/hepatitis cases, ducked needles and punches, and been called a bitch more often than I can count simply for trying to intercept shoplifters. Ironically, that's my least official job description.
My company does nothing to protect us. They seem to be waiting for something really bad to happen before they make a move and frankly, so am I. At this point a bullet or blade flying in my direction would be a relief because, well, for one it'll end the suspense, and two, if I survive it, I know I'll get a nice honorable discharge (provided I can work on a convincing stutter). The police only show up about 50% of the time, and that figure is dwindling. It seems to be getting worse every day and the constant threat of...well, constant threats make us edgy and raw. Tired and crazy by day's end. I realize that it's an insane environment, and I want to leave, but I feel trapped.
I joke that the only way I'll leave this job is in a straight jacket or on a stretcher, but that stopped being a joke about 11 months ago and started looking like a real probabilty. I'm not being dramatic, it's a simple law of averages. And kitten, I don't wanna die. I don't want to find myself on the end of some crackhead's knife, fallen on that dirty rug, automatic door banging into my doomed head, all my love and fascination with everything bleeding all over the floor, that would be... embarrassing. And in a way I'm dead already. I took a hiatus from a magazine I was doing film reviews for last November to move to this new apartment and I never went back. In fact, I've written almost nothing but this in at least that long. I ran into my editor at a wedding this past July, and when he asked me if I was coming back and why I hadn't written anything, I had rehearsed a funny answer but all I sputtered out was "Because I'm dead inside". It was still a funny answer, but not at all the one I had imagined coming out of my mouth, and it had the terrible ring of truth. I used to write and write and write before I even knew what I was writing about because I simply had to do it. I ran out to see movies just so that I could write about them, and then I'd write about writing about the movies. I used to give a shit, but now I'm so consumed with my aching, overworked bones and not getting killed every day that I feel empty. Shit, I think the only reason I'm even writing this now is because the Second Life grid is down for maintenance, which seems to be the only thing I can be counted on to do with the little free time I have these days.
Oh yes, kitten, that's right; I'm on the digital crack. See? I'm a junkie too. Second Life. Bane of Boyfriend's existence, who worries about my penchant for spending hours at a time engrossed in an alternate universe. But nobody fucks with me in Second Life because I'm a horned, winged, latex-clad, whip-weilding "demonatrix" who, in the short time since I've been "born", has amassed an admirable rouster of admirers. Who wouldn't find that world preferable? I wish I could eat Second Life so that it would become part of me.
Speaking of which, the grid is back up and I've already said too much about nothing. I'm ashamed of this post, but believe me, it's much less shameful than some of the hateful, vitriolic spit I've resisted spewing in the past several months. After all, if you can't say something nice...
But I do love you kitten, know that. And maybe to sharpen my claws I'll pop in again and tell you what my swexy, swexy Second Life avatar has been doing these days, because it's a damn sight nicer than anything that's going on in my first life.
posted by taiwan_on 'round 10:29 PM#