06:56. Wake up, get up, shit, shower. Pop the vitamins and meds to force my body to go on. Get to the kitchen before I can debate the merits of disappearing. Prefill the coffee cups and French press with boiling water. Grind the coffee. Empty the press, pour in the coffee, fill it up. Think about my breakfast options, chose, like I always do for the egg on a piece of toast. Get the toast in. Grab butter, cheese, creamer and ketchup. Get the butter melting in the pan, on low, on high is bad. Leave it, go dress, socks first, always socks. Oxford next, tie, slacks. My sloppy shirts and pants make me look shabby no matter what the occasion, but a dress code is a dress code. Back to the kitchen, the butter is melted, the egg goes in, what spices to use? Always the crazy salt, flip the egg, grab a paper plate. 07:23. Toast goes in the pan to absorb the extra butter. Parmesan or cheddar jack goes on the egg. Toast comes out, a squeeze of ketchup goes onto it. Pour the coffee. Add in ten drops of sucralose a dollop of creamer. Put the sundries back in the fridge for another tomorrow. Add a scoop of coffee to the press, fill with water for my daughter when she gets up. Fish the egg out of the pan and onto the toast. Flip off the light over the sink. Talk to the dog, tell her to have a good day and protect the house. I think this makes her feel good and her self esteem seems to be down a little lately. 07:29. Get in the car.
Watch for kids walking to school as I drive through town to the county highway 17. Turn north, look for something out of the ordinary. Nothing is. The egg on a plank is typically gone before I make the turn. 07:40, slow down to drive through Luther, look at “What’cha Smokin’?” No one is ever there this early, the BBQ starts later. Speed back up to 60. Get over highway 30, no cars turning in front of me this morning. No one tailgating. Turn off highway 17 onto the county road parallel to the rail road tracks. “Marketplace” drones on in the background. Something to do with something financial. Turn to go north over the tracks into the industrial park. Maybe there’s a train, so I have to go around. Maybe there’s not. 07:56, pull into the employee parking at the warehouse. Grab my 30 oz rambler, head to work. Walk back to the programmer’s corner, say good morning to anyone who gets close, which is fortunately few people. Sit, log in. Pull up email, visual studio, sublime and peruse the tasks for the day. Start drinking coffee at 08:15. Program. Forget the time, look up realize it’s 11:00 and I have to piss like the proverbial racehorse and my coffee is long gone. Rush to the bathroom, hoping to avoid getting pulled into side conversations pre-micturition. Debate on going for a walk in the warehouse at this late hour, 9 times out of 10, I don’t. Possibly speak to my boss or a co-worker on the way back to my desk. Return to work, think about death, suicide, birth, living and lunch, in no order and with no emphasis. Fiddle with some programs, if my boss is up for it, go to lunch with him at 11:45, if not, go to lunch at 13:00. If with my boss eat. If alone, lay the seat back in the car and snooze and try not to think about how I did this yesterday.
It goes like this, and so it goes and so it goes. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. There is comfort in insanity and I remind myself that I am choosing to be here, but there is always an inner debate that happens, “Am I really choosing to be here? What are my other options? What do they cost? Is there a car and internet in those options? Good food?” Poor little white male, enslaved by my creature comforts. Hashtag: FirstWorldProblems (Yes, I did that on purpose.)
It wasn’t always like this, planning things ahead for days, weeks and months in advance. Once upon a time I woke up with no plans. I was both poorer and richer for it. Money doesn’t buy happiness after a certain point, or so they say. I say, “Who are ‘they’?” I sit on the deck sometimes wondering if I should cut myself or try drinking to oblivion. Does pain ease the pain? Or would it force me out of a rut I created for myself? Does alcohol take away the pain for a few brief hours? Is such a brief relief even worth it, considering when I wake up I’ll just be in the same place I am now, only with a headache? Adding a cut or a black out drunk to the routine seems like more work than it is worth, soon such activity would become routine and just another part of each day, which is exactly like the last. One more chore to knock off the list before bed.
As is typical, I walk a fine line between self-control and self-abuse and push myself to doing ‘things’. ‘Things’ make me feel like I’m not dying, that I am living. In the end whether I do the productive ‘things’ or useless ‘things’ will not matter, and I try to keep that in mind when I am feeling…feelings.
There is only one life, there is no God. Or god. Or Spaghetti Monster who will save me in a tide of marinara sauce and grated cheese. One shot is all I will ever get, and I am not wasting it. There is good coffee and smooth rum. There are fine cigars, wonderful people and endless ways to entertain myself. For every bleak lamentation of sameness, there is a myriad of ways to diversify my life…so many that the possibilities are in danger of becoming part of the very same sameness that slowly seems to be driving me mad.