One of Those Days

There are days, and I'll not name any names here, when the world of human activity seems impossibly, hysterically, debilitatingly tragically stupid. But not like Anna Nicole Smith; I mean it's all just this ridiculous man-made contraption designed to serve questionable goals and almost certainly malfunctioning in wildly unpredictable ways. Okay, maybe it is like Anna Nicole Smith.

Hierarchies; that's what it is. (I mean for that to be pronounced hiyer-arky, not "Hier-Archie," like it looks there in plural) Hierarchies are bothering me.

Hierarchies are imagined, right? Like Nielsen ratings and the different colors of our national alert system, and time - just made-up divisions we use to organize concepts in our minds, they don't really exist. At least, that's what I've always thought. The allegedly vast chasm between a laborer and a president amounts to squat, cosmically speaking. The enslavement of millions can be an accidental side-effect of an extra half-degree of planetary tilt. For all I know.

Well, I think I'm forgetting that. I think I'm losing sight of the galactic irrelevance of our local power structures, because they're screwing up my life right and left. I spend my days stymied by systems that will be forgotten soon enough, possibly within my lifetime. I get so tired of thrashing quietly down inside this world that I give up trying to put things here in order or somehow scramble to a more favorable position within it; I just start looking for a ticket out. And the tickets don't lead anywhere - once I escape one nasty, brutish little world I see that I'm still in another, bigger one. And another, and another. Turn yourself loose of your dumb job and find yourself in another dumb job in the same little field, or the same little area. Flee the area and find yourself reliving the same dumb crap in another place with different names on the streetsigns and desk plaques. Retreat into your mind and find yourself haunted by the same silly consistencies you roomed with before.

That's the real damage done by a crappy job. It makes you lose perspective. Well, me anyway. I keep thinking that if I can just hold out until five thirty, it'll be alright. Then if I can just hold out until Friday, then the end of the month, then the end of the year when I get vacation time again, but it's hollow and self-deceiving. I'll have to come back; I'll always have to come back. And it'll get steadily worse, sure enough, until I do something about it. Let's see what I do.

It's true what they say, I think - you haven't lost everything until you've lost hope. (They do say that, right? Surely someone does.) And the thing about hope is that it can be given back to you, even when you've let it slip away from you and have no chance of retrieving it on your own. That, among a trillion other reasons, is why I'm thankful for my wife. She doesn't let me give up when I'm tempted. She listens and looks, and warms me ever so slightly with her gaze. It's a wonderful gift, and the only bad part is how silly I feel when I realize that I actually had everything all along, because I have her. Graciously, she never points this out.

I still think life's ridiculous and unfair. But sometimes it's ridiculous and unfair in your favor, and it's okay if you never really ever figure it out.

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