Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hollow Hal

"I can't survive doing what it takes to survive."

I was lying on my beaten sofa in my usual half-stupor waiting/praying for the world to end. It was as if the weight of cinder blocks had been placed upon my chest, punishing me for breathing. My only option was to stop breathing. Still is. Afternoons are a time of pain for me and when I am at my most listless. But my hoping for peace guaranteed it not to be.

Outside I heard some sort of scuffle and some disturbing barking between various dog factions. Dogs have been in the news here recently since a roaming pack mauled a woman to death in south Dallas. That was on my mind as I caught the scuffle's aftermath. Apparently a woman from the building across the way had lost the grip on her dog's leash and it decided to tangle with Hollow Hal's two small dogs during their daily walk. Hal with his big ass bald head is definitely another lost soul trying to stay alive at fifty-five.

He proceeded to chew the woman out and would accept no apology from her. When she saw that, she got her back up too since she knew the incident was not deliberate. But Hal preferred to see it as an act of war. Of course, what he was really saying in this outburst of exaggerated anger was something else. What he really protested was that he had no one to love and no one loved him - outside of his animals, that is. Who knows, maybe his deeper frustration was that he wanted her. It was clear Hal does not live in hope.

As John Lennon would say: isn't he a bit like you and me?

Watching Hal's unjustified rant put into perspective just how hollow his life is. Those two tiny dogs are his life and he's perpetually scared shitless of losing them. Hal has checked out on life but still wants all the advantages of being here - sort of like someone who wants to drive a car but not make the payments. Like all conservatives he needs to play the victim, that he has just cause not to make the payments due. He's the kind of person who'd leave his wallet out to steal just so he can say later when it's gone that that's proof there's no point in even trying to live.

We actually struck up a conversation a couple of times. Both were unsatisfactory. First time was when I wore my "Free Pussy Riot" shirt which gave Hal license to go into his anti-Putin rant. It was one of those awkward cases where you disagree with someone who's on the same side. Hal's anti-Putinism stems from partially clinging to the need of a cold war adversary and partly from a need to have bad guys in the world on whom we can conveniently blame everything. Putin is this, Putin is that. I didn't want to hear it. I don't want to hear about Putin as the problem because Putin is not the solution.

Second time was his anti-Hollywood propaganda. Victim Hal just can't win what with the horrid movies coming out nowadays. Conservatives need enemies - the more the better and the more imaginary better still. In the demonization of his mind Hollywood slanders and lies in its films, feeling no fidelity to the facts (of course, one need only substitute "Hal" for "Hollywood" in his little diatribe to know his real truth). But this kind of argument gets under my skin and knowing I was dealing with a simpleton I baited a trap for him.

"Hey, did you ever see the movie "The Insider"?

"About the liberal media? Oh yeah, I saw that!"

Fucking moron, has to twist everything, completely missing the point. "I saw that guy Jeffrey Wigand in an interview and he said the scene at night with the guy stalking him at the golf club never happened."

"Perfect example of what I'm saying! They just make stuff up and pretend like it's true!"

"But he did say it was true." That threw him for a loop.


"Yeah, even though that exact incident never happened the feeling of being stalked did happen. It's just a storytelling mechanism to convey that. Don't have to be factual to be true."

"Well...I'll just stick to the facts. Sounds like liberal talk to me."

Then Hal sulked away realizing he hadn't found a fellow warrior in his battle against life after all. You can smell his loneliness a mile away, the bitterness of self-sabotage as he refuses the gifts of life. Hollow Hal's tortured rationalizations are common to hear in these parts. How to be perceived as moral while defending the indefensible? He avoids eye contact with me now which is fine by me. Let Jesus go among the sinners, I'm not that strong.

And as I said before, isn't Hal a bit like you and me?

Friday, May 06, 2016

Welcome Back, Harry!

The terrifying, sinking, falling-into-the-black-pit-of-a-bottomless-hole feeling had seized upon me once again as I passed through the portals of doom of the mostly empty bank building at night, a place where the living souls of the day have departed and is left for the dead, i.e. me. Every day spent without sticking your head in the dirty water of self-water-boarding that is the job world makes it all the worse when the day of reckoning returns and you realize hell's grip on your life is the one factor that never changes.

"Welcome back, Harry! How was your vacation?" Earl is older, heavy-set, and will never be anything more or less than what he is right now - and he knows that. He can't hide his dyin' eyes. He failed to stay alive at fifty-five and now is stuck pushing his gasless car forward on the highway of life. The strain of it - and the thought of doing it the rest of his days - shows on his creased face. Like anyone who makes himself miserable I don't trust Earl. The fact he tries to put a happy face on it all makes me trust him even less.

"Short." So was I. Wasn't Earl's fault. He probably had no idea that the last thing I wanted to do when returning is speak to anyone - or even breathe for that matter. I was in complete survival mode with no energy to spare as the looming prospect of recurring boredom and monotony before me forced me into a prayer for instant death.

But maybe Earl does know I'm suffering and just wants to fuck with me. "That's OK. Your mop bucket's been waiting on you the whole time!"

"More proof we live in a godless world."

"Oh, come on! It can't be as bad as all that."

"Let me stick this mop handle up your ass then you can tell me how bad it is."

"Whoa! Just thought you might be in a good mood after a week off."

"All that does is give me time to realize just what a waste my life is. I caught that scene in "The Big Chill" where those idiots are dancing around in the kitchen to some old pop song. I'm thinking, "Who are those people?" Who gets to fuck around and go on vacation without any worries? I'm just an invisible slave and nobody gives a fuck. My chance to live is long gone. I got nothin' and nobody."

"You mean no Emily?" I glared at Earl with intent to kill. I had no idea he'd actually been listening to me over the years. "But that was years ago."

Not all wounds heal and this one cuts like a rusty razor. "Yeah, well, you don't have permission to speak her name." I was boiling inside.

"Who does?" rebuffed Earl.

No, this was not my vacation

I wasn't expecting his cheeky reply. Touché, I admitted though still annoyed. And so it had begun, another night of the tears of a frown hidden in my hollowed out heart, pining for the family I never had. Can't say anything or they chop your head off with the fury of the self-pity sword. Only thing worse is when they agree with your self-pity. God never faced a mop bucket, a time clock, and a morning boner all in one day. At this point, even I am sick of hearing me.

So I disconnect - just like the people I hate.

I play my role of the despised slave whose work is honored by their lips but not their wallet. I've seen all these articles on the "disaster" of giving people a living wage, that it does not fit the capitalistic model. But of course not! Slavery is what works best. The Old South built an entire economy on it and we've been trying to recreate it ever since. But the assholes just can't come right out and say, "We need you to be slaves." They hide behind economic models and other numeric voodoo that emanates from the religion of money.

This was on my mind as I rolled my mop bucket down the marble hallway of human bondage. I and my fellow workers are under permanent suspicion by virtue of our poverty and our masters' guilty conscience. The creatures who inhabit this building during the day feel above doing this sort of work. The owner of the fiction that is our company is home humping his wife as we nightwalkers are pimped to give him an illusion of power. People may be wrong about the conspiracies they propagate but the world is most certainly a conspiracy - with the emphasis on the "con".

"'Course I'm respectable. I'm old. Politicians, ugly buildings,
and whores all get respectable if they last long enough."

- Noah Cross, Chinatown

I recognize the name of one of the legal firms handling Ray Hunt's Oncor takeover. I've talked about this before but short story is one group of greedy fuckers got burned buying our biggest electricity provider in an LBO and now wolves are coming trying to take advantage of the bankruptcy. Oncor is the prize jewel they are trying to pluck from the taxpayers hands and set up a sweetheart deal of stealing 250 million from the general public. Sex pervert Hunt, the Noah Cross of Dallas, insists he must be allowed to steal as it's good for investments. Spoken like a true pickpocket. Like slavery, thievery is rewarded in our glorious system as being "pragmatic".

I repeat these cycles of thought and others like it each night I'm stuck here in the harrowing hole, voiceless and unheard. No need for me to ask what it's like to die at the bottom of a well. The heavens watch our daily dance of death in vexed agony knowing either our behavior must perish or we will. I certainly know this behavior is killing me.