Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sick with your own echo

I'm floating through another period of unemployment. The production industry likes to do this to those who have no established position or talents. Putting you through the ringer, seeing how bad you want to be there. It's such a great opportunity, you know? To stand there on a set, drinking coffee, standing striking distance from some movie star as he or she sleepwalks through their job too. Such a great fucking opportunity. Truly blessed all of us in the industry must be.

I don't want to keep spitting that "in the industry" phrase. It means less than nothing. The remedial jobs I've worked as someone's assistant or office gopher are no different that things some intern for an online advertising company would do. You just get yanked around. Do this. Do that. All with a smile on your face and a manufactured enthusiasm for your workplace. I'm sorry to tell you this but no occupation will make you genuinely feel that. The alarm clock sounds the same for everybody's job and you'd rather spend the day in bed watching cartoons. I promise you.

But this is America and so much must be achieved. You must wear the uniform of the 'go-getter' and make a name for yourself. You must earn your possessions and your female companionship. You must earn your weekends. You must earn the free time you get to invest in little hobbies. Then you must wave the flag of all that in someone else's face - because that's how people should act. A long stream of never-tiring accomplishing, punctuated by milestones and victories, undeterred by momentary defeat as that will only propel your further and faster into the next great challenge. This is the disgusting disease you have to live with as you take down your boss' breakfast order and skip off to fucking grateful for these intial opportunuities to prove your mettle.

I'm dreading the next phone call. The next job. "Are you available? Can you start tomorrow?" They will ask. "Yes sir! Of course!" I will answer as another fate will get sealed. The machine will start to rumble as the gears stutter into motion. Back I will go. Into the grinder. Another couple months of being yanked in a hundred different directions. Everyday. For nothing. When I hear that phone ring that is all that I really hear. The death machine charging up. You have to earn that next couple weeks of unemployment, after all. So in you go.

I know this as I lay in bed at night, unable to sleep. I know it is coming. My mind wanders into other arenas like how the woman I want isn't there. Or how I need to fix a dozen things with my car. It tries to justify the great leap into that next hungry grinder. Maybe these things will make it worth it. Truth is, it probably won't. A couple more months without sex or any type of affection. Let's add a couple more. Meanwhile, back into the grinder you will go. Twelve hours minimum everyday at minimum wage, earning your keep. To come home to nothing. To reach out for nobody. To be awarded with the vague promise that you'll get to do it again. They'll starve you just enough so you will say 'yes' one more time and the nail can get driven in a little deeper.

All I am is an expense on somebody's budget line. First name, last name, middle initial. No mention of the broken heart. Broken spirit. Broken hope. I hate every moment leading up to that phone call as much as I will hate every moment that will follow it. But the key will go into the ignition. The engine will turn a few more times. I'll find myself somewhere. Being talked at. Going through the motions. Doing as I'm instructed. All with a feeling of perpetual loneliness. Disconnect. Abandonement. Swinging so hard with an axe made of air.

But that's working 'in the industry' and I should glow with excitement for such a chance.

Shit on the world.

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