These people. These people. That guy, the overweight middle-aged man who said he was a painter, that he painted houses, he was absolutely 100% right. These people - these kids, really! - have never worked a day in their lives before. Here I am, 19, days away from 20, working on a Friday night at Pickleman's (with the good soups, the great pizzas, the very little sandwiches that never quite fill you up but are still very delicious), entertaining the drunk masses, making a dent in the debt I have or will undoubtedly drag myself into over the new few years. These children don't have to worry about it. They're just drinking and having fun and falling in love or at least saying they are if they think it will help to say. What are they majoring in? What are they planning on doing when they get of here? What education are they receiving? If I asked them, if I was the Chosen One who finally stood up and posed the question to them "what's your plan? how will your life be significant?" they would be taken aback. They did not expect such Bravery from me, and they certainly do not possess the same Bravery. As they fumble around in their head, they will see in my eyes, in my deft, tired hands, in my Pickleman's shirt stained with hours, hours! of hard work, they will see that I have a plan.
Ha! No. I have a really nice scholarship. I am working these hours so I can buy the best new video game and eat out all the time and the next night I too will be drinking excessively -but it's my birthday so I am forgiven- and all the things that I am working for I do not need I just want. I'm making money because I refuse to learn how to not spend money. A noble endeavor if there ever was one.
I am overstaying my welcome here. Everyone is figuring me out. They took a vote the other night, I know it, no one told me and they will not act on their decisions until the time is right, but I know that it happened. They - everyone, that is. Everyone who ever spent enough time around me to form an opinion - sat down around a large, circular table and when they were done discussing my pros and my cons every single one of them put their hands up when came time to damn me. Some hesitantly, some needed convincing that I was beyond saving, or at least not worth the time, but most hands shot up with such enthusiasm.
I could see it in my roommates eyes when they told me I accidentally flooded the laundry room by forgetting to stick the faulty drain pipe out the back door. I could see it in the happy, dulled looks they gave me as I did not drink with them last night - because I had work! I could see it as they made dinner plans, as I said goodbye to join others, I could and I always am seeing it.
It's my condescension that has done me in. My self-righteousness. They do not agree with me that I am morally always correct, and they do not see how accurate all of my judgements are, and they do not see the potential my body has, the muscles evolving every day, they don't see what I will become. They are oblivious to the Phoenix rising in front of them.
They'll brink cake tonight for my birthday party. All the cake I could ever want and much much more. In this cake they'll put their final love. The last of it they want to give me. And I will consume it all.
Oh god it hurts to write like that.
I just got done reading Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius and true to the title it is terrible and wonderful. It's memoir and fiction at the same time. He loves and hates himself. He believes, he knows he's better than everyone and he knows everyone sees how he's placed himself above everyone and he knows he's being ridiculous and he knows, he knows, he knows.
Dave Eggers' thought process is shown vividly on every page. You see his fears, his hopes, his beliefs that he's doing the right thing, his alternative worries that everyone thinks this way or that he's the only one. He doesn't want to be alone, but he also wants to be seen alone, triumphing against all odds.
Reading the book, it unlocks the potential for this thought process. You start thinking like this. His fears because your fears. It's interesting, and it's worrying.
I liked the book a lot!