The Long Walk Home

I walked home today.  I thought it would give me time to clear my head and get out in the sun and feel better.  It took me a long time to get home, because I felt bad the whole way.

I’m unhappy.  I’ve been unhappy since… I don’t know since when.  For a long time.  I don’t know what would make me happy.  Maybe switching jobs.  Maybe finding a cool hobby.  Maybe developing a collection of sex toys so exquisite people blush when they pass by my house on the interstate, even though they don’t know why.

No, I know when.

I’ve been unhappy since they repossessed the Butcher’s car.  To me, a car is a symbol of a girl’s freedom and without one, I feel just as trapped as trapped can be.

I need the Butcher here.  I don’t expect you guys to understand that.  I know from the outside, it doesn’t make any sense, but I feel like a big lonely fearful freak and having my brother around makes that feeling less acute.  If he leaves under happy circumstances–he falls in love and wants to run off to Vegas and get married–I’d be thrilled for him.  But that wouldn’t feel like losing him.

When he pulls this shit, I know I should be mad.  I don’t feel mad, though.  I feel very afraid.  I’m afraid he’s trying to leave me.  That what I ask of him is too hard and that’s why he can’t do it.

And, too, I know that that’s really stupid.  That his inability to figure out what might make him happy and do it isn’t any referendum on me.

It’s funny.  I was telling the Professor today that just because you can see how you’re fucked up doesn’t get you out of being fucked up.  Knowing you’re fucked up will not prevent you from doing fucked up things.

And so I know it’s fucked up to experience every change as fear-inducing.  Big whoop.  Whoever said "knowing is half the battle" is an asshole.  All I do is know.  I sit around and mull shit over in order to know it better and what’s it gotten me?  A great deal of unhappiness.

Here’s the Butcher’s problem, I think.  I think he’s got some fucked up notions of justice.  He doesn’t like the job he has now because he feels like they lied to him about what they’d give him if he’d leave Kroger to take the job.  But he hates it because of how they treat all their employees.  When he quits a job, he always goes out in some righteously indignant blaze of glory, as if he’s been betrayed by the ways these shitty jobs grind everyone into mean-ass shit.

The Butcher’s an awesome person.  He gets along well with everyone.  Unlike most people his age, he’s not snobby or a know-it-all.  He’s able to seem comfortable in all kinds of situations and he’s graceful around strangers in a way that most straight men aren’t.  He’s smart and silly and charming.  I think he’d be really good at selling things, if he believed in the product, because he really connects with people and people tend to want to be around him and do whatever cool thing he’s doing.

He’s creative, though he’s never had a job that really tapped that.  He’s got the whole front of our house transformed into a makeshift art studio and he’s always filming something or lighting something as if to film it.

He’s always doing wacky things–like the fire breathing or wrestling with the cat or making monsters out of paper clips.  He might make a good bartender at a burlesque club, if such a thing existed, or a nanny for an artsy family.  He’s really good with kids and he likes them and they like him.

Like everyone I care about, he sells himself short, I think.

As for me, if I could have any job, I’d like to do this and get paid for it.  I’d like to either write things and then spend my time watching as fascinating people mull those things over or I’d like to find some other way to get paid to socialize.  In the job I have now, I spend a great deal of time alone, and it’s grinding me down.  I feel lonely and isolated.  I don’t feel like what I do matters.

Aha, you see that!

Look how we went from talking about me to talking about the Butcher to talking about me again.  Because, I envy the Butcher his ability to believe that he deserves a job that doesn’t make him miserable and his willingness to quit doing things that make him unhappy, even if he’s got nothing in place.  I could never do that.  It’s not just that I feel responsible.  It’s that I’m not sure I can expect not to be miserable.

4 thoughts on “The Long Walk Home

  1. Ya know, Logan’s Roadhouse pays their meat cutters VERY well, and they get the sweet schedules, too. If the Butcher is interested at all, email me and I’ll find out from Jim who to contact.

  2. you know, B, here’s the thing…Being a creative type myself, there is this thing about when you make the thing you love your gig…somehow it can zap all the joy out of it. That happens when someone takes the thing you love and tries to mold it into what they think it should be. In the annals of commerce, when someone pays you to do the thing you love, they think they have the right to try and mold it into their idea of what it should be and then they end up shitting all over it and it’s no longer yours – no longer creative, no longer the thing you gave birth to – many times it is totally unrecognizeable and it’s ugly. BLOODY FUCKING UGLY! And in my experience, it’s awful to sit there, see the end result and face the fact that I have sold out. But selling out pays the bills, damn it.What I am saying is be careful about what you wish for. TCP is a beautiful, no holds barred, expressive, all over the place, stream of consciousness forum that you spill your heart and soul into. If money were to enter the mix, it would be ruined. So, if you do indeed get your wish, I hope this little niche’ of the web remains the same, b/c I think money would just fuck it all up.Just a thought…As for the Butcher…well, I admire your honesty. I feel that way a lot of times about my own brother, but don’t have the guts or the ability to collect my thoughts about it in such a concise manner. Bravo.Yeah, you should get paid to do this. You rock.

  3. Ivy is onto something there. I used to do printing for Logan’s corporate in a previous life and we did tons of "Meatcutter Handbooks". It seems this is a skilled position for them and they have a hard time keeping them filled. I can’t comment on the pay rate or compare it to what others pay, but if push comes to shove, it’s an option.

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