Bitter Struggles

Sunday, October 9, 2005

I hate RSS. Well, that’s not true. I enjoy using RSS (without it, I’d have to click many more times to get my daily fixes). It’s just that I hate programming it. I still don’t know what caused my RSS feed to fail. I’m too tired after a misspent day to worry about it now. If it’s not one thing, it’s always the other (at least when it comes to converting HTML to XML). Instead of spending my two mochas of energy on something useful, I spent much of the day working here. If you look at the Photos page, you’ll see the newfangled dual column and some bad UX related to years (all the Doolies idea—I even tried to explain to her that things shouldn’t just pop up all surprising-like, that there should be a warning, but she wouldn’t hear of it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, mouse over the word “Photos”). All in all, a relaxing day with the Doolies, who spent her time working on a presentation (that girl is dedicated!).

Now, without further ado, more crappy writing with no point. I remember I started writing like this as a warm-up exercise, to get the juices flowing for the main event. It seems that event keeps getting further and further away from me, as I write without thought and without direction and end up with piles of turds along my cornflower blue walkway. No matter, some words are better than no words, even if the some words are unrelated to anything except consternations and random passing thoughts.

Fears. I smile at the thought only after it flogs me something good. I like to think that the fears vanish in puffs of blue-gray smoke when I laugh, exploding and rising like demonic cartoon whiffs (imagery thanks to “Inuyasha,” the movie, II). I dare the fireballs to explode over the night’s sky, where the lightning bolt gives away the party and the sun rises to meet the young man, for who but a young man may laugh at fear and bask in his own understanding of immortality?

My mind reels. I keep trying to pull it in, but it’s a fighter threatening to break the line—no matter how often you laugh, fear has a way of rising up and hitting you when your face muscles tire.

***

I circle the ad in the newspaper. I squint and slowly cross my eyes until the red circles blur and form—I think it’s a turtle, either that or the evil headquarters from the Superfriends. I bet you if I were a turtle, I couldn’t have worse luck finding a job. I throw the paper on the desk and leave my office. The hallway is empty.

Few people still work in the building after last Tuesday, when Janet distributed the pink slips. Janet was the HR director and the most feared person in the office. After gathering us in the cafeteria, she walked among the tables to distribute the pink slips. There was no discernable ordering to the names. Well, except for the last one. Whoever put the stack together knew what they were doing. The cafeteria was almost empty when Janet held the last slip. There were five of us left and she studied each of us before making a dramatic show of reading the slip. She swallowed hard when she finished, her face turning ashen, and walked to the door, the slip held close to her chest.

We didn’t know what to make of it. None of us said anything. We walked back to our offices and closed the door. Like the ordering of the slips, the choice of the five of us made no sense. We were from different departments and our skills did not work well together. There was the....

***

Ah. I got so far and ended up going nowhere. I am neither shocked nor surprised. And, yes, I plan to consternate the rest of my words away, all three hundred and something of them. It’s much easier than thinking who should be remain working for the imaginary company. I am a bit intrigued by the mystery. Who is the narrator and why wasn’t he fired? Okay, I’m not sure I care enough about him or what happened to him, or why he’s looking for a job when he should be working, assuming his business doesn’t collapse all around him—unless it will and he will do well. Ugh. I’m saying nothing and thinking of nothing that is clever or wonderful.

Another week awaits me tomorrow. It should be an interesting week at work, and a sad week at home. We’re trying not to think of Sunday. Sundays are bad. Next Sunday is bad. But I’m staying positive and concentrating on the week with the Doolies and all of our plans. We had a wonderful cacophony of leftovers tonight. I forget how good leftovers can be when mixed and matched.

The last two hundred words are tough. I can’t believe how much I’m struggling to make my 1k goal. There’s a huge lump of coal in the bottom of my stomach thinking how I’m going to stretch this writing (actually, not this writing, since this writing has no storyness in it, but real writing) into 2k words everyday during the Marathon. I need a story idea and an outline and…. It’s too painful to think about. In three weeks all hell is going to break loose and I’m going to be married to my computer two to three hours a day. It’s not a nice thought. I’m hoping this year I break through whatever boundary it is that’s keeping me from saying something useful.

Anywho, with that useless consternation, I’m pushed over my daily limit. Shoot. Not yet. I thought that would have done it, but it didn’t. I still have another thirty words. Did I mention how much shit I’m going to be in? I think I did. There. That did it. For such a caffeinated day, my writing was terrible. Word count: 1,015.