Dreams about What We're After

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I had a dream last night that I was taking two classes that were terribly easy, but I stopped showing up to both of them. I’m at the end of the school year and I just realize I’m not going to do well. This dream, I know, is an analogy for how I feel about work. I’m apathetic. I don’t do the work that’s expected of me and instead just float through the year—never attending classes and never doing the assignments.

At the end, when Doug was at his worst, through sheer stubbornness and force of will, he placed himself (or at least told me that he placed himself) in a position to ascend to the next level in his job. This was one of the reasons he told me he felt apathetic about his job. He had expected movement and support to do the things he wanted to do—in support of his principles, whatever undecipherable devices they were—and when the finish line and achievement of promotion were close by, he couldn’t summon the will or energy to work. He ran all the way to the end of the marathon and collapsed a few feet before the finish line. He told me, when I asked him why he doesn’t just shake the apathy off and cross the line, that it’s just not that easy—that apathy (and here I’m putting words into his mouth and finishing his thoughts), apathy, like all emotions, controls the rational part of your brain and doesn’t allow good, logical ideas to take root and control your life. He was effectively fired because the apathy in the end didn’t let him crawl across the line.

My dream about not attending the two classes is the same. When I was in that hazy, waking-up period, I thought about just dropping the two classes and saving my 3.9 GPA and first ranking in school. This all refers to my job and the apathetic disease I like to imagine I caught from Doug. I just can’t do it anymore. My work habits are horrible and I keep hoping for an escape just so I can get away from the apathetic feelings. Every time I get close with a job interview, I feel that that’s it, I’ve found the lifeboat that will save me and take me to the next cruise ship. But the lifeboat keeps sinking and I’m left treading water, hoping one of the large ships sees me and throws a rope.

There’s much complaining here but not much in the way of plans. Changing jobs is a very high priority, but so is writing. Down the line, when I achieve my PPPW—pre-potential professional writer—I won’t need lifeboats anymore because I will myself be a cruise ship—and why would I sink myself (let’s not look to deeply into that one).

Make me laugh. Try the lines you spoke today. Play. Make the other person laugh at someone else’s expense. That’s what we’re after.