These are not productive days. These are the days that I sit in my cubicle, mindlessly typing shitty, witty one-liners for cheap plastic products. Occasionally, between my descriptive bullet points, I wonder what going crazy feels like. I switch to my “Desk Jams” playlist, go to track 16, and imagine my brains being blown out from behind to the sound of Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane.” Pow. Nothing but pink cortex, red spray paint, and bits of bone splattered across my twin monitors. Pow. I slump over in my chair, slack-jawed and mindless, one of my eyes hanging by an optic nerve, but my zombie hands trudge on; click-click-click. This copy won’t write itself.
These are not productive days. These are the days that I slug down far too much tea and coffee all for the promise of getting up, taking the two-minute stroll to the private bathrooms, and sitting with my elbows on my knees, praying that this time I push out more than caffeine and fully digested Captain Crunch. I stare at my feet and beg God, or the universe, or whoever: Let me shit out my adult persona. By the end of this bowel movement, let me be a grown-up. I stand, button my jeans, wash my hands, and look at my reflection. Sigh. Definitely not a woman; just a kid with adult vices, and adult parts, and full-sized mistakes. I spray some Tropical Island Breeze into the air, take the three-minute walk to the coffee pots, and begin the process all over again. Even though the bathroom is just a bathroom, not a chrysalis. And I am not a butterfly, just a fuck-up.
No, these are not productive days. These are the days my alarm clock rings and I ignore it, stupidly and subconsciously, determined to trade 10 minutes of sleep for 30 minutes of hating myself as my car shuffles down I-41 to work. Late. Always late. I really do hate it. But I must not hate it that much, you tell me, or I’d get up earlier. I stare at you bitterly as I wipe crust from my eyes and sip my too sweet coffee. I should’ve used less creamer. I stare, and stare, and stare and wonder if it’s your arrogance that irritates me, or your logic. What? you ask me. You’re insufferable, I say. A shield goes up behind your eyes as you turn to roll away from me, and I know that I’ve hurt you again–carelessly, easily. Not for the first time, it occurs to me that maybe I’m difficult to love, and I feel guilty and angry and a little bit sad, but for you or for me, I’m not quite sure. I try to make amends (quickly, because the clock is ticking), offering you a half-smoked cigarette and my sandy-colored coffee. You accept the cigarette, ignore the coffee, and don’t kiss me back when I leave our claustrophobic bedroom.
It used to feel bigger.