These are some things I've discovered.
I wish we had one of those Antique Roadshow type shows so I could find out if these discoveries are worth anything...
1. Everyone is numb, and everyone's resigned to that fact.
Though there are no sad little cubicles and flickering fluorescent lights, my job's still at an office and there are still the hum of monitors, bored sighs and and furtive glances for managers followed by monotonous gossip*.
Back in the day, my young, impressionable, only slightly perverted mind saw Joe Versus The Volcano and believed that nine to five was just as may-as-well-commit-suicide-ish as Joe's experience at the beginning of the movie. But now that I know all about magical realism and have dealt with my crush on Tom Hanks, I know that it was ever so slightly exaggerated. But, like all bad-in-a-weird-but-kinda-good-way movies, it was based on truth, man.
|Fuck yeah corporate life.|
2. Pretending to work is even more tiring than actually working.
You would think I'd have learned this in varsity, but when you're working on an essay and decide to take a 'refreshing study break', you can sit on the couch, eat ice cream and put in a Friends DVD. At work, if you're not in the mood to put in that last 45 minutes of effort before home-time, you can't just grab your Kindle and go chill on the couch in the lobby. Firstly, because there are always weird ladies sitting there and they never talk to each other, just glare at people and judge their vending-machine choices. Secondly, did I mention there are CAMERAS EVERYWHERE?
So if you're not in the mood, the best you can do is sit at your desk and stare out of the window, wiggling your mouse now and then so that the screensaver doesn't come on. Yaaay.
3. I suddenly understand the appeal of going out every weekend and getting incredibly intoxicated.**
I call this Critical Drinking, because it's as close to critical thinking as I've gotten over the last few weeks, and by that third tequila it feels pretty critical. Red-wire blue-wire big red numbers COUNTING DOWN kinda critical.
While I enjoy the odd party, I never really got clubbing until now: the loud music drowns out your thoughts, the dim lighting hides your flaws, and the alcohol makes you brave in a world full of limits. It's a strange alternate universe that serves as an antidote to the quiet, sensible sameness of what's become my everyday life.
You know what else I didn't get until now? Hangovers. I had my first bona fide hangover the other day, and it was so unexpected that at first I didn't know what was going on. I woke up (at like, two in the afternoon) and thought MAN WHO MADE THE WORLD LOUDER, COME ON GUYS. NOT OKAY. It wasn't cute. Don't drink, kids. And if you do, take painkillers and a big glass of water before bed instead of falling asleep drunk like a dumbass.***
4. I actually sympathize with people who want to DO STUFF in their spare time.
I still see myself as the mossy, fuzzy rock that rolls her eyes at all those rolling stones for having so much energy. But now that I HAVE to sit around and stare at a computer for most of the day, it's sort of lost its appeal as a low-impact hobby.
I actually want to feel alive in my spare time. I'm exercising. I'm steaming veggies. I've signed up for roller derby, ffs. Me. Doing a sport. That requires a mouth guard.
So that is the handful of unexpected discoveries I've made as I slowly morph into a tax-paying citizen. And they said it'd never happen because of my forearm tattoo!
*I feel like my writing's gotten worse. FMWC. (that's fuck my writing career, y'all.)
**I haven't been around cool kids in a while so I'm not sure if the term "wasted" is still in use.
*** Somehow I don't think that clause is going to make it onto many high school sobriety pledges.