i quit my dreadful job about a month ago. in a great moment of self-confidence and quiet dignity. truly, i was dignified. it’s a boring quitting story. i was tired of being yelled at for no reason. and suddenly i felt like i had reached my life quota for being yelled at for no reason.
unfortunately, the self-confidence and dignity seem to have passed. i slept for three days after i quit, almost straight through. this gave me pause—i dipped into a book i have on my kindle that is all about post-traumatic stress disorder that i once downloaded in a moment of honesty and courage and have hardly ever looked at—-(i was once diagnosed with it—but never treated for it, and never really had the diagnosis explained, and have really never known what to do with the fact)—anyway, the point is, i was given further pause upon reading that the one definitive symptom of PTSD is exhaustion.
chagrined, but having no idea what to do with that fact either, i applied for two jobs that i felt were much more suited to my station in life than the one that i had. i wrote quite excellent cover letters and felt absurdly accomplished. and heard….nothing, of course.
now i realize i am going to have to make a real effort. and i am not sure whether i am capable of making the effort. my apartment is grim. one of my cats has developed a habit of “inappropriate elimination.” i live in baltimore. i am 29. i do not know many people in this city—or many people in any city, anymore. i wonder whether i will end up having to live on welfare, and whether that will be so bad.
you know i went to one of those high schools where everybody “achieves” things. i was supposed to do resume-building activities and achieve things myself. but somehow it never took—in fact, i recently remembered that in 10th grade english class we were made to write essays about books that had influenced our lives and i wrote about george orwell’s ‘down and out in paris and london’! (oh irony? i won first prize in the state. there was a ceremony in annapolis involving state-fair-type ribbons and the governor’s wife.)
i haven’t read ‘down and out in paris and london’ since then. i remember there were many descriptions of disgusting food service jobs and food service workers. it made me look askance at “fine dining.” i should probably read it again….in the interest of autobiography, anyway….since evidently i found it inspiring, or something, when i was 15. though, at this moment of 29, i can’t help wishing that the concept of “achievement” had made some kind of impression on me, that i could have believed in it enough at some point in the past to prevent myself from jettisoning various opportunities and committing various acts of unnecessary selflessness, honor, and flagrant self-destruction. i mean—i would like to have a dishwasher. i would like to have more than one chair. i would even like to live in a house someday. why do these things seem like crazy dreams?
why do i feel like being down and out in baltimore will be much less picturesque than being down and out in paris in london. why do i feel like i probably won’t be befriended by ex russian nobility.