::Literate Blather::
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Good Morning, Sunshine!

“How are you?”

“Is there a more disingenuous question you can ask me? Do you really want to know how I am? Do you really want an in-depth analysis of my mental state on this ungodly broiling Mud-day morning? Let me tell you how I am.

I’ve fallen behind on two urgent projects for my boss because my four-year-old son has been sick. My son has severe food allergies – probably caused by the toxic cocktails the medical establishment calls vaccines – so now he can’t eat wheat or milk or peanuts. And because I can no longer sleep at night due to the extreme stress of my job, I accidentally gave him water in a cup that had previously held milk. He had a violent reaction to it and we had to rush him to the emergency room.

You’d think with a name like ‘emergency’ room that would mean speedy, diligent care, but in fact it should be called ‘waiting’ room because we were stuck there for more than three hours before a snot-nosed, arrogant medical resident deigned to see us. Peering over his clipboard, he haughtily told us the worse was over and sent us home with instructions to return if my son got worse. With a wide, evil grin he reminded us to be careful with what we feed him. I wanted to strangle him with his stethoscope.

To make matters worse, I had to fly out to Newark yesterday and thunderstorms grounded the airplane for more than four hours – and for two of them we were stuck on the runway. The wind rocked the plane and the rain lashed at the windows and I thought the damn thing was going to flip over. I was also starving and thirsty, but they refused to serve any food, so finally I begged a steward to give me two mini-bags of peanuts and then realized I couldn’t eat them because I wanted to kiss my son when I got home.

When I finally arrived back in Boston in the middle of the night, I forgot where I parked and wandered aimlessly through the Central Parking garage like some undead wraith – pale, sweaty, and on the verge of lashing out at any other human being who crossed my path. I had a disturbing desire to rob a gas station on my way home and pistol-whip whatever tattooed, nipple-pierced cretin worked behind the counter. Thank God, I don’t own a gun or I might have done it and then shot myself next to the gas pumps. Later, I felt guilty about the whole thing and it kept me from sleeping.

This morning I woke up with another headache – a violent one. It feels like giant hands have reached down from the sky and are slowly, but firmly trying to crush my skull. It’s paralyzing, but I couldn’t take any time off from work because I’m behind on two urgent projects for my boss. As a result, I’ve already snapped at my teammates, but I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even care anymore. It’s me or them and in order to survive, I’m going to have to choose me. They can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned – lazy bastards.

I also had to stop for gas this morning. It cost me $48 and halfway to work the car started to make a weird thumping noises when I realized that I’m about 5,000 miles late for an oil change. The thought of the effort and expense it would take to get the car fixed gave me heart palpitations and I felt like driving off the road into a stone wall. If I didn’t die, I thought maybe I could be injured enough to be hospitalized and then maybe I’d be able to sleep or at least lie down for a little while.

Thank God, I had coffee with me until I realized the uneducated, unwashed counter woman at the donut shop put two heaping spoonfuls of sugar in it.

And we’re at war? Does anyone even care? We have a president who lied and manipulated us into war and now maybe we’re on the verge of watching the Middle East go up in flames – yet nobody can be bothered by it because we’re all overworked and underpaid and in debt. And besides, Superman Returns just came out.

My wife and I don’t even talk anymore. She works longer hours than I do and we’re constantly bickering about day care, dirty dishes, and whose turn it is to pick up a pizza or a couple of subs for dinner. Because we don’t cook – who has time to cook? I’m too damn exhausted when I get home, so we eat take-out and its crap food and I’ve gained weight and look like shit. I can’t remember the last time I went for a run.

I’m hanging on by my fingertips here. I need a haircut. My breath stinks because I forgot to brush my teeth. I’m wearing pants that are older than my four-year-old and they‘re pleated for God’s sake. Who the hell wears pleated pants anymore?

I’ve got hair growing on my back. Thick, course hair that looks like it belongs on a fly. Where did that come from? I’m splotchy and pale and I haven’t been to the beach or had a vacation in more than six months.

I’m desperate. I want to dig a hole and bury myself. I want to eat a box of Twinkies. I want to rip off my clothes and streak around the office and tell my boss to kiss my ass and that if he wants his two damn urgent projects completed then maybe, just maybe, he should get off his fat ass and do it himself.

So that’s how I am. How the fuck are you?”

“I’m fine, thanks.”

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