“Oh, to be employed,” I thought to myself as sat in my bed for nearly three months of this past summer doing absolutely nothing.
Well, absolutely nothing in between the many festivals and shows and Phish concerts I attended with the help of my graduation money.
Cursing my dwindling bank account, but reveling in the freedom of my schedule, I wonder if maybe I am destined to a life of hippie-dom, floating from show to show, bumming off of my parents, and scraping by in life just enough to enjoy myself, but not enough to feel like I am actually contributing to society.
Then I got a job.
For the first week I hold onto my pre-working lifestyle tightly. The night before my first day I stay up late out of protest. I watch Larry King’s senile ass like I had been for the entire summer, even though he is on at 3 a.m. and I need to be up for 8 o’ clock the next morning. The next day I nearly fall asleep during my training, and instead of going to bed earlier that night, I drink double the coffee at work the following day.
I come home for my hour lunch break. And despite my every instinct I blaze with my sister during that hour. I go back to work paranoid, out of it, and just generally dumb, but it’s worth it because I prove to the world that I’m not going to give up my life for a stupid job. I tell myself that, OK, maybe toking isn’t the best course of action when you’re trying to learn two intensive computer programs, but I still smoke two more lunch breaks after that before I finally give it up. Actually, I run out of weed.
A couple more days go by. I find myself making promises to myself that I know I wont keep. I refuse to let my newfound schedule hinder me from working out, and despite my early evening tiredness I still drag ass to the gym and do 50 minutes of cardio (plus weight training) five times a week. I look forward to my post-workout glass of wine (make that two) and a few episodes of me and my mother’s favorite show, In Treatment. Or, depending on the Netflix delivery schedule, I pour that glass of wine and curl up in bed.
I sit down at my computer, “Ah, tonight’s the night I will write that piece about working for This Is A Weblog. Right after I smoke this customary peace pipe for inspiration.”
I get to feelin’ pretty inspired, and at this point I have already drank 2/3rds of the glass of wine, so I decide to play a little Tetris before I write. I wake up with my laptop hot on my thighs. It is 3 a.m. I finish the wine and blink and it’s 8 a.m. I’m awoken not by my alarm clock, but by the sound of me yelling “noooo” at my alarm clock. I tell myself I will go to bed earlier that night, that sometimes we have to compromise our ideal lifestyle for work. That’s why it’s called work.
After a few more weeks of this, my 8 a.m. alarm turns into my 8:17 alarm. My Larry King Live appointment turns into YouTube clips of Charlie Rose; I can watch those at anytime, and besides Larry sucks now. My midday blaze session turns into my nightcap. My bedtime glass of wine turns into the “Can I finish this glass of wine before I pass out?” game. My weekends are no longer for partying, but for catching up on sleep. I start to see the barefoot and free version of myself from the summer slipping away. I wonder what I am becoming.
A month goes by and I get my first paycheck. I grimace when I see the hunk of taxes taken out, but grin when I take another hunk of cash out and put it toward my car savings. I buy a Man Man ticket as soon as it goes onsale without hesitation. I charge $114 on my American Eagle credit card. I even overdraft my checking account just because I want to buy a good bottle of wine. I look at myself in the mirror, adnored with a new blouse, pair of pants and red-stained teeth, and I know that I have become a corporate whore.