Imagine a person. This person is a culmination of all the generic, meaningless summaries that astrology and pseudo-psychoanalysis puts online.
This person is the protagonist of a story.
This is that story.
I wish I was a rebel without a cause. There's a romantic idealism to it. But I am no rebel. I might be the opposite. Un-rebel with a cause. That's the worst kind of person. The kind where apathy has left a broken shell of a human. The kind where anger gradually reduces to a simmering blend of disappointment and regret, and leads people to type in all caps online.
Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that my greatest accomplishments come at work. When I mail out bills, I put the AT&T bills in Comcast envelopes, and vice-versa. I like to think it puts a smile on the face of whoever is receiving the mail. Either that, or it informs some marketing shill that they need to send us more junk mail to attempt to get us to convert. Cable companies are the Mormon's of technology.
Bills. Lots of them. I lick the final envelope; 35, by my count, and slouch in my office chair, arms turned cold against the freezing metal armrests that seem to leak through my shirt.
I exist in a state of half-alert wake, eyelids hesitantly moving towards each other. I watch outside as a young woman in a t-shirt and stained jeans opens the hood to a rusted, faded minivan. She does this every week, at the same day, at the same time. Hands rapidly moving over the insides of the van; prodding, twisting, pulling. Just as I will sit here, in a small office room, the hum of traffic contributing to the monotony, the occasional phone shrilly demanding attention, and my co-workers complaining about life, the universe, and everything. And I will send out bill payments at the same time, on the same day, every single week.
My friends tell me I live in Los Angeles. I believe them. Every few weeks, a yellow haze drops over the city to remind everyone that we live in a valley, surrounded by fault lines, on the cusp of a slowly rising ocean.
I love this city. Well, maybe "love" is the wrong word. I sometimes wonder how we apply love to inanimate objects. The warmth and comfort they provide is often the temporary release of getting something in the mail, or hearing a good song on the radio. It doesn't seem the same, but I speak from a total lack of experience. Some people call me a cynic, I prefer the term "love skepticist." But I enjoy the sights and sounds. Downtown is a haven of capitalism at its most gaudy; a roller-coaster of different economic backgrounds, from rampant wealth, to abject poverty. Sex and drugs ooze from clubs guarded over by intimidating bouncers.
"Hey, Chris?" a raspy voice sounds out from hall outside. A quick knocking on my door, as if to emphasize the attempt for attention, follows.
It is my boss. She is the quintessential work professional. Every piece of her clothing is grey or black. She is constantly primed to freak out, yell, or admonish someone, as if every single event in her life is a direct reflection on some sort of metaphysical greatness she carries upon her shoulders.
I look up from my desk. Sure enough, black work... something. A shirt? The shoulders could impale me if I am not careful. Maybe she is getting ready to try out in the NFL. High heels the add 3 inches to her height. I always hated heels, and the man who invented them. They