Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I quit the tire job after two weeks.  A few days earlier I stood in the weak dawn light of my ex-wife's apartment, staring at my uniform, gunmetal gray.  Nametag.  I shook her shoulder and asked if she'd think less of me if I quit. She shook her head and fell back to sleep.  My dog watched me but didn't lift her head.  I went to work.  Kept this in my head: you have two days off.  Get through the day. 

No lunch breaks. 110 degrees.  Customers roll in.  Flat tires, alignments, rotations.  New tires.  I hated BMWs the worst, they had screws instead of lug nuts, forcing you to balance the tire, cradled just so between the knees, and screw it in, find the hole.  Most were relatively simple.  Thank god for Hondas.

Jeans will chafe your ass and hurt your balls.  First few days I wore some jeans to work.  THAT was dumb.  I took some pants from the rack upstairs, unworn uniforms belonging to employees who went the way I did, that is, out.

I worked with good people.  Most hadn't finished high school and had kids.  Didn't make it hurt any less when the salespeople, bonuses in mind, poked their head from their air conditioned office, yelling at them to hurry the fuck up.  But it made it easier for them not to do what I did.

Hard work has value.  I will never not tip a mover, for example.  I will understand the wait at a tire place.  But that is as far as it goes, once the lesson is learned, there is no reason to kill yourself at a place like that.  I don't presume to know where you folks work, or how important that is to you.  All I am saying is this: if you work at a place like that, for god's sake quit.

We have a very short time on this earth, and it makes not one lick of sense to spend more time than necessary doing things you loathe.  This advice, again, coming from a single guy with no children.

I write stories.  It's almost the only thing I'm good at, besides shuffleboard.  I consider myself a "bizarro writer", and that entails a few things, the most important of which is that I have a slightly skewed view on reality.  This is what separates bizarro from experimental literature: the latter twists language and structure in such a way to convey innovation.  They take a form, writing, and manipulate it to create something new, which inherently pays homage and calls attention to the original form.  Bizarro ignores this entirely, normally utilizing simple sentences, English at its most basic, to casually convey complete absurdity.  In doing so it makes no distinction between the original language and the hodge podge, cut and paste shenanigans of experimental: the weird and the "real" are one and the same, and should be treated as such.

That's my disclaimer: I will be the first to admit that I might not have a firm grasp on things like "responsibility" or "adulthood".  When I did quit, on the day I thought I had off, the ex shook her head and I was kicked out a few days later, back to making frantic calls, desperate not to sleep in my car.  The man's reality really exists, and it has real consequences.

If you have children, or a wife, or aspirations to financial stability, stick with the jobs and be responsible.  I really have no idea how to make your life better.  If you're single, childless, and know what it is that you have to do, then please do it.  Quit being so scared.  Lose your apartment, who cares?  You wrote a book!  Or built a car or photographed a sweet moose.  Quit wasting your time for no good reason.  That's what the internet is for.

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