Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I bent down and felt in my messenger bag, amongst the needles and tampons for a pen. It was an awkward way to move and just before I found the pen, I wondered if it was worth the effort. Just before quitting, I felt it, a little thicker than the knitting needles. I underlined the words “Did you ever get fed up?' I said 'I mean, did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something?”-Catcher in the Rye. I don't know how I feel about this character Holden. At times I'm rather irritated at his Negative Nelly status, and then the next moment I feel I might fall in love with him, the way he reminds me of Marcos so. Its in these periods of memorium that I feel such a fondness for Holden. I sort of picture him to have the same build as Marcos, the same face. I think its why I got so disappointed when Holden had that prostitute to his room, and why I felt so bad for him when Maurice made him cry. And then there's the way he refers to certain types of people as “Phonies”. At first I wasn't sure I understood what he meant, and that's shocking to me now, because no one knows exactly what he means more than me. Living here in the trendy down town, you meet these “phonies” everywhere, spilling off of street corners into the gutter. The trouble is, however, that this phoniness is catching, like a stray path from piety into worldly lusts of flesh and purse-strings; Like when I said “I bent down and felt in my messenger bag”; that's phony. Why do I have to call it a messenger bag? Who do I think I am? I'm not a messenger. I'm a girl who rides her bike (when the tires actually keep air) and who carries a large bag. Its just a bag.

Traps are set everywhere, and baited heavily with sweet nectar and exotic treats (or rather the promise of them. Odds are you'll never see them with your own eyes, but rather hear merely whispers of their existence, perhaps see them on an episode of Khloe and Kourtney take Miami), mislead to the trapping claws by a trail of pressing bills and chump change. Stepping stones down to a pit of bottomless pockets, or pockets too shallow, are gradual and sneaking and before you know it, what you thought were good career moves or at least a good way to suck up to your boss turns out to be nothing more than dirty tricks to rope you in. Suddenly you find yourself stacking panties or hanging dresses (retail will cause the biggest trouble, mark my words; Hand in your application with guards around your heart.) and you find yourself filled with a lust far more permeating than any sexual deviation. If the love of money is the root of all evil, then the lust for it is far more filthy. I found myself hanging up dresses, stricken with severe disappointment, deep and all consuming, lost over the mere fact that I could not spend $80 for the pretty flower pattern “...$70 if I get the plain...” I argued to myself. A seven dollar ball of lip balm? I began to work out ways to justify the expense. I never spent the money, mind you, but I wanted to. To my core I wanted to.

And it happens to the best of us. Often our purchases are the makeshift balm we scrap together to bandage the wounds our jobs inflict upon us. I've begun to realize that the citizens who work the hardest are perhaps those who drive to work expecting, and receiving, disrespect and disappointment from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they leave. The burden of disrespect is a heavy weight on the neck of the employee, and at times it threatens to drag you a grinding halt. Worse than that; inspite of all your longing to escape from those miserable ties and fly to the heights of your potential, it is this weight that serves as an anchor, trapping you in your job, tying you to the source of you pain. And things become the distraction; Things become the justification. “So I have something to show for it.” As if that new phone, those new clothes, a new car, a motorcycle even, would be our reason amidst all the madness. And if we just had those new clothes to see in the closet, or that new phone to ring in our pockets, or that new motorcycle to drive to work, then we would forget.

Needless to say, things are taking on the appearance of something lost in shambles. A series of poor choices that at the time seemed genius, a stack of parking tickets, a car to smog, a clutch to replace, bills to pay, are burying us in a hole. And by default almost, we found ourselves slipping into an enamored affair, lured by money and possession and the comforts those nymphs promise. The dust of my thoughts are the little pieces of me, of the world, of my Bible and my God all floating around. This is the only way I can describe what it is like. All the ideals, ideas, philosophies, desires vs needs, all floating around my room. And my struggle is to pick and chose with precision and care those that should stay, and those that should go. I am one of the lucky ones; my work is rewarding. As a Nanny, I go home each day knowing I've made a difference, and feel that the emotional payback outweighs even the check every two weeks. But I haven't always been so fortunate, and even though I count my blessings now, it still is all to easy to loose my footing time and again.

I suppose this is what you will all have to listen to, now that I have been grounded without wheels. Well, I've got things with four wheels, but as I just said they've become more of a burden than a vessel of freedom. My thing with two wheels is really a thing with just one wheel, that doesn't do me much good. Hence I've got no more tales of midnight rides, no more updates on a sore behind. Now, my lucky friends, here my social commentary on life and consumerism! Poor souls. I pity you, I do, for I get the strange sense that I'm growing less inspired and more mundane by the minute.


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