I feel like Hank Chinaski lately.
I’ve been cutting back on the booze, I’ve got liver pains. I fear it may conk out soon, maybe I gave it more than it could handle.
I wake most mornings with a fantastic insomniatic lackluster. Doctor says I got shift work disorder, uppers in the morning and downers at night. I think it just ‘cause my kids cutting teeth.
My wonderful wife waits patiently, while I work. She cleans my kitchen, cleans my clothes, cleans my carpet, cleans my kid. Just like it’s 19 fucking 55.
The stale, sour brew creeps up with a weak caffeine kick at 9 a.m. It’s black and acrid. I look like hell on ice. My hair’s matted, scalp is dry and peeling. If I don’t shower soon my hair’s gonna dread off on its own.
Answering phones increases your chances of talking to stupid people. It will ring over and over with people speaking, and seeking help, looking to you for a clue of what to do.
Usually it’s nothing, checking the phones, people stuck in lifts, little slips and falls.
There was this one time a guy called in, told me he’d been off his meds for a few days. He wanted to off himself.
“Are you fucking serious? You worthless cunt. You silly lily white assed mother fucker. I’d love to have your nobody problems. Think about what you have man! No listen to me! Fuck your dead mother, fuck your stupid doctor too. You know how many times I’ve day dreamed about walking into a sporting goods store, dropping 600 dollars on a .45, and blow my brains out, right there in the store; in front of God and everybody. I can’t even count. Go out and find something worthwhile to do. Give back, learn a trade where you can help someone. You feel worthless because you’re being lazy. Fix it, do something and fix it. Go and make yourself worth something to someone.”
I called the cops and EMS to pick him up.
I wished I could’ve said that.
more by JORDAN CLAYTON
photograph by Eric Masur