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10 October 2018

Debit-Cards & Empty Banks

by Andrew

I can't bring myself to write of late, these passed few days. Like, I'm too self-conscious. I know I'll fail, that my writing won't live-up to my standards. Whatever standards these be. They're too high though, these standards.

I know good literature, I like to pride myself,—which is to say, that I like to fool myself—I have an appetite for, & a fine-tuned ear to recognize. Which it's all about the sound, bump, bump, bump. And so often, my own writing fails at this, at piquing this invisible, unexplainable rhythm of which I'm aware—or claim to be.

And so, I keep my pen sheathed. Which is completely foolish. When how will I ever learn to sing to the beat, if I don't practice?

But, it's been more than that. I'm forever willing to make myself look like an idiot. That's not really the problem. But,...I can't quite place my finger on it, what it is.

I do must say, however, that my head feels much clearer today. When it's been foggy, I suppose, too much going-on in there these passed few days, I want to read these books, I want to pen this novel, or 3, I want to code-up this big, elaborate framework for my website, & then try my hand at a few app.s, too, while I'm at it, why not. And it's just too much, my mind is swamped all day, which is paralyzing.

Usually the cure for this is to drop everything, & return to my strongest...skill, I suppose. And so, I write. And here! I think I got it now...I'll get so excited about writing, then. When I focus like this. And my productivity is even more inspiring. If it's filth that I'm scribbling, then at least there's a whole lot of it, from which I can pick-through, then, & certainly find at least a couple paragraphs I like.

It's exciting, all this writing—when I focus. It's inspiring, like I said. But I have all these other projects in mind that I want to complete too.

The coding is so important because it's probably the one pursuit of mine that will most likely pay the rent—if I can just focus. And all this excitement I've got now from writing, I carry-over into these other pursuits. There's the reading too, some psychology, to improve my business-dealings, is the hope, or just to relate to people better. Which, writing that now, I kind of see...I already have this natural ability, anyway. It's like lack of confidence again. But, I don't find myself getting so excited about these things as writing. Which is oppressive. Because I've such lofty ideas, but I'm not even motivated to pursue them.

Which is a damn shame. Because I know I'll be kicking myself in the teeth, when I'm back out on my ass again, running all round these streets like a mendicant. I've learned, & I know. There's no time to waste. I been there, done that. And my pen is not good enough to put food in my belly.

This constant limbo is dizzying. It's this pursuit-of-money that ruins whatever joy I do otherwise have. It's so oppressive. Drop the pen, Andrew, & get to coding, now, because you must make some money in order to eat. And though I do enjoy some coding every here & there, it's impossible to practice under this mentality.

I spit at it all, how we've allowed ourselves into this mess. It's disgraceful. How we allow ourselves to be led round like so many cattle for a dollar.

Mom texted yesterday. I asked her had she returned to the job. She's had some time off with her surgeries. "Yes," she said, "last week. It's so nice to finally get a paycheck again." Defiant till the end, I wrote her back, that it's a shame we must make money in order to survive. "I know," she wrote back, & I could almost hear the hopelessness in her voice. The reason she needed the surgeries in-the-fist-place, she runs right back to, the damn job. I had to go take a walk to try to stop thinking about it.

But, I couldn't. I had the backpack with me, to the store for some milk at least, & so, a pen & some spare sheets. I kept stopping to scribble-out the thoughts I was having. I'll take them to Twitter & berate society, I don't care, a form of release. That every single one of our problems stems from the fact, that we must make money in order to survive. Go ahead & try me, I'm daring you.

These jobs destroy our health, all our energy sucked from us sitting in this artificial atmosphere all day. When we get home, we're too exhausted to do anything else now. We pop a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. But have you ever looked at the ingredients of this frozen pizza? I won't even attempt to spell some of the shit they put in it. And we eat that! And we wonder why we get sick, why our organs shrivel, & our digestion is shit, why we must take all these pills from the doctor, why we get all these cancers.

Which, that's even if you made it home. Maybe the car finally shit-out on the commute, & you're stranded there on the interstate wondering how you're going to pay for the repairs, you can't afford that. Which is all these damn cars do, anyway, shit-out, they're built like such shit anymore, too hard-wired, so that a pebble to a wire somewhere, & it's straight to the repair-man for a cool $800, at least. Something like that, you can be sure.

Everything we buy, it breaks. And we waste all this time to afford to buy these things, it's so idiotic. The more money we have, the more we buy, the more business-dealings we have, the more opportunity we allow for things to go wrong—& they will, just wait.

So, I was at the grocery store. I'll just walk back tomorrow for the milk, an excuse to get me out of the apartment again—which I regret, because it's raining now, & I've no damn milk. And I only bought a bottle of wine. In & out, to the self-checkout line I go, a smooth, quick transaction. But this register has a note on it: no card, cash only. Which I want to save, the little bit of cash I have on me, for coffee money. So, I wait for the next register to open. Good, there we go. But another note is taped to this one: no Apple pay. Okay, whatever, I don't even know what that is. So I go to pay with the debit-card. Denied. I try again. Denied.

Now, I know I've money in the bank—or I hope, anyway, it makes me a bit nervous now. So I'm convinced it's just their damn machine, the grocery store's. It must be down, won't accept Apple pay, won't accept cards either. Whatever, I just want out of this god-forsaken place by now. It stinks. I use my cash. And out the door I go.

Look at all this, now, it's so ridiculous. I stop at the bank on my way home, curious to see why my card wasn't working, & to check my balance. Which, of course the bank is closed by now, so I'll have to use the ATM—if indeed there was any problem, I'd have to wait till morning. But the card works, the balance is fine. It was just the damn store's machine. Good.

But if I'd no cash on me there at the store, I was shit-out-of-luck. And, I know. It's just a damn bottle of wine. But it's the principle. It could have been anything, a new limb, perhaps, a liver, that if I was unable to purchase at that exact moment, then that's all she wrote. And not by fault of my own, I'm doing everything right, here,—see?—cash in the bank, debit-card, purchasing my groceries at the supermarket like a good, little sheep. But still, I'm getting fucked. Because that's all that happens in this society of shit, again & again.

I didn't even care if somehow mysteriously all my money had disappeared from the bank. Hell, I expected it. I was laughing to myself the entire way there.

Again & again, you try to do the right thing, to play along the rules, to be a good, little cow & make some money, & again & again you get fucked. It's always something. That's all it is. That's the game. You better get a job to keep playing. What'll it be tomorrow? And you get so sick of playing this damn game.


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