Monday, March 25, 2013

Alice, Unchained

A bit of a step out into the unknown, bear with me.

Recently in a fit of conspicuous consumption, I purchased satellite radio for my vehicle. It was a purchase that I did not really need, but one I felt the need to make anyway. Well, after a couple of months of listening to this purchase.  I have now realized that one of the main stations I listen to has an Alice in Chains addiction. Meaning that they play the ever living fuck out of the band Alice in Chains. A LOT.  It has gotten so bad that when I tune in the station I am beginning not to just predict that it will be playing Alice in Chains, but I am now trying to predict which song by that band will be playing. It has happened three times in the last week that I got both song, and artist correct when I got into my car. That is beyond sad, and leads, however crookedly to the point of this post, prediction.

I have a job, not a career, a job. This job requires my presence during a certain time frame 5 days a week. Outrageous I know, but such is the fate of modern men that aren't independently wealthy, or that haven't married money, yet.  This job leads me to arising out of my nice, warm bed at pretty much the same time everyday, getting myself cleaned, dressed, and out the door of this coffin I call an apartment to drive myself to my place of work.  I take the same route to and from work everyday, and this had lead to two more predictions about my life (such as it is) that I can make with almost complete accuracy.  One of them is that I will catch the same light RED everyday, it has been almost three weeks since I started counting, and everyday so far, I have caught this one particular red light everyday. Now that is a bit annoying, but I do catch my fair share of the other lights green, so I figure it's a bit of a wash, but what are the odds of catching this one light red all the time? It has gotten so I expect it, and just sit there waiting for the light to change listening to Alice in Chains, and accepting my lot in life. The other prediction is that almost everyday someone will turn off of the street I am taking to work onto a certain, poorly lit and sort of a dead end street, in front of me. I am not sure what happens on this street that makes it such a popular place at 6:40 in the morning, and I am sort of afraid to find out.

All of these sad predictions have lead me to realize that I can predict other things in the circus I call a life, and I am getting quite, quite good at it. I can predict what people (the ones I know, and the ones I have to deal with in regards to my job) will do, before they do it. One of my favourite sayings is "that if people were horses, I would never have to work again." Meaning, clearly, that if I could predict the ponies as well I can predict the people in my life, then I would be in the south of France, piss drunk, typing this as a farewell to all of that type of post. Sadly, the ponies just don't seem to be as willing as the people in  my life to cooperate with my predictions.  This is why I am not quite able to chuck the job over, and live the life of leisure that I feel I deserve.

I understand the outrageous arrogance that the above statement sounds like, and I own it. I can not help that either my life is so sad (probably) or that the people are so easy to predict (less likely) that I know what is going to happen before it does. This must be what the Dennis Bergkamps of the world feel like. Being able to see the pattern of the defense, the movement of your teammates, and the path the ball must take in order to end up in the back of the old onion bag before anyone else on the pitch, teammates included, have a clue.  It is a gift, or so I've been told, but as usual I don't quite see it that way.

In fact, like most of the things in my life, I see it as a curse. The curse that Sartre saw, and wrote about so well in his novel Nausea. The curse that Camus wrote about in 'The Stranger' where the main character kills an Arab just to break up the monotony of his days.  My days, or at least 5 out of every 7 of them form almost the exact same pattern. A pattern that is so easy to predict that I can tell you Alice in Chains is playing on a radio station before I even turn on the radio, that isn't cool, it isn't neat, it isn't even creepy (though it is closer to the latter) it is just sad. Sad that I realize I am, in less that 11 hours, going to be whistling my way through "Man in a Box" while I wait for a red light at a certain intersection to turn from red to green.  Sad that I will once again wonder, but fail to investigate, what is going down on that lonely side street that all those people turn down upon at 7 a.m. every morning.

These days of 'quite desperation' that strung together represent my life. The 5 out of 7 days where I do not step out of a life so boring to entertain anyone (not even all you readers at home). The fact of the matter is that most of this desperation is my own fault, and in many ways I should be thankful for it. After all that job I possess does provide me food and drink, and those bills are not inconsiderate.  It allows me to have a car, a place to sleep, and a clothes to wear (a prospect that makes the rest of the world happy as well).  However, I can not but feel the siren's call of something else, something that I am not quite sure how to describe, a type of seven year itch perhaps, or a call of the wild. The whispers on the edge of my hearing that are saying to me that 'there is something else out here for you GI, you just have to have the courage to grab it.'

However, I have yet to screw my courage up to that particular sticking point, and so I will wait, and predict my way through another day, annoy my friends by telling them I can do it, and wait with bated breath for 'The Rooster' to come over the airwaves. Alice really, really, needs to be unchained.

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