Friday, November 28, 2014

La Compagnie de la misere

They (whomever 'they' are) say that misery loves company. At this time of year that may be more likely to be true, but I am of the opinion that misery generally is more profitable alone. The holidays, and with all of their shrill screams to buy more stuff, do make a lot of people miserable. I know a few people who have claimed to be 'depressed' the last week or so, for various, mostly family based reasons. Misery loving company is not a saying that should force you to spend time with you family. Unless, of course, you actually like the clan that produced you. I do not, therefore, my thanksgiving was spent at a casino losing a large portion of the rent money. At least I was alone, I was in perfectly good, miserable company.

I tend to hoard my misery just like I hoard the majority of my other feelings. It is, after all, my misery and A) no one wants to hear me moan about it, B) most people have misery of their own that I don't want to listen to, and C) no one can really 'fix' (if indeed it can be fixed) but me.  Besides the two 'depressed because of the holiday' people I mentioned above, I also know a couple of friends who are my one's admission "miserable cunts". A true statement straight from the horse's mouth as it were. However miserable these fellow might be, and by most accounts they are fairly miserable, they do have each others (and on occasion my) company. It was in their company that I figured out that I belong to the land of misery just like they do, it was not a earth-shattering revelation, and enough pints mostly 'cured' it for the night at least. It's hard to be miserable when you are too drunk to find the exit door to the bar, that just makes you something that people hate to see. Therefore, but for the grace of gods, go I.

However, after the fumes of the massive amounts of pints cleared, and I was able to think clearly, or at least as clearly as I can manage, I realized that my misery does not require company. It is not an external force, nor is it brought about by external forces (for the most part).  Once, a long time ago the Wolf that raised me and I were walking the streets of the shit hole burg in which I was raised, and young, silly me asked what a particular building's purpose was. The Wolf replied that "it is a factory, a place where things are made." Little, naive me then asked what was made at the impressive (impressive for a 10 year old version of me) factory. The Wolf (who I later sorted out actually worked there) sighed, and replied "misery." Of course, I had no clue, yet, as to what misery actually was, and  was quite contented with that answer.

In some ways, the Wolf was correct, a lifetime of working at that factory had made her a bit miserable. Jobs, in so many ways, both rule and define our lives. Not the position, nor the salary, though the bigger  the salary the better (or so the Lexus November to remember sales event tells me), but just the job. That place that you if you are like most of us, go to five days a week, and work at the same basic thing, for the same amount of time a day. It is one of the first things strangers ask you upon first meeting you, and woe betide the poor fellow that says 'nothing' or something that the stranger finds to be grunt work.  Many a first date has died at the first asking of 'what do you do for a living?' Truth be told, I do fuck all for a living, I do X job for the money that I require to live, but as 'for a living' I do nothing. It is the defining nature of the word job that adds to my misery. I often times reply with completely made up jobs such as (since it's appropriate this time of year) 'I masturbate turkeys'. That reply does, at times, lead to a quick and abrupt end to the conversation. Which is just as well, because I don't want to explain the nuts and bolts (so to speak) of vigorously extracting sperm from a male turkey.

However, misery is one of those things that if you are going to get it, you get it as an adult. It is not like the pimples of your teen age years that come, and make you life agony for a few years. Real misery, true misery, requires a bit more time, and some effort on your part. If you go looking for it you will probably find it, but most likely it won't be in the first, or even seventeenth, place you look. But you will, eventually, if you apply yourself find you very own personal misery. Because misery is like that, personal, you can't be miserable for the sake of being miserable with any success, and you can't be miserable for someone else, that is called (depending on who's doing the calling) pity or sympathy. Neither of which, many people want from you, or anyone else. 

Once I sorted out that the 'misery' factory was about the only place to work, and make enough money to survive in my hometown burg. I left, that small, small, town was not going to swallow me like it did many of my classmates and people I called friends, all those years ago. Of course, I now realize that that factory was not the only place that made 'misery', and my town did not have a monopoly on it. Misery, just like joy can be found everywhere, and sometimes in the smallest of things. No one ever said that you have to be miserable about world altering events. After all, for many a person the world is what is encompassed within what ever four walls they are surrounded by at any given time. The devil, and misery is sometimes in the details, and those details, for true misery to exist, have to be as unique to you as your DNA. It is your misery, not anyone your mailman's or your hairdresser's but yours, and yours alone. If they are unlucky, they have their own misery to deal with daily. If they are lucky then they are sailing through life with nary a care in the world, busy being defined as a mailman or a hairdresser. 

Misery may love company, but really and truly misery is company. If you get a big enough dose of it, you can carry your misery around for years, and it becomes like a faithful companion. Much like an extremely long lived, and extremely faithful dog, you can kick it around all you like, but eventually it will so back up on your doorstep with some irresistible excuse for you to take it back, and you usually will. Misery, after a while, becomes almost something you can't live without, a (self) defining characteristic, just like the 'job' you hold down just so you can put thanksgiving dinner on the table for the rest of your own personal company of misery. Just be thankful that you can (hopefully) say that you didn't have to give the turkey you are about to eat, a hand job.

To continue the tradition.

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