Pining For… Substance

Delightfully Maladjusted


Another day, another rejection. I mark it off on my spreadsheet, bold red rejection. My spreadsheet grows each day, peppered with red rejection, 168 jobs applied to and counting. I just can’t take another day of feeling like a worthless biomass. A hard-knock survivor who fell for the “American Dream” nonsense, what was I thinking? I wasn’t. I was dreaming. But, who are dreams for? I was naive. And I am surprised by it, by how naive I was.

I get up, I piddle about, throwing a pile of laundry from one place to another. I feed my fish, I chitter-chatter with my kitty. I think about toxic friends. I think about getting dressed, about feeling together again. A productive member of society. The morning commute with its contagious rush of energy seeping through my car windows. That huge feeling of relief when the day is done and you sit in your car right after work for a few minutes. The feel of shoes, and how wearing them now feels restricting, like these foreign attachments. I think about cleaning my space. I should be doing that. I should be doing something. But I don’t want to. I just want peace again. Inner peace. I am not sure I ever had it, but I want it. I want to not hate myself or my circumstances. I want to accept my choices, rather than think about them bitterly, wanting to rip them to shreds and throw them in the wind or stuff them in a rusty can. I want to not think about my highway to misery and obsess over every turn, road block or speed trap I got caught up in on my journey. How did I get here? It doesn’t matter.

I cry in the shower, and I can still feel hot tears in the steam. But I have time. I turn on the radio, to my favorite station. Songs I like play in the background of my dark day. Music lifts me up just a bit. I open the curtains. Today there is this wispy, glowing energy coming through. I almost feel guilty for such lovely weather. Almost.

I make my way to the kitchen. I think about groceries. I think about my strategic plan to get us through until the next unemployment check with what we have here. Scale back, scale back. Grill cheese or an omelet? I go for the latter. One piece of ham, a bit of leeks, I am stingy today. Coffee, omelet, english muffin with butter and marmalade and a handful of frozen blackberries that melt deliciously on my tongue. I eat, with pleasure. Looking outside I see new blooms in my neglected little balcony garden. Depressed people don’t have gardens, it is too hard to be bitter there. The new buds make me angry sometimes and I just want to stomp them, but I never do.

The sun is shining and I eat my breakfast, it’s 3 o’clock. I’m taking back my light.

I may not have much, but I have time. And isn’t that everything? Isn’t that something to be jealous of? So, take that, self-hatred. Take that, rejection. Take that, depression. Take that, failure. Take that, loneliness. I have been kicked in the teeth by life, but while I am down here I am flaunting my time.

I have none of the demands of time, only the abundance of it to use freely.  I can think. I can write this. I can sleep until whenever I feel like it. I can savor my meals. I can eat breakfast at 3pm or have coffee at 2am. It’s mine and I am taking it and I make no apologies anymore.

Time is what I have going for me now. Maybe not tomorrow or yesterday. But today it is mine and I am keeping it- all of it- in a greedy grab for self-preservation.


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