Apply Yourself

I wake up every morning to multiple alarms. None of them actually wake me up because I don’t have a schedule. I have no schedule. But even saying that is kind of wrong. I go to bed every night at around two in the morning. Sometimes later, never earlier. I drink five to six nights a week to the point where I need it to fall asleep. My gut is in the midst of a third world riot where they throw Molotov cocktails at police, the cops being my large intestine. Their charred remains get a closed casket funeral in a toilet that doesn’t flush properly. Flush it twice. It’ll work the second time.

I have a wake-up routine. I sleep through each phone alarm, set to some stupid android preset jingle, to the volume of a tornado alert. My mom comes down, or my brother, and restrain themselves from just fucking obliterating me in my sleep. I would – you have alarms going off from two hours straight. I am a burden because I am 22 living at my mom’s crib. I do not replenish the water filter. There is nothing that brings more anger in this world than not filling the water in the water filter – forgoing the fact that it doesn’t filter fluoride and the filter blinks red for two months before we change it. Not filling the water filter is a grave act of aggression. 500 years ago it would’ve started a cold war in a royal family. Now it just means I get dirty looks. Anyway, I wake up sometime between ten and twelve.

Waking up feels like hell. I cannot get out of bed. The only thing I reach for is my patent-pending nicotine stick. I’m addicted to nicotine. The only time that I feel it is when I wake up, with a fresh pod, fully charged. Then, but for a moment, I can feel the sludge in my brain move around. I wake up feeling as a fresh as a piece of supermarket fried chicken at 7pm on a Sunday. After I get my popcorn lung, I check my phone. Twitter. A time sink comparable to Skyrim where you spend 400 hours and you realize you could’ve done anything else, but at least the side quests are out of the way. If the dogs bark I think about what would happen if I took Whole Foods 85% dark chocolate and left it on the ground. Waking up sucks.

Most mornings, as of late, my mind flips to plan s. I think about the people that I’ve let down, the shit I’ve fucked up. But in all reality, by most metrics, I’m successful. I think that I might suffer from the thing that everyone’s mom told them when they came home with a C in 9th grade history. You’re smart, you just need to apply yourself. I did. I graduate with high cum honors, three majors, blah blah blah. I did a lot of shit. It doesn’t subside the feeling that I want to find the highest bridge in a 100-mile radius but even if I did it, I’d fuck up and end up a quadriplegic that couldn’t jerk his own dick. Cup of coffee with three ice cubes because I have no patience and I’m back to normal.

I think of this every morning. Things, in a comparative sense, aren’t bad. I am not broke. I am not ugly. I eat well, I drink two cups of coffee, I live a relatively wealthy life in terms of both experience and sociability. I have a job. I am not the two Syrian migrants shining my vans in Beirut. I am not the kid I met who got shot twice by ISIS. I go to bed satiated. I wake up not to gunshots but to the melody of geese and wind chimes. Life really is not, in the comparable sense, bad. But right now, I’m stuck in hell. Maybe If I apply myself, I’ll get out.

fry cook, esq.

I don’t really have much to say. It was sometime around 4am a few days ago when I wrote this and I was drunk.

I have a few ideas about what I could do. You got a job, you quit a job. The last restaurant sucked balls. Hot sweaty no one to talk to you. Five fryers. Cleaning one fryer and draining it sucks because you’re always a small movement away from irreparably scaring yourself. You’ll need skin grafts from your thigh to even look like a freak. Burns on the arm, legs, occasionally a hot splash of oil smudges your glasses and scalds your cheeks. Just a bit. Enough to make you fuming but never enough to take off your apron and walk out the back.

Burns. Lots of burns. Burns on my arm. Burns on my chest. One night I was pissed at a girl. Burnt myself on the arm with an L&M menthol in front of my friends. Bugs orbited around the porchlight aimlessly. In a sense I was like them. Orbiting. She was a smart one. Thought I liked her. Showed someone at the party the texts and he said something stupid. I knew she had a boyfriend and I still got mad. Dumb text. It doesn’t matter know. I have two burns on my left arm that I can’t get rid of. Two marks right before the crease in my elbow.

Told my friends then I did it for attention. Evergreen flash of anger and sadness. Anger is sadness with conviction. I was joking but now they make fun of me for it. Rips at my ego but I let it go. Smile. Take another sip. I did again. Forever saved in a thirty second snapchat. Some stupid Yung Lean song playing off my phone speakers. Took another L&M menthol and put it out under my left nipple. Can’t burn the right portion of my body. I’m right handed. The embers were hot and if I was cool I’d say it didn’t hurt a fuckton, but it did. Adrenaline felt good that night. Anger washed away.

College. Uni. I keep calling it Uni and my friends chastise me for it. I don’t know why. I miss college. I transcended the stoner archetype. I became popular. Now I live at home and reminisce about half-decade old memories with friends from home. Remember that kid from high school? No, and I haven’t thought about him in a solid five years. College was fun. Met a lot of good people. I denigrate the college I went to but I ended up doing well.

Uni College was sick. Winter and summer breaks meant something. It was the end of a semester or a year. You go back. Mispronounce au revivor to the friends at home to show them you are well read and start a new semester. New classes. Syllabus week. Time to go back to being an RA. New freshman. Need to acclimate them. They’re scared. Never paid attention to them. Room checks would come around. Well, looks like it’s all good, but the George Foreman grill goes against university policy. They’d hide it. Need to bring it home when mom pays for a bus ticket because only one-in-three students have a car and it’s a mile uphill behind a locked parking lot.

Good people. Good professors. Dr. [REDACTED] and [REDACTED]. Lots to talk about. Good advice. [REDACTED] doesn’t have wisdom but he has advice. Dr. [REDACTED] had wisdom. The whole department knew me. Three different academic buildings new me. Across campus, through each bar, through every corridor, I’d say hello with a smile on my face not knowing where I knew them from. They knew me. They’d flip out when they saw me at parties. But I’m not coming back. Not for this semester.

The mailman who walks five miles a day will crush your diploma in the mail. Slam it through the mail slot at your mom’s crib without care or consideration. Why would he give a fuck? Why would I give a fuck. Piece of paper. The people were important. Classes were easy. Friends were plentiful. It’s over. Get the degree and pay for the transcripts and stop falling for nostalgia. It will only drag you back in the recesses of your mind.

Step two. What next? Fuck around a bit. Summer felt like a haze. Since you step foot on the graduation stage it felt like a haze. Three months ago you were living at your grandfather’s drinking too much beer. Eating meat from the trucker who needed to make weight at the weigh station and something that resembled deer? Drove across the country. Saw family. Little brother helped drive. Good kid. Hope he doesn’t fuck up. Somewhere in Missouri Aunt [REDACTED] handed you a piece of pan-fried bass you just caught. Serene property in the middle of nowhere. She put the fish down and looked at you and said, be confident, you’re qualified. Don’t accept shit from anyone. You know how far I’d be if I were you?

Water sits in a glass on the nightstand. You don’t drink water. You try because if you don’t you’ll get a hangover. Nerves raging. Sharp pains when you stand up. The alcohol fucks you in the morning. The weed does too. Makes you sleepy. But more importantly fogs your brain. Clogs it up. Hazy. Like the night sky behind a few clouds but only so many that a few stars shimmer through. Or maybe it’s satellites. Who knows. You schmoozed your way through astronomy. Told the prof you cared about it. Don’t remember a single fucking thing.

Planned. From kindergarten to the end of your senior year. Five years old to twenty-two. Each step. Michelle Obama approved French toast sticks. Middle school tables defamed with sticky syrup. If you got some on your sleeve you’d want to go home. College too. Happy little workers at the common dining hall. They liked you. You were friendly. You knew that hated their lives, at least their jobs. Everyone hates their job, some are just better at being quiet about it. The only redeeming factor was someone who treated them human. They slid you raw tuna steak and they asked your friends where you were when you were gone. Life was planned.

You haven’t even given yourself a rationale for law school. This is the next step. You need to get on it. Do you really want to be a lawyer? Why? Your life will still suck balls until you spit them out. Wake up and spit out the nuts. A geographic change doesn’t change things. But it’s a plan. Another plan is the US armed forces. Drape yourself in the tricolor of the state and march in step. Learn to shoot. Suffer. Truly suffer. It would not be fun. It would be four years of tube-processed shit into down your throat like a scat version of gitmo hunger strike force feeding. Military would suck balls.

What’s next to talk about. Her. Is she gonna help me make this thing work out? Probably not. It’s probably a good idea when you are harder than diamond in your lindy-wear boxers cut on the sides and she’s wearing her Calvins on a videocall – not without purpose. Sending you messages. Good ones. Women and men have to chat about things besides the only topic both truly want to talk about. Sex and other degenerate shit. But the other stuff makes daily suffering worthwhile. How are you? How have you been? How’s the DMV and why is the lady taking so long and what’s wrong with your car and are you okay? She’s thousands of miles away. Left you and went to law school. She got an 164 on her LSATS. I need a 164 on mine. It fucks me up.

It’s on you, retard. You can live this life. You can work in a restaurant for the REST OF YOUR FUCKING LIFE! You can hangout with the felon who works on sauté right down from grill, which is manned by a Honduran dude who came here holding on for dear life under a lettuce truck. But now he’s pulling bones out of a salmon like a surgeon and leaving at 9pm on a Saturday night while you slave away. Sweep Brush Squeegee Mop and then Spot Sweep till you’re 70 fucking years old. Every day you’ll think about how you could’ve been a lawyer by then.

Five years. It’s a five-year plan. Set some ground rules for yourself. Hit the gym. Build muscle and lose weight. Stop drinking. Drinking and smoking every night. You’ll melt your fucking grey matter when that is, as of right now, the only organ that matters besides your heart. Maybe your appendix too but only if it exploded and you could rip a couple thousand off GoFundMe.

But people do care about you, fucking moron. You have a lot of friends. Good friends that’d drive two hours to pick you up from the airport on short notice. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not hard though. Many just don’t have friends. They don’t have luck with girls. You aren’t either of those people. You can work your ass off but also you can manage a conversation. You have brains. Don’t think of your life as as a movie. There are no character arcs. Time only moves one way and the only critic that matters is you.

Once again. People around me love me. Show more care to those who raised you. Don’t sling around fried Sysco garbage anymore. No more blanching fries and dropping hush puppies and meekly telling managers why you can’t come in early. Graduate from being a fryer. Become a lawyer. Green copper plaque outside an exposed brick building in fifteen years. Fry cook, esquire.

sperm bank

Okay. Fuck it. I was gonna write a story. A bunch of shit was on my mind the last few days. I met with family, extended and close, met with friends both far and near – a kaleidoscope of relationships that bring me a little bit of joy and a lot of exasperation. It’s not hard. But it does seem hard to care.

I don’t really know what to say, but the only thing that rings in my mind is what my grandmother said. Family reunion. Ate deer meat sloppy joes. They called them sloppy does. I was grossed out for a second – not knowing where the meat came from. But then I thought about it. That deer was graciously, swiftly killed by a hunter who shares a bloodline with me. Not some ground beef that consists of the meat of a million cows.

We sat there after we ate. Me and my paternal grandmother. An old park bench that stuck into my back. The procession was inside; the cacophonous rumble of a family outing. Epidictic speaking about a linage that has survived. Overdoses, motorcycle crashes, the diabetes. You know it – uncles chatting about nothing, great aunts complaining about Indian doctors, fat third cousins running around in circles gaffing over a bubble gun.

The tree gave us shade. It was older than me and my grandmother. My Memi. My single bloodline connection to my father’s side. My dad is dead. From what I can tell, he died in 2005. Heroin overdose. He had it in the genes too. Addiction. He’s dust now. I am all that remains.

She spoke to me. I couldn’t remember about what. My hair was in my eyes. I was trying to fix it. Her cadence was marked by her humming. She hummed to pass the silence between her words. Almost as if she was filling in the space when the birds went silent.

Something about my father. Which one? The one who adopted me and married my mother – or the one whose genetic splat thrust me into this world?

She called him something I hadn’t ever hear her say. She called him a sperm bank. Her son, a sperm bank. My “dad”. Reduced to a sperm bank.

My eyes are a little misty. It’s 2:40 in the morning.  I’m drunk off room temp Miller Lite. I wonder what he would have thought of me.

I did it, sperm bank. I did it. I did well in school, I got onto the dean’s list eight times, I got my degree, sperm bank. I did it.

You’re not a sperm bank. You are more dignified than that. And I hope, I hope, you’d be proud of me.

ruminations on neet life

So this is more a reflection on a lifestyle that isn’t fully true. While I am not in training and just got laid off, I’m finishing up university with a final general education class. Took 50 classes, a whole extra year condensed into six classes a semester, and I didn’t take a science course. And I’ve got one more paper to write till I get a meaningful piece of paper that vindicates, at least marginally, that I’m smart. Yet, as far as I’m concerned, I’m living the NEET life. I got two down, at least. I haven’t cleaned my dishes in a month.

This lifestyle is sort of paradoxical. I go to bed when the birds sing and the late may heat starts to make my ass sweat. In the morning I wish for nothing more than some bird shot. Something to get those noisy fuckers out of my life. The 4 A.M. to early afternoon cycle. You know it. You see the sun rise, you wake up at 2 P.M. after sleeping through five different alarms on two clocks. I mean, for fuck’s sake, sometimes I put my phone on my chest so the radiation can melt my heart and maybe wake me up. I sleep through it, always.

I play video games till the early hours of the morning, incessant intervals of game after game. It’s useless, and I put off all this last bit of work till the last moment. I’m writing this as I have five assignments due on natural disasters. I won’t ever use this shit. I need it to graduate. But as of now that’s my only objective. I got laid off. I have nothing better to do than shitpost and get 6 dollar menu cheeseburgers for $6.36, sales tax included. This isn’t the lifestyle I wanna live. It’s great when you work 60 hours a week, but right now it’s hell.

BEEP

You know the sound of the original alarm that you find on iPhones? The cataclysmic, nuclear warfare impending beep? That’s not the one that is haunting me right now. The one that’s haunting me is the stupid fucking fire alarm that needs to be installed in every home that renters are in. It keeps going off, despite all attempts to stop it. Haunted isn’t even the right word to describe it. It’s like that person who you don’t want to talk to who incessantly hits you up. “Hey bro, how you been?” I’ve been great, now fuck off – please.

The worst part of the whole fucking ordeal is that it doesn’t have that sound like a nuclear holocaust. It sound like a basketball game. Sneakers rubbing against the wood. If you are ever watching a basketball game with friends, bring that up. You’ll never be able to hear anything ever again. The sounds of sneakers rubbing their third world recycled plastic against the wood. That’s what this stupid alarm sounds like. Except it’s shorter, stark and you can hear it through two pillows suffocating you like Antonin Scalia.

It’s like one’s consciousness. I tried to shut it off. That’s what most people will tell you to do first. At first I thought it was the carbon monoxide alarm. Part of me hoped that it would kill me. Silently. Like a hit marker. Tisk. It would be over, 360 no scope off the top of rust, and somebody else would have to smell the gaseous excrement and clean up all the dirty dishes. I threw the monoxide alarm in the freezer. It was the fire alarm.

It’s a single beep. The thing must be going haywire or something. I tried to time it. I laid awake in bed last night. One minute? Two minutes? Five? I couldn’t count. Thanks liberal arts. It won’t stop. Beep. Now you’re in the bathroom? Beep. Making an English muffin? Beep. Trying to read? Beep. It will never leave you alone. Beep. Like consciousness, it’s with you every waking moment and you can’t stop it. Besides, you know, smashing it.

What’s in a name?

So what the fuck is a memoir? What is a zoomer? Memoirs of a zoomer?

Let me be precise about this – I bought the website last night as an offering to myself. Everyone, my peers, my professors, my under-educated parents – they all told me that if I disconnect myself from academia that my wit will worsen. That I’ll become complacent with a sick linecook job making $11/hr; just enough to go to the bar, pay my rent and have no savings left over. My brain will ossify with nothing left but dopamine receptors.

This is a bipartite agreement here. The first part is to them. But only out of spite. I won’t lose my skills. I will continue to read and do all the other “big brain” things that keep me sharp. I promise I won’t play video games till two in the morning. I promise I won’t eat MSG rich Chinese food four days a week. I promise I won’t jerk off four times a day. The second part is to write, for the sake of getting better at it.

Anyway, back to the point. Memoirs. A historical account of something from a time period. Supposed to add to the retelling of an event. You know, letters during the Civil War or some shit. This is a memoir of living in the modern world, the age of the internet. A memoir of nothing particular besides living in a time with no convictions and a dying world. A flow of incessant information bubbling up. I wanna vomit.

That’s what a memoir is. And a zoomer? Well, it’s a riff off the memes about boomers, doomers, gloomers – if you’re reading this, then you know. In lieu of doxxing myself, I was born in the late 90s. Late enough to have no recognition of 9/11. Early enough for the good times in the late 2000s. Vivid reveries of the times my parents divorced, my Nintendo DS, Modern Warfare 2 and the financial crash that eradicated our savings.

I am a manifestation of Gen Z. So put those two phrases together and you have memoirs of a zoomer. I’m kicking myself in the head for such a stupid fucking name. Nevertheless, I’m gonna stick with it. The purpose of this website is catalog the machinations of my mind. At least this website has a purpose.

I am zoomer, and this is my memoir.

First post, best post

Oh boy, my very own blog! This is it, folks! I can finally engage myself in long diatribes against anything I wish. Well, the first thing to chastise is myself.

Yesterday was an important day in the life of a modern man. I graduated from college. It’s a right of passage, you know. It’s important. Grabbing that ceremonial degree was the best thing that ever happened to me. I can’t help but ruminate on the skit School Spirit 1 by Kanye on graduation.

In the track, the narrator goes on, sardonically, about his degree. Working in the GAP. Finally becoming the secretary’s secretary who got the job from her uncle. And the nasty fucking truth is that it is my future too. Liberal arts brought me damn near nothing. I learned the majority of the material on my own. By virtue of Wikipedia and YouTube University.

The girls at the bar this weekend told me I had a bright future. That I was a funny, intelligent guy. That I had a lot going for me. My family too. But what the fuck is it for? Anything short of philosophical suicide in the belief of God, there isn’t a meaning to any of this. It’s exhausting. As Sartre put it, we are condemned to freedom. I have nothing to do this fine Sunday. No work, nothing.

Everyone has left me, and I suppose that the only person I truly have is between my ears. Ringing thoughts just like my tinnitus. You know, I sort of wish Descartes was right. I wish I was a solipsism was right. It’s only me. But it isn’t.

Alright, said in the same fashion as when I’m trying to leave a conversation. This blog post was disjointed at best. It’s the first post though. The first day of the rest of my life. It’s the line of demarcation that expresses the transitory state in which I find myself. It’s raining. The birds are singing. It smells like worms and mulch. Anyway, welcome to the page. First post, best post, as they say.