I set out running but I’ll take my time
A friend of the Devil is a friend of mine
I was running late and pushing 80 miles an hour heading towards Bastrop. John Lennon screamed at me through a busted speaker about how we all shine on. Maybe, some of us do, but not me. And definitely not while plunging heedlessly towards certain doom on that toxic little stretch of road called Highway 21.
I had to be at a job interview for a special education aide position. A task I was uniquely unqualified for. Especially on this morning. My nervous system was a bundle of electric shrieks and the rest of me was all clenched teeth and bone shivers; the result of being in the talons of a heavy and acute Xanax withdrawal. Death jitters, hands gripping the wheel, and some kind of fiery eel writhing in my brain-eating me from the cerebral cortex on down.
I didn’t particularly care if I landed the job, I just hoped that I wouldn’t come off as completely unhinged. If I could fool these prigs into thinking I was somewhat normal, I thought, I could jerk off the world. It was going to be a hell of a gauntlet to run in such a pitiful condition. My brain, my head-fucked; two bags filled with shocks and lightning bolts and science fiction.
I got to the interview, made the sign of the cross, and did a Mark Spitz into the choppy waters. Between the brain damage, chattering teeth and random spastic jerks, I figured it would just be a matter of time before security was called and I got hustled out on my twitchy ass while screaming about the seven dirty habits of highly inappropriate people. I could imagine word spreading about some discombobulated hippie showing up and gibbering through his nose on the evils of football-How it was turning our nation’s children into brutal collectivists with alarmingly high levels of nitrates, whatever the hell that means.
I managed to keep it together enough to avoid any discussion about my skeleton trying to chew its way out of my skin. I almost busted my act in two, though, when I was given some forms to sign. I thought I had developed a kind of weird situational dyslexia when the letters on the page began to pulse and breathe and slope into deformed symbols. I hoped the secretary didn’t notice my hand shaking as I signed my name at the bottom of the last page.
Plowing through the interview was easier than I thought it would be. I kept my answers short and to the point. No embellishments, no bullshit-just flat and measured. I probably sounded like an idiot but at least I feigned sanity to a near believable degree. I didn’t get the job but neither did I dissolve into a puddle of tears and urination in front of a horrified room of professional educators. It was no small achievement and I definitely deserved the Oscar for asshole of the year.
And now, after filling out my weight in job applications, I long to be balls deep back in the benzo bends. The whole process of trying to break into the teaching profession has been a colossal fuck around. From the jargon thumping self-reverence of education classes to the hoop sucking, paper chewing process of applying for a job; I’m surprised I haven’t developed rectal prolapse.
The scene is a testament to the power of smallness. Minutiae Nazis reigning absolute over their trivial corner of the world. It guarantees that anyone who isn’t prissy, a Baptist, suicidal, or a meathead will run from the enterprise screaming and throwing their excrement. It makes me want to shit my pants and eat dog food. No wonder there are so few exceptional teachers around and so many kids getting into college who don’t know the difference between a fart and a paragraph break.
Ahhh, but one day I will break in. I will come down off my cross and penetrate that weird insulated world. I will stand in front of the class, a scumbag with an axe to grind. And then we can get down to the nut cutting-the learning as it were…and death will not be able to find me. I’ll teach those kids and soon enough settle meekly in to the very system that I hold such dark contempt for. And, to be fair, I have contempt for pretty much all systems. I have never been able to bust my nut in that world. Probably because I am so filled with beans that it is a world I will never understand…never in hell.
So, tomorrow is another day and another round of trying to get it on. People keep telling me to hang in there, something will happen. Someone even suggested that I settle down and enjoy the process-find solace and wisdom on my path to the new life I am seeking. They reminded me that it is, after all, the journey and not the destination that matters. I told them I felt that way every time I sat on the toilet.