Sunday, May 31, 2009

Blame It On The Rain

ed phoning home ouch
~fl)L~Yl8, 2003

After being rejected from a job that pays $18,000 / year at the women’s prison, a job that pays $21,000 teaching Head Start, getting fired from Red Lobster (because apparently, I am just not quite Red Lobster “material .”

I went down to the Tennessee Career Center to take advantage of their high-speed internet, free printer ink, paper, and maybe, just maybe a little perspective on the sad state of affairs in the American job market today.

My loyal readers know that my job expectations salary requirements have steadily declined along with my feelings of self-worth and esteem. I am almost willing to take back what I said try to get a job at Burger King if they would have me.

My career aspirations have dropped with each passing year. I make no excuses. Why bother.

I got hooked up with a career counselor two master’s -- one in Educational & Career Counseling; a second in Counseling Psychology. This is the guidance counselor I have been asking for since... well... since... I was old enough to realize that my mind worked just a little bit differently...

I was never in any one school long enough to have a guidance counselor.

Other than Professor Mark back in college, Bob Crain, my saving grace through the toughest times in my life, no one told me I was wasting my time and money…

Most of all I was wasting my window of opportunity… a moment in time when I almost had a world of opportunity. Without any real place to go after college, I felt I had no other choice than to become a professional student of sorts—you know, the ones who stay in school forever to take advantage of cheap housing, health insurance, and student loans.

Well, that was my first mistake.

Unfortunately, I wandered aimlessly through the system acquiring useless knowledge and letters after my name that do not mean jack in the real world.

I was never there long enough to either test my “aptitude” or implement any course of study. See—it is not my fault, you ignorant fuktards!

Ha! How do you like that?

… Blame it on my parents

… Blame it on me

… Blame it on the rain…

…Blame it on the “acting-advisor”

…The “acting-director of financial aid

...The “acting Dean”

None-the-less, the fact remains that I am apparently completely unemployable, and I would I simply refuse to take any more of those tests. Even the local mall does a background check and administers some type of personality test that I clearly cannot pass!

Listen up, you dumb fucks, I would not have bad credit if I were a thief.
I would not need a job if I had enough money to pay my bills. And when it comes to that “personality assessment” I am sorry to say that I do in fact think there is a big difference between someone who steals food to feed his family and Winona Rider.

When I saw Susan Cowden in the Tennessean this week, I was somewhat dumbfounded to see that she is the person in charge of giving people jobs.

Although I am quite certain she has no recollection of who I am, I can tell you for certain I remember her!

Not really an issue any more, since they clearly do not fit into my budget anyway! Nope. I will not take ‘em for Vanderbilt, and I will not take ‘em for law school. Not for Harvard, not for Tennessee, and I most definitely will not take ‘em for Dave Cordray (and yes, Dave, you are still in fact, such an asshole!)

Who gives a shit anymore? If you told me a fat bearded lady at the circus could decide my fate and tell me what direction I should choose next-- I would take it! I would even throw in a fat tip just for being smart enough to know that any answer-- no matter how grim is far better than just wandering aimlessly through life looking back on what might have been-- at THIRTY! AT THIRTY?

I wish I could say that after all this time I developed other ego strengths and finally felt okay with whom I am, you know.... “Just being me.” but I am sad to report that my “condition” (diagnosis) was amazingly accurate and predictable. Just like all the doctors said! I wonder if they derive joy out of being right— if they crack open a bottle of aged liquor in my father’s office and say, “see, we told you so. We told you there was nothing you could do. And so nothing they did. By doing nothing and I do mean nothing-- the illness take will its course, and I am now, in fact, nothing.

Nothing costs nothing (at least to him) and daddy made another fine investment, on the other hand, nothing has drained every hope, fear, security—chance-- every last breath from my body. I might have believed in me. And I know I’m alive because a tear just rolled down the side of my cheek. I am home.

I am the exact same 5 year old who needed to win the spelling bee. In college, I was the one to set the curve, not just make it, break the rules, and, break [them] I did. There is no glory in being second best. Second smartest, second brightest, or second anything.

But I still have not learned, for some reason with all of my failures, I am reminded of in so many ways. Me, myself watch them play out every time I shut my eyes or open them. Yes- blink, sometimes I ask myself, how did I get here? How did this happen? What happened to all of the plans I made for myself~ where did they go? Where did I go?

Constantly replayed over and over and over again in my mind. I must be FUCK1NG CRAZY! But at this moment, here, even as I say the words, I am not truly insane. 1 am merely in pain, what a tragedy that those two words rhyme-- they ruin what could have been a very profound misnomer of the human condition and the labels we hold so dear.

And so my search for mediocrity continues, and I wait for it each and every day; hoping it will find me beaten and worn from the storm… from all of the storms.

But dammit, it is still there.
I still have questions.
Those damn “elyssa” questions that made my professors so proud.
Damn ideas, damn thoughts, damn hope.

My mother still calls me everyday to see if I went down to get food stamps to feed myself. Fuck her and her fucking things. Fuck diamonds, couture, and fuck that life.

I was here mom, the whole time. Just not pretty enough with out any surgery.
Not pretty at all with all those scars.

I am the exact same 5 year old who needed to ace the Spelling Bee.
Set the curve, not just make it.
Break the rules; and break them I did.

There is no glory in being second best,
Second smartest,
Second brightest,
or second anything.

Being second sucks.
It sucks every goddamned second of the day.

Goodnight my dear friends, lets all try to have sweet dreams. Pepe awaits, as does Alanis and a pack of smokes that I can already taste. I hope you all still love me. I do actually believe that I deserve love and kindness despite the obvious fact that I am a royal pain in the ass. I refuse to work in Burger King.

What could have been, what should have been-- what might have been if you let me be…


When in Chinese, the word Crisis is composed of two characters: One represents danger and the other represents opportunity...


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Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.