Dear god to whom some ascribe omnipotence (even though I know better), let me tell you what I've been holdin in my heart, despite the angels of my better nature, wherever the hell they are. They certainly weren't with me yesterday, that's for sure. Maybe I left them at the park-and-ride. I was on a bus passin through the Lincoln Tunnel into New York City -- always a gleeful trip at eight-thirty on a weekday morning -- carryin a big effin chip on my shoulder. The bus was full of slouchy Young Turks and bubbly Young Turkettes goin in to work, boppin to their music, playin with their e-mail, checkin out the news on their shiny little devices, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, haulin those heavy shoulder bags and knapsacks, just effin hopeless, hopeless the same way I was thirty years ago, as dumb as an ox, givin myself over to that first job like it was gonna gimme some purpose to my life. Effin pathetic. It wasn't nuthin but a paycheck.
So listen, god, here's me on the bus -- a gray-haired, muddle-headed bundle of impatient cynicism when it comes to the workplace, having for so long worked in a corporate environment where dogged and compliant incompetence was enshrined as the key to scorin a promotion -- lookin at these kids and I'm turnin green with envy. They had jobs. They were checkin e-mail. They were gearin up for their eight hours or more of daily jousting with The Forces That Be. They had desks, coffee machines, and network printers, photo IDs, mail rooms, and company contributions to their 401Ks. Just thinkin about it made my stomach sour. Worst of all, they had each other. They belonged.
And I didn't. Not on that bus, at that hour. I was merely posin, readin my dog-eared copy of Nobility of Spirit, makin little notes in the margin (with an effin pencil, no less!), tryin to concentrate on those Big Ideas when all the while I was fumin inside, mad as hell, envious, jealous, exasperated, at the frayed end of my emotional rope. Lemme tell you god, I thought I was over all that shite. I was wrong -- all it took was one morning's bus ride with a bunch of eager young workers and -- whoosh! -- off the rocker I went. Inside of me. Get it? My fault.
I know you can't console me, god, or comfort me -- there's hardly any effin thing you can do except sit there and listen. Talkin to you is like whackin a slab of granite with a bent stick.
It took us almost twenty effin minutes to make it through the tunnel. We finally got to the Port Authority around five minutes to nine. The bus unloaded and the kids all ran off, hustlin to their jobs. I let 'em go. For me, it was enough to have calmed down a bit and gotten my equilibrium back. Hell, I was in the Port Authority, among the madmen, costume jewelry vendors, cops, and maintenance workers. I figgered I could blend right in.