I’m employed by a large state-wide institution dispersed throughout various locations in the city, such that a complicated shuttle system is necessary. There are many routes (all signified by a color) excised from the illustration above, which only shows the “blue” and “gold” shuttle route(s) responsible for getting me to and fro work every Monday – Friday for the past +6 years of my less than inspired, somewhat sad cubicle life.
There were times, at first, that I would accidentally get on the wrong shuttle, thus increasing my shuttle trip by ~40 minutes. If you take a moment to look at the figure above, you’ll notice that erroneously taking the “blue” shuttle from home to work results in having to first go to “Crap 2” and “Crap 1” (two non-applicable sites I have no reason to go to; these names are not actual and are only used rhetorically). The same can be said about taking the “gold” shuttle from work to home. True, any direction I go eventually leads into a full circle, and the consequences of counter-direction are not dire—but one does not wish to waste 40 minutes going the wrong way when one could be at home on their futon watching TMZ and tapping into their third shot of Scotch. I’ll spare you details of what my hands are doing, only to say that the less obscene one is holding the remote control.
The colors “blue” and “gold” are as arbitrary as, well, in a way, my life. It was rather difficult trying to remember which way to go. Every day, the same existential serpent-and-tail self-fellatio problem. So I came up with a little saying that I tell myself, to help me remember which shuttle to take at what point in my blurry aimless day:
Meaning: go to work in order to obtain USD currency, as manifested abstractly via bi-weekly direct deposits into my checking account—cash I never actually touch or feel, but only see deplete when I pay my mortgage, groceries, taxes, and occasional hookers. And come back blue. Return home every day from work chronically depressed because I am stuck in this mid-30s life defined by societal expectations, financial fear, acute loneliness, spiritual resignation, and emotional denial. And so I go to work using the gold, and come back using the blue.
An aphorism is defined as a terse saying embodying general truth, and crossing the bridge over Hwy. 101 every day and seeing the rush hour jam of cars lined up with each red brake light forming a wall of gushing red, I think I’m not the only one. A man one year from a heart-attack he doesn’t know about yet, lifting an ass cheek for a well deserved fart; a woman listening to argumentative AM talk radio, thinking of her 14-yr-old daughter, and how distant she seems lately; an executive with a Bluetooth in the ear and a BMW connected to the gas pedal, douche-talking his Friday 9:00pm date towards that mythical bj. It seems the dreams which gently nudge us out of bed each morning, if they even exist, turn into road kill during rush hour. The LED freeway signs list all the nearby cities, and how long it will take to get to each one. And meanwhile, the sky softly quivers with potential lightning. It’s like God’s little joke on us. Haha, this will happen again tomorrow.
The aphorism works wonders. Since I’ve been saying it, I feel a little better, and never get on the wrong shuttle. And you still say I’m lost.