That’s it, no more, I’m not going to work today. I’m going to wake up nice and early, take a shower, go downstairs, I’ll make my coffee like I always do, and while the coffee is brewing I’m going to take my dog for a walk. I’ll come back, drink my coffee, I’ll eat my breakfast, and then I’ll just sit there and wait.
And eventually my phone’s going to ring, and I’ll pick it up. “Hello?”
“It’s your boss. Where are you? You’re fifteen minutes late. Get here now.”
And I’m just going to say, “Sorry, boss, but I’m done.”
And maybe he’ll try calling me back, I don’t know, maybe he won’t. I’ll still answer it. I’m not rude like that. Everybody’s always texting anyway, and so I’m always interested in hearing another person’s voice, even if it’s only my boss, calling just to make sure that he heard me correctly the first time. “That’s right boss,” I’ll confirm that he did hear me correctly, “Done.”
My wife’s going to get so pissed. “You just quit your job? What’s wrong with you? How are we going to pay any of the bills?” and I’ll just take it all in stride, enjoying some more coffee, thinking about all of the free time I’m about to have.
I’ll say this to my wife, I’ll say, “Honey, think about all of the time we’ll be able to spend with each other. You should do it too, just stop showing up at work.”
So she’ll calm down. She’s definitely going to see it my way. Maybe her job won’t call her up for a few days. They’ll think, “Huh, this isn’t like her at all. I’m sure she has a perfectly good explanation.”
And she will. The explanation being, “My husband and I aren’t playing this game anymore. We’re done. Done-zo. Find somebody else to transfer line two to accounts payable.”
The bills will pile up, sure, and the cell phone service is going to get cut off and, yeah, it’ll take a while, but the city will eventually file all of that paperwork so the judge can order the marshals to forcibly evict us from our home and, whatever, that’ll take some time. Maybe something lucky will happen before we get the boot. Maybe we’ll open our arms to the universe and the universe will open its arms right back, that warm universal embrace you always see people posting about on Facebook.
Sure, we’d run out of food, eventually, but again, that wouldn’t be for a little bit, because we have so many cans of tuna, so many packets of dried pasta and beans. One time I read about this lady who lived a whole winter trapped in some house eating only an apple a day. She went crazy and didn’t make it out alive, but I don’t think it was the hunger that did her in, that’s the point I’m trying to make.
Actually, that’s a little morbid. Maybe we’ll run away before they kick us out, before the credit cards get cut off. We’ll find some commune somewhere, something a little culty but just slightly. Nothing dangerous, none of that weird group ritual stuff like you see on TV, just something in the middle of nowhere where everybody farms and maybe gets together at night around a big communal campfire and they sing songs and pass around some old guitar that one of the older members brought from when he left his life behind. And maybe there won’t be a B string, but we’ll make it happen, humming and singing along to stripped-down, bare-bones versions of all of our favorite nineties alt-rock hits.
And whoever winds up moving into our abandoned home, back here, back in our future-old life, or our still-current life, they’ll still get notices from all of the credit card companies and cell phone and cable providers, all with variations of the same message: “Pay up.” And you know how bill collectors are. They try to collect a bill. They can or they can’t. If they can’t, they sell it to somebody else for a little less, somebody who might be a little better at collecting. The more times it gets sold, the better the collector, but also the more dangerous, the crazier, the ones really willing to take those extra risks to collect. And so these new tenants will get all sorts of threatening letters, knocks on the door in the middle of the night, “Pay up you deadbeats!” written on a note wrapped around a brick and left outside the front door, the message here being, next time maybe we’ll throw this through the window. Or maybe we won’t, but the next level of debt collectors that we’ll be forced to sell your debt to, they’re definitely going to throw it through your window, and maybe it’ll be on fire.
Enough of that harassment, enough bills, enough of this modern world. It’s all enough to make anyone want to skip town for a while, to get away, to go live on some commune somewhere, whatever, I’ll even take a crazy cult commune. It’s not like these communes advertise on the Internet, and so if you’re looking for one, you just take it, because what are the chances that you’ll find another one any time soon? Before your supply of tuna runs out, and those dried beans, you didn’t really think about eating them on the road, how hard it would be to find a stove, somewhere to boil them for a long enough time to where they’re tender, palatable, and so, yeah, you probably should have bought canned beans. But canned tuna, canned beans, do you know how demoralizing that can be? Eating everything out of a can, every day, meal after meal, regardless of what’s inside, it always has a touch of that canned taste, like something metal, like something that’s been in there for a long, long time.