Better Late

A little thing i wrote years ago, but, better late than never...

Who needs coffee? Just wake up late enough so that if you catch one stop light red, you'll get fired. It may take awhile of being late to work up to this point, but so much the better. I wake up by screaming at traffic and pounding the steering wheel. It's the near-accidents, the screaming commuters and the emotional wreckage you'll leave in your wake, wreak on yourself and others, that works best. Or if you can snag some coffee before you leave home, you may find that spilling it on your lap helps. Wake up your heart without mainlining caffeine; go straight for the stress. There's nothing like the stench of a burning clutch and brakes in the morning. Don't these people know I'm late for work?

Why does it seem like I'm a minute later every day, until sooner or later I'm gone before I get there? Why do I torture myself? Because it's the only power I have over the corporate whore-to-culture, that's why, but I only end up hurting myself and limiting the income I might eventually get if I become a full-fledged prostitute. Right now I'm limited to blowing it. Thanks, I'll keep the tip Uncle Sam. Maybe I do it because it keeps the day interesting (and I have something to blame if I don't do everything perfectly). As if the day wasn't interesting enough with all the posturing, hedging, pushing paper and pulling teeth, eating crow and writing brief, pretending I care that my tie is straight and my glasses are clean and my spreadsheet don't stink, and I can't die my hair green because God forbid, someone might think I'm weird. I guess if you dye your hair green you suddenly become stupid and unable to perform the simplest tasks like rolling over and playing dead or communicating with people in a meaningless way.

As long as we dot the I's and cross the T's on our fashion statement; that's our informed consent to fall for their tailor-made gibberish. As long as we toe the line at the start of the rat race, wait for the gun to go off so we can stumble towards the finish line of early retirement with an aneurysm and a pacemaker, wolfing down nitroglycerin like it was Prozac, or we get thrown out in the street, a casualty of some drownsizing re-disorganization because someone who doesn't know anything except how to eat mashed potatoes and pretend to be a zit is willing to work for less wages because they don't have a mortgage or kids with braces or a wedding ring to pay off or gambling debts or a drug habit or….wait I'm getting behind myself. Why don't they just shoot me now? I guess they figure sooner or later I'll shoot myself in the foot often enough and eventually bleed to death, but don't get any on the doormat.

And what are all these hats they keep talking about?! I can't even remember where I put my thinking cap. Wearing different hats only messes up my head. I only have one hat, dammit; I'm me! I guess if I got a monkey on my back I might as well dress the part. Monkey in the middle, steaks on the griddle, another piece of raw meat in the frying pan of life. Out of the school and into the pyre. A simple recipe for brow-beaten ground meat culled from the corporate cookbook; how to serve humans. Add a dash of fault for the festering wound. But we're aloud to show our individuality by posting a few photos of the family dog in our hell holes, or maybe a cartoon as long as it isn't about religion, politics, sex, women, men, minorities, majorities, drugs, or ritual satanic cult killings. What's left; an article on how to cook vegetables? Oh but that might offend people who eat meat. Save the plants.

And there's having to put up with all the meaningless crap they feed you that has nothing to do with your Job, (the crux, the work); like wearing a noose (necktie) or straitjacket (stockings) on your legs, using all the PC phrases, everyone in their places with bright, shining faces, Brylcreem smiles and upsalon hair, everyone with their little schedules and their sharpened eyebrow pencils, cake-up and shaved body parts, pens that click and watches that tick, on the button, off the cuff, in the mix, pick up sticks, file-a-fax and tic tacs, telling off-color jokes about off-color people around the water cooler, a busy day at the office keeping all the women and minorities in their places, acquiescing on demand, corporation cooperation, corporal punishment, toe the line and make your stand; sit, roll over and play dead (well not really play).

And in this day and rage of E-mail, phone mail, virtual mail, snail mail, hail mail, full of grace; blessed art thou among technology and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, information; if I'm not at my desk for 15 minutes then beep me, page me, reap me, spam me, cram me, damn me, dang me, take me to the roof and hang me, for crisis sake. If I'm so important that it can't wait, you'd better give me a raise. Armed to the teeth with buzzwords, buzzcut, pocket protector and an anesthetic, copacetic, apoplectic, acid peptic smile; and all I have to show that I haven't given in, dumbed, succumbed to all the b.s. is those twenty or so minutes that I'm late every morning. How can you take that away from me?

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