ALL OVER THE PLACE by Brian Roper

Posted: August 3, 2007 in The Roper Files

What a week…every day this week: hot and humid all day and then it starts raining just as I clock out of work. Get on that parking lot called I-35 and for eleven miles I get stuck behind slow-moving flatbed trailers, tow trucks and eighteen-wheelers that spray me with dark brown or gray water. Four lanes filled with rude niggazs, rude cholos and even ruder rednecks (see, I hate everyone equally when on I-35 ) all talking on their cellphones and oblivious to the traffic around them as they zip in and out of one lane and then another, never ever using their turn signals.

By the time I get either to work or home, I’m usually so stressed-out from the commute I’m half-insane. Came home the other day during a serious downpour; the cable, phone and internet are all down, and water is dripping from the air-conditioning duct in the bathroom and all over my already warped floor. Going through all of this for a paycheck that’s already spent; the next two weeks are going to be very hand-to-mouth. Lay on the couch. Take a deep breath. My world is falling apart; does anyone care? Staring at a very familiar patch of ceiling. Concentrate on that paint chip or that cobweb. TRY to relax.

I need a drink. I need a girlfriend. I need a new stereo receiver. I need new glasses. All of these things require money, time and effort I just don’t have anymore. After a ten-hour shift on my feet all day for the last four days, I’m tapped out. Kaput. Catatonic. Crap!

Don’t want to move, but my legion of stray cats are at the back door, indignantly demanding food. Hell, for that matter I need food too. Don’t wanna pry my exhausted pimply ass off the futon, however. Just want to lay here. Close my eyes. Pretend this indignity of getting up everyday pre-dawn and driving across town for just enough money to scrape by isn’t happening. Can’t go on like this forever, can I? Something’s gotta break. What will go first? My sanity? Close my eyes even harder.

Lay still; don’t move. Pace my breath. Gotta relax but my mind and my body both feel like a clenched fist. Ball of nerves. Anxiety hacking on my brain like an icepick on a giant chunk of ice. Pull yourself together; be a man! Gotta carry on. Push forward.

So where am I going to go? For every place I need to go, I’ve got an excuse not to. Like no extra money for starters. Everytime I leave the house, I spend a minimum of twenty bucks. Usually more.

Had close to a thousand dollars in my wallet 24 hours ago. Paid my rent and a couple of bills and now I’m broke. While the rest of the world gets dressed up and hits the clubs this weekend, I’ll be sitting around the house playing with myself because I don’t have the money to do anything or go anywhere. Some life, huh?

Don’t worry much about identity theft. You want to be me; you can have it!

Being me isn’t much fun at all.

BR

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