4 Jun
An Ode to Floyd with the Honey Bear Bong

The continuing saga of one girl’s plight with unemployment…(read vol I and vol II)

My laptop is in sad shape. The screen suddenly only works if it’s propped at a 45-degree angle or less. Actually now it’s creeping down to a 35-degree angle. This presents a problem because: A. I can’t afford the $250 and the week away from the laptop it will take to fix this issue and B. I now do all my writing and work on this maimed laptop, in public, at my favorite local coffee shop. It looks ghetto and sad. But what can I do? As a person with no office to go to, the choices are limited. Write at home 24-7, in hiding, and go stir crazy? No thanks. Or, get the hell out into public every day and brave the squished laptop and write with the other unemployed souls in my hood who I now share time and space with. I even put a few books under the laptop now, to prop it up for maximum writing… awesomeness. The beautiful thing is that my fellow coffee shop workers accept this. No one has pointed, cackling, like they would in the high school cafeteria. I haven’t felt one single sideways glance, like, “that girl is a L-O-S-E-R.” I think this is because they get it. They know. We’re all at the damn coffee shop at 10am every weekday because… we’ve made it our office. Ain’t no job to go to. It’s a silent understanding. Without words, we get each other. Our office is the coffee shop.

Hit the Jump to continue reading Bureaucracy for Breakfast vol. III

Soon, I’ll get the laptop fixed. I’ve gotten pretty good at sweet-talking the employees at the “Genius Bar,” since there’s no warranty to light my way. I tried the other day, when I went in about my latest Mac meltdown, and the sweet dude gave me a number to call and, with a sneaky look, told me to “use trigger words,” so I wouldn’t have to pay the $250. “What’s a trigger word?” I asked with a little smile. “Inconvenience.” He said. “Use Inconvenience a lot. That makes them feel guilty. And Corporate Responsibility. That scares them.” I absolutely WILL use “Inconvenience” a lot. As soon as I have 5-7 business days in which it is NOT an inconvenience not to have a computer.

But back to the coffee shop. It took several weeks of feeling a little lost to figure it out: The coffee shop is the laid off person’s BEST friend. At first, after the initial descent into the unemployment identity crisis (U.I.C., possible symptoms include: reading US Weekly, watching reality TV, and catching yourself in the midst of a lot of blank stares in the quiet afternoon sunlight, wondering if you should feel guilty just, kinda, reading a book – which you shouldn’t) I tried writing at home. I didn’t know any better. I was naïve and new. I would write a few sentences, and before I knew it I’d find myself sweeping the floors or scrubbing the shower. I mean, I HATE cleaning my apartment. What the hell? This was not working out. Occasionally I would have bursts of writing at home, usually late at night, but what about all those daylight hours that needed filling up? I’m not good at doing nothing. Actually, I’m really freaking bad at it and lord knows I wish I were a little more like Floyd in “True Romance.” Remember him? Melting into the couch, bong in hand, glazed giddy eyes glued to the TV? I’d like to be Floyd with the honey bear bong, melting into the couch. Never feeling the pull to his local coffee shop. But, he’s Floyd. And I’m not. Yet. Sadly.

For now, Floyd is for retirement. And weekends. Maybe Floyd is smarter than me. That’s very possible. Probable even. Just like maybe living in Big Sur and hoeing your garden is smarter than driving around Los Angeles and burning gasoline and time is. For now, I have the coffee shop. I love the little table in the very, very back corner, against the bookshelves. Love the two guys who are there every day too, working on their business plan. I even feel a little tug for the fifty other people writing their screenplays. And the dude who works there who’s possibly Fugazi’s biggest fan. I love Fugazi too – this mutual bond gets me the occasional free coffee. And bonding with a stranger over Fugazi beats having “important” discussions about corporate goals and what the new company business cards will look like. Screw the 35-degree laptop. Screw the non-existent health insurance. Screw the 5-7 business days. Screw the dreams of fancy vacations. It’s all about the coffee shop. For now.

No Responses to “Bureaucracy For Breakfast, vol. III”

  1. Tony says:

    I like the trigger words and how people respond to them. So corporate.

  2. […] The continuing saga of one girl’s plight with unemployment…(read vol I,  vol II and vol III) […]

Leave a Reply