Thursday August 07, 2003 @ 10:46 PM (UTC)

Sometimes I feel like my life is filling up with what P.K. Dick called kipple — clutter, useless junk, but not just the items themselves, the windrows they form, but the force of entropy multiplying them, forcing them on you, choking you in a sea of useless, discarded, and ultimately inescapable rubbish.

I don’t think it helps that my boss is a pack-rat. I go to work, and I’m surrounded by articles he’s clipped, correspondence he’s kept, and little trinkets he thought were interesting dating back to my elementary school years. Currently, at work, we’re trying to organize this stuff. I find it very frustrating. Not only that I have to do this for someone else (I was told by my {"Clean your room!“} parents all my {”Clean your room!“} life eventually emerging from the kipple was my {”Clean your room!"} OWN moral obligation and duty.) but that I come home from having done this for 4 hours or more a day, and I walk into the same mass of kipple, multiplying, spreading, striving against the checking influence of my husband, teeming, defiant; that I left in order to go to work in the morning. I figured out a long time ago that work is selling your life for money. Now it appears that it’s selling the little organizational impulse I have for money, too, and soon I will drown in a pile of sketches I must keep, books I’ll read later, coupons I’ve clipped, awards I’ve won, gifts I’ve received, and toys I’ve loved.


Phil Dick always seems to pop up and make me feel worse when I feel the worst about my life. He points out to you when you’re feeling empty and alone that your life isn’t just dissatisfying, it’s a panoply of nightmares, and it’s run by invisible psychic vampires who will never ever let it change. But what a writer, eh?

Having to work at a job where your labor all goes into something you don’t love is like raising a child you hate. It’s self-defeating, agonizing, and pointless. And sometimes you have to do it. And sometimes it eats little pieces of you.

I spent this past week babysitting a group consisting mostly of tired, frustrated thirtysomething actors and visual artists from NYC. They work a lot of shitty jobs. And they can’t let them eat the important pieces of them. So most of them let their jobs eat their respective grips on reality.

The world is scary.

The child analogy is an excellent one, by the way.

It’s odd. Matt tells me he’s so proud of me for not getting bitter and letting my job change me. But the real fact of the matter is, I just had to create a whole other person to do my job. I don’t like her. She is miserable all the time, goofs off as much as possible, and yet answers the phone with a chipper voice. I really hate this person. However, she keeps me from breaking down, quitting my job, or tainting my real self too much.

Of course, I could be kidding myself—I could really just be becoming an irresponsible, insincere, hate-filled automaton. Isn’t that a cheery thought?

I don’t mind making new people to do things for me. Sometimes the people I have around just aren’t much good at something I need to do. The problem arises when it’s someone that you don’t like. Everyone that you make has the opportunity to strangle, punch, kick, and flagellate your other people and jump in the driver’s seat and take over, and the more you use someone, the stronger they get.

Maybe we’re really talking about getting old and boring and accepting the need to dip wires in flux for 12 hours a day. But quite frankly, if I ever have to do something I hate and that controls me on a regular basis for any really significant period of time, I think I’ll probably kill myself. Not that I think that’s a sensible reaction, but it’s just probably what I’ll do. Better than the alternative, right?

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