-- Fight Club
Hate. That's where I went. I went deep into a pool of emotion, and I wallowed in it like a pig in dark mud. I slathered myself in it, and once it had caked I added even more to the layer that coated me. If I could I would have drowned myself in it. I smothered every inch of my body with a thick ichor of anger because it's the only thing that kept me from losing all control today and hitting somebody across the head with one of faux-trendy office chairs we have stationed in our so-called "conference room." They're not really done up in leather, but they want you to think it is. It isn't an executive's chair, but it wants you to think it is. The pillars that support the table surface aren't oak, but are lacquered to look like it. The top of the table isn't marble, but is patterned to appear as if it is. Fake. Untrue. Inferior. Deceiptful. Those chairs and that table are like so much around me from the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep -- ersatz. A cheap thing trying to masquerade as something better. My entire life is like a homely girl from a hick farming town trying to pass herself off as a worldly urbanite when you meet her at some dive bar in the city -- you can see right through it and you despise it; on some level you want to pity it as well.
But I digress.
Every time I thought about that conference room I wanted to scream. I wanted to take the monitor on my desk and tear it out of the socket so I could heave it at some unsuspecting office drone as they wandered past my cubical lost in whatever drone things they were thinking about. I can still hear in my head the grunt of dismay and surprise the white-collar drudge would make when it first impacted the back of his or her skull. The sound wouldn't last, however, because it would be lost in the simple cacophony of a tube imploding and shattered glass falling to a rug. Everything around me inspired me to acts of violence that I couldn't act out. It was incredibly frustrating, having that breaker in my head. Each time I started to move towards a thought or idea something would snap and I'd slump back into my chair, defeated. I've been too well socialized, it would seem. I can't seem to transgress the parameters our culture has been so careful to box me in with. They must have done a fine job, because even though I can see it all in my head I can't seem to make it real. Maybe it's for the best. Because if I could have done it, today, I would have found an oxy-acetalene blow torch and taken it to the "art" that resides in the lobby of my office building.
You know what scares me the most? I've felt like this for ... I don't know how long. It's only now been given a direction by sheer chance. I don't think that's going to last, however. Work can't be blamed for everything. Although at this moment I feel it is largely responsible for my station in life and unhappiness I know it isn't the root cause. There's something else, but I just haven't been able to find it yet. If I do find it I don't know if I'll be able to do anything about it. I suspect I'm here because it's habit, and habits have a way of being binding.
Unlike the bit I borrowed from Jack and quoted above it wasn't the beautiful things that I wanted to destroy. Maybe it's because of the pretty things that I feel like this, but that's only by chance. For me... it's the ugly things around me that I wanted to destroy. There are so many ugly things around me that I can't see the beautiful things anymore. I don't know when I stopped seeing them, but it must have been some time ago. I've been sitting here racking my brain while I try to get this written and I can't remember the last truly beautiful thing I've seen in the recent past. Every time I try I get pulled back to the distant past, when I was in Canada sitting on a cliff and watching the sunset light up the sky.
So much ugliness. Smog-heavy skies. Angry faces pressed against cell phones staring at me as they pass me on the freeway. Downturned faces hidden behind newspapers in the lobby. Beige walls surrounding me for 8 hours a day. Cookie-cutter cells of plaster and plastic, furnished by Steelcase and stripped of personality. Plastic plants glinting under florescent lighting. Glowing red LEDs buried amidst industrial plastic with the words "You must badge in" emblazoned above it by some secretary -- I'm sorry, administrative assistant -- with a pen. Starbucks. Salt-encrusted cars. City busses with too few people on them. Cut-and-paste homes, as devoid of character as the cubicals we entomb ourselves in.
I still want to destroy, I still want to undo some of the ugliness to make it less repetitive. On a more base level I feel territorial and I want to replace the ugliness of others in my world with ugliness of my own. It would be less strange, less unsettling to be surrounded by something that at least came from within. I suppose I should be sad that the ugliness isn't just inside me, it's on the outside too. It's in how I slouch, it's in the acidic tone of my voice when I speak, it's in the sarcastic cut of my words, it's in the muffled thump of my stride.
Hate. Anger. Bitterness. Cynicism. Mistrust. It's keeps cycling and I can't seem to focus through it for more than ten or fifteen minutes at a time.
Today's bullshit was simple: Allen has decided I have to have all the paperwork for my reviews done by the 13th. This directly conflicts with a goal that's been set to make or break my reputation (what little I have left) of getting a massive dog-and-pony show done for upper management on the 16th. If I don't do it he will just do it without my "input" into the review process. So I can either work on it at home (which I refuse to do, work invades my home life for two weeks a month right now as it is) or I can not do it and keep working on the project, or drop the project and work on this. I was going to drop the project and spend all day tomorrow working on the paperwork I have to do (such trite bullshit) but you know what? Who gives a fuck anymore. He's already decided I'm the worst kind of employee because I think for myself and as far as getting the paperwork due-date revised he's proven that he's not going to try to meet me halfway by changing the date. I'll receive a 2% raise if I'm lucky and nothing I can say for myself will sway his mind, so why should I bother wasting my time with fucking paperwork? I'm going to walk into his office tomorrow and tell him to do the goddamn review without my paperwork, because I know how it's all going to turn out anyways. I see no sense in wasting my breath.
I'm wasting my breath here, too. I give up. I'm just done.