Well, this is it. My leisurely stroll through the sunny fields of contented unemployment have officially been numbered. Starting next month, I need to be able to scrounge up at least a couple of thousand dollars on a regular sort of basis. The day has finally come when the kids have found a place and are moving out. I can’t even begin to count the number of times when I was working that I asked them to move out, but now that they are finally going, the moment has turned bittersweet. At least I know that I can jump right in and do my manager thing. I have a particular set of skills, you know. I wouldn’t mind transferring them to a slightly different field, but work is work, apparently, and my experience has transformed a high school dropout into an affordable commodity. And now that I know that I can keep up with my writing, for at least a thousand words per day, I’m not as scared of the daily grind and falling out of rhythm. It just might be the time to put my will back to the test, and make a little money in order that I might finally be able to finance my own dreams.
Strangely enough, this doesn’t really come as a surprise. Not the money thing. I mean, I know I cut out one year early from my compulsory education, but even I can still do basic feats of arithmetic. Recently, my wife has been informing me that she might have to go back to working closing shifts to be able to make forty hours. With her switching back to nights, that leaves me open to run for something during the day, assuming that I would be able to get back home before she had to go to work. I know restaurants in general tend to abhor a nine-to-five, but I am good at what I do, and I think that I could make it worth their while. Part of me wants nothing more than to go back to the man I used to work for and offer to take back over at the store I left (a possibility, since my son-in-law is going to be taking paternity leave as soon as my granddaughter has been born). I know his staffing issues, and I’ve also been made aware of the limitations which he faces in his current management roster. After spending nearly six years in that organization, I know that once I got back, the months I’ve spent away would slide off down my shoulders, and I’d be right back where I started (or ended, depending on just how you want to frame the tale).
Luckily, I’ve still got some contacts in the industry, and my reputation there was always fairly solid. Honestly, if I didn’t really need the cash, I’d probably just settle for some random cashier gig, but my credit cards and rent aren’t going to pay themselves, so it looks like I’m stuck with management again. It could be worse, I suppose. I might never have acquired any skills whatsoever, and be forced to consider the dwindling options which labor can provide. And I’ve worked my way up from the very bottom at almost every job I’ve had over the last ten years, so I know how to grind it out, and I understand how not to be the type of manager who runs the store from somewhere deep within the office. I’ve earned the respect of my employees many times before, and I can do it again if I have to. To be honest, I think that I’d prefer to put a Paypal button for donations in the corner of my site, but all my friends who read this are at least as poor as me, and don’t really have the resources to subsidize my adventures on the run from an honest day’s toil.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that once I left my last job, it would be like pulling teeth to get me into another, as I tend to not want to put myself in a position to have to meet new people when there’s any chance I might avoid it. But the fact is that after a half-dozen years in the crucible of the pizza game, I needed to take a breather and find my bearings again. And, despite the financial shortcomings of writing for a blog which pays me not a single dime, it’s hard to say that it has been anything other than a complete success. I’m writing more than at any other time in my life, and though it’s not all diamond crusted flecks of platinum and gold, on the whole, it’s of a higher quality than the nonsense I was churning out before. Sure, there are fewer moments of inspired genius, but then again, I’m also not penning epic droning poetry that just kept going on for page after page, long after I’d run out of anything to say. With a new job comes a chance for new experiences, and that means sprinkles of inspiration that I seem to be going without due to my isolation and unwillingness to step foot outside my house, cigarettes and escort missions aside.
I guess this means that tomorrow will be my last hurrah before responsibility sets in. I’m glad my wife and I get to have a night out on the town. It’s been too long since we’ve done anything outside of domestic squabbling, and I’d like a chance to try for some redemption from the last time that we went out. It turns out that when you all but give up drinking, you can’t just jump right back into it and pound ’em down like in your twenties. If I could remember anything outside of snippets of our journey home, I’d probably feel as embarrassed as my wife did as she babysat her husband while he wandered around and made a proper ass of himself. Somewhere there’s a cabby who will most likely never be able to forgive me. But this time we’re going to go and do it right, with water and an early evening. I’ve said it before, but I’m kind of glad Apocalyptica is not headlining, and that I have no interest in seeing Sixx:A.M. We can duck out early from the show, and make it home in time for bed.
I didn’t choose the elder life, the elder life chose me.