What am I doing? And where did it all go wrong?
I’m young. I’m young but I’m not that young any more.
My adult life started out like a joke, and no one was doing anything serious anyway, and I just seemed to be having all the same kinds of fun as everyone else, maybe a bit more sometimes, maybe more of the time, and maybe with a little less thought to the future. On the surface we were all just fucking around, doing nothing of note, making friends, setting up the wrinkles we’d eventually get, putting ourselves out there and seeing what happened. Experiments of all kinds.
And now I’ve been an adult for eight years and my friends have jobs and lives. Boyfriends, jobs, maybe not excellent jobs but they’re somewhere on a ladder leading upwards.
And I’m on the dole and I have a flat which I love, very close to the city, cheap enough to afford on the dole. I can go out when I want and see who I want. I cook nice food for myself and I chat to people online and they think I’m interesting because I’ve lived in a few countries and done a few unexpected things. But I haven’t done very much, really, I just moved my laptop and clothes around Europe a few times.
And now my stuff is in Dublin, I live along again, which I like, but it’s hollow too. There’s no reason for anything, I just wait for my pay day and then I wait for the weekend or sometimes I don’t wait and I just drink anyway, with company or without, whatever’s easiest… the weekend comes round again anyway, whether I’m hung over when it comes or whether I land there thirsty and vibrant. And then I feel sorry for myself and wait for my payday.
I’m unemployed and my life is going nowhere. Going nowhere fast.
My grandad said that about me to my mother the other day. She felt it necessary to tell me. It hit me like a kick to the stomach. That girl’s going nowhere fast.
I want to curl up and cry about my life. It’s not fair. I didn’t know it was for real, nobody told me. Nobody told me.
I want to blame someone else for the position I’m in, the position… it’s comfortable. It’s comfortable but lifeless. Like a permanent day off, a permanent lie-in. It’s only bliss to have time off from something, or sleep in an extra hour or two or three as a treat. I feel like doing stuff, being productive, sorting things out, building myself up.
But I’m not doing it, because I’m sort of stuck. I feel like it could be much worse. I could be really depressed. Perhaps it’s getting that way, but I don’t feel unhappy. The complaints I have, the sadness I feel- is reasonable, reality-based. I’m unhappy because I don’t have any money. I’m sad because I can’t afford to do what I want to do. I feel lonely because I haven’t got very many people to see during the week. But at the core I’m ok, I think. I’m just not sure what to do with myself. I’m very aware that I’m not doing something I’d respect in someone else. I’m not living up to any kind of potential, and I’m not putting anything into my life that will give positive returns later.
I spent a few more quid on gambling before I gave that up. Because I’m definitely not going to win anything. I needed to really be sure of that or else I still had the glimmer of hope….
So no more gambling for me, hooray. That was a quick and light and relatively non destructive gambling problem.
The Friday night I went out and had a few drinks with friends and woke up in a taxi slurring “I don’t understand, I thought I had 20 quid?” and the taxi driver is telling me “you don’t have the money? I need to get paid”
And I’m saying “where are my friends? Where is everyone?” and he says I was on my own, I don’t have any friends with me. He says he’s driving me to the police station. I tell him please do because then we can straighten this all out.
He drives me there and fills out some kind of report. I don’t remember much but I sat in the police station waiting room all night, confused, penniless, next to heroin addicts and various troublemakers.
I tried asking the police officers about my situation and they got sick of talking to me and went into the back room. I was too drunk to make any sense. But they were not nice to me, not at all. They didn’t seem to think a girl that drunk and confused needed any treatment other than go home you’re drunk, you owe the taxi driver 20 quid.
I made friends with two people there, an Eastern European woman who didn’t seem to be all there, and a 35-ish Irish man whose car had been impounded for some reason. I wept in self pity on the steps talking to them, crying hysterically about everything in my life that isn’t fair and isn’t my fault. My divorce, my mortgage, my lack of education, my lack of success in any area when I was so clever as a child. I cried and cried. I just wanted someone to come and tell me it’s all ok and they’d look after me and I wouldn’t have to go back to the phones and I wouldn’t have to claw my way up some shitty career ladder because of course I deserve better.
Instead I got the Eastern European girl… Monica? I think her name was Monica… telling me I should get with the guy on the steps beside me, I should go out with him. “He a good guy,” she said. “Has own van. Very good. Not easy to meet man like this today, you should be with him. I think you two very good together. He has own van.”
I asked him through my drunken tears, as I swigged wine from the plastic bottle I had with me, on the steps of the inner city Dublin police station, “how much money have you got?”
He said a few hundred quid.
I said no, I need a proper rich guy. And I finished my wine and stopped crying and wondered what I should do. I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t recognise the area and the police were refusing to talk to me because I guess I must have really annoyed them with my drunken crying. In fairness I think they could have been a bit nicer. I was really not in a good way. I don’t remember ever being like that, but then you wouldn’t remember it, would you? I didn’t sober up until around 7am.
Then my new friend, the guy with not enough money to look after me, said he’d give me a lift home when his van was released, unless they found his stash and charged him. I said ok thanks. But then he said it wouldn’t be til 9am.
So we waited and waited. I got so cold on the steps, and so tired. I started to fall asleep and a policeman walked past and said MOVE.
I started to wonder about homeless people and feel really really sorry for them in a way I never have before.
I chatted to my new friend. He was nice. We went to McDonalds when it opened and I scraped together 1.30 and bought a cheese toasty. The cheese toasty was disgusting. It was like plastic, hard plastic, and it scraped my mouth and stuck in different places in my throat. I wanted to lay down my head and sleep but I couldn’t. I was so afraid of being moved along by someone who mistook me for some junkie vagrant instead of a drunken middle class girl.
What’s the difference anyway. I don’t even think I can consider myself middle class. I’m unemployed. I’m uneducated. I have done absolutely nothing with the priviledge I once had, and it’s gone now. My dad has money. My dad could help me get on my feet but he says I’ve had too much help in the past and just frittered it away. He’s right, but it doesn’t change the fact that I do need help. I need someone to help me somehow because I’m a fucking mess of a person. I’m not anybody. I’m just eating and drinking and taking money from the government and watching movies and fucking people I don’t really like that much and getting dressed up nice and going out and pretending I’m just like everyone else and witty and interesting and charming for a few hours before I’m back in my cheap, cold room, weighing up the pros and cons of calling that guy I don’t really like that much to come over and keep me company for a few hours.
Pros: get to have sex, feel briefly like I’m good at something. It’s a good workout. Being fit and skinny would make me feel better too.
Cons: have to shower first. Don’t feel like showering. Will feel kind of shit about myself afterwards.
I usually call him anyway. Sometimes I skip the shower.
My new buddy gave me a lift home when his van was released. He wasn’t charged with anything. The police took what they found and must have kept it for themselves because there was no mention of anything. Bastards, he said. I said well at least you don’t have a charge now. Yeah. I should be on cloud nine, he said.
He drove me home and I was too tired to think any more. It didn’t occur to me that I shouldn’t have got into a van with a strange man I met in the police station. But in my mind it was just us versus the police at that point. I always felt like the police were these friendly helpful guys who are there when people like me are afraid or in trouble or whatever. The kind of guys who’d tip their hat to you. Sure, I’ve done illegal things before but I never got in any trouble. Because I’m not scum, I don’t get the scum treatment. But Friday night I was treated like scum and I can’t help but feel like fuck you police. My new criminal buddy told me, because I was worried about how I might have behaved, he told me that when I was brought in I was very polite and just seemed a bit lost and confused and upset. Not rude, not shouting, nothing like that. But then he really did hate the police so he may have been biased.
Anyway. He didn’t rape or murder me. On the way home he yelled “morning Jack!” or some name out the window. I said who was that? Surprised he knew someone walking in my neighbourhood at 10am on Saturday morning. Ah, the old lord mayor of Dublin, he said. He’s a friend of my dad’s. I wondered after all if Monica had a point and I should have got together with this obviously well connected man who had his own van, a few hundred quid and knew an ex lord mayor of Dublin. But then I thought, fuck it, if I’m going to be shallow enough to take wealth over chemistry and attraction I should probably aim for a bit higher. Like a man with a few thousand and a merc, or something.
Incidentally Saturday I was contacted on this dating website by quite a nice looking young man. He wanted to take me out, pay for everything, pick me up and drop me home. He said he has a mercedes and his own company and a house with 7 rooms in it. This wasn’t his opening shpiel, it came out over the course of the conversation.
I smelled a rat but then he gave me his linkedin and his company name and it seems legit.
I told him a bit about how crap of a person I am, and he offered me a job working for his company doing sales. On the phone. I would absolutely hate to do sales over the phone and would probably not be any good at it, but it’s one of those funny little things that comes up in life that a person in my position should take advantage of.
I’m way too intimidated by a guy like that to get anything romantic going on. Younger than me, wealthy, successful? Hopefully his profile picture was really flattering and he’s actually ugly. Then I might stand a chance. Yup, still hoping for that free ride.
I think the problem with me is that my expectations from life and what I’m willing to put into it are entirely unequal.
I just look at the people who got lucky and think, well then why should I slave away at some crappy job just to get a minute fraction of their success? So I do nothing instead. I’m just glad people can’t see what I actually do with my time. I’m surprisingly happy most of the time doing nothing.
For example on Wednesday I bought groceries and made sushi for two friends who came for dinner, and then went and had pretty nice dirty sex in my neighbour’s house.
Thursday, I made myself a pair of slippers and did a painting I’m not happy with of a naked woman. Then I watched seasons 3 and 4 of Seinfeld and had some more sex, and then Friday I drank wine by myself at home and made my own pasta from scratch and then I went out and got anihillated as you know and then yesterday and today I caught up on seasons 5 and six of Seinfeld and played some Fallout New Vegas.
I’m a lot less bored than I should be, really.
If I had a man I liked, I’d be completely not bored. But probably very clingy…
Anyway. I’m tired. I’m going to watch some Seinfeld, play some Fallout, and then it’ll be Monday. Monday I’ll do nothing. I kind of really want to get a part time job now but the longer I’m unemployed the harder it is to get past the fear of being in some weird situation doing stuff you don’t want to do for someone else and not enough money.
End of weekend. New week.
Maybe this internet stranger will give me a job?