I believed

I was writing about motivation, and how difficult it is for me to come by this magical elixir. This is possibly not unusual given that I was wanting to shed insight as to a recent essay that wasn’t the first CARPE DIEM bit that I’ve ever read. And it’s a topic that requires more nuance, or so I opine.

And then I hit a snag, a point of outrage that drove me to a point of violence… and then I realized that, no, I’m truly a piece of shit helpless rodent, too tiny to do shit anything about all the shitty shit in this shit-piled world. I should just crawl into bed and sleep because that’s what I do on Duloxetine when I’m mad but incapable.

I am so tempted to cat-pic out right now and crash and let my head lament a tragedy that strongly figures into my current psychosis. But today, instead, I’m going to tell the tale. I’m going to expose a seed of my pathetic descent into tribulation for all to see:

I’m fifteen, and I get my first clerical work project.

My mother’s boss’ son was finishing a late year of law school. He had dictated his thesis onto an old fashioned cassette-recorder-powered dictation machine. My job was to transpose it and print it for him. Armed with an Apple II computer and first generation word processor software for it, I punched out a 78 page term paper, pretty continuously with one night’s sleep. I’m pretty sure I gained a couple of levels in QWERTY typing in this effort.

I was also working with a first generation spellchecker, which meant I had to record the misspelling, look up the word by hand in a dictionary and then search for and correct each word one at a time. It was tedious and tiring, and man, I love this internet age. So much.

I then printed out and collated all 78 pages. Stuffed it in a manila envelope. He worked at my Mom’s workplace, so she handed to him.

He told me it was worthless to him. No particular reason why. I combed out the typos but whatever. It was worthless to him.

He then argued because it was worthless to him, he shouldn’t have to pay me. And that was it. I tried to complain, but I didn’t have words. I was an ignorant fifteen year old who knew nothing about how to handle a disagreement with a temp employer. I couldn’t process the error in logic of fuck you, I’m not paying you.

In retrospect, I figure he was deep in law school and armed with the power of challenging arguments, he figured he shouldn’t have to pay any cost he could argue his way out of, and an imbecile half his age with no legal training was easy pickings. Besides which, given I was underage, I couldn’t legally enter a contract, so I was a fool for trying to make a buck.

By this time, I had already had encountered adults who would cancel contracts with children at whimsy, and I already had problems with adults who changed rules after-the fact. But my mother endorsed this task. And I was gullible. I was desperate. I was a fool. I was a child. I believed people when they told me things.

I believed people when they told me things.

I believed people when they told me things.

I believed people when they told me things.

Three years earlier, a different son of the same boss would frequently chase me supported by Crabbe and Goyle from the intermediate school to the local public library (0.7 miles according to Google). As I was smaller than them, and there were three on me and they meant me harm, it meant that I got my exercise.

People will and do take candy from babies. The world teems and crawls with Gregor Clegaines that overpower who they want for whatever they want, leaving them raped and smashed in their wake. There’s news every single day of law enforcement officers cutting civilians down like Martians in their tripods burning through Londoners.

Sure. Carpe Diem, Uriel. Go ahead. Make yourself a little bit more visible. Just a little more interesting. See what happens.


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