July 31, 2001

I have finally caved and added in those days I worked before that Friday I decided I would start the clock.  I am just tired of working all the time for no money.  So this will be day 14.  I’ll figure out when 16 days of shift is from now and tell Angela tomorrow that that is when I’ll leave.  I won’t have as much money as I planned, but I’ll have a life.  Just getting fed up with work.  Again, not because it’s hard, just because I am so dehumanized.  I am a cash register with a soul.  I am that place that things go to when they’re lost forever.

Yesterday I spent all morning expecting to work, to tick off that 10th day, only to walk all the way down there to find the Madge wanted me to switch days with her so that I would be off on Monday.  I said “sure” as I hadn’t had a break in six days, but then I realized that it pissed me off.  It wasn’t a proper day off at all, as my mind was set on working.  Then I had to wait 45 minutes behind the counter for Madge to show, so I wasn’t actually out until 3PM!!!  THAT is NOT a day off!

And when Madge arrived she was very appreciative – as appreciative as one can be without a voice box – but I still had pissed away a day.  Madge is rather disconcerting as she wheezes out of her throat like Darth Vader with every movement, like a flapping steam valve, and she has to hold onto her throat to croak her words out.

So I ran out of that place and decided to make the most of my joke of a day off from my joke of a job in this joke of a life of mine.

The two Dublin landmarks I had yet to visit were the Collins Barracks and Phoenix Park.  I walked all the way down the quays to them, only to discover that the museum was closed.  Duh.  Monday is culture’s day off – which meant that I couldn’t see the play I was planning on seeing the next day either.  Which I suppose was just as well as I had only brought £7.00 with me – which seemed a bit of overkill in the morning.  But you never can know what to expect when you leave the house.  It’s a game of Russian roulette, and that door is the trigger.

I walked down into Phoenix Park, your general uninspiring big city park with sunbathers glowing white like snowmen all over the grass.  I am so desperate for some skin color that I stripped off my shirt and joined the collective reflection/eyesore.  I heard the lawnmower coming and as I’m not keen on ending my days here I decided to dress and have a bit of a look around the place.  I walked up past the huge and imposing Garda headquarters – funny there’s such a reputation of crime in the same bit of land where the police have their headquarters – and stumbled upon the zoo.  I followed the line of children with plastic tarantulas and parents lugging water-bottles an infants and as I got to the gate I became terrifically enthused about going.  Must be some zoo-inspired sense memory of youth that made me very keen to go.  It’s the sound that zoos have that is indescribable – a mix of human and animal hoots and hollers that creates a buzz in the air.  Can’t describe it at all, but even now I’m getting a bit excited.  In fact, as I approached the zoo all I could think about was working in one.  Some form of hypnotism beam emanates from those places.

The price for entry was £7.50!!!  That was certainly more than I had and certainly more than a zoo small enough to fit in a park should be worth.  I was genuinely disappointed, however, and if I’d had the extra 50p I would have spent it.  Disappointed, I wandered around a bit more and went to investigate the Wellington Monument.  It is really pretty awe-inspiring.  It is a great granite obelisk with friezes of Wellington’s life in bronze on the sides of the base and the names of his great campaigns up the shaft.  It has that immensity where if you look up at it from the base you feel you’ll fall right over backwards.

I stripped off my teeshirt again and laid in the sun for the better part of a Madonna album.  But I am Teflon, and color just slides off me.

And that’s why I added on days to the work countdown.  Because I need to get out because I’m getting very lonely and upset and I need a change of scenery and a life in which I don’t just sit and brood for seven hours a day.

They say that smoking takes hours, days, weeks, months, years off of your life.  And that is why you shouldn’t smoke them.  However no one ever cautions you to abstain from jobs that rob you of those same hours, weeks, months and years of your life.

I want to be thin and beautiful.  I want to be one of the beautiful people.  But I’m glad I’m a bit too flabby outside and a bit too smudged inside to be there.  A lobotomy and a liposuction would fix me right up – ascend me to the heights of empty-headed fitness bliss.  I need to figure out my eating.  Since I don’t cook here due to the world’s worst oven, I eat crap.  It used to just be sandwiches and cereal and jam on toast, but due to the shop I now supplement that with sweets.  And I hate feeling fed.  I hate feeling full.  Because then I feel fat.  I figure if I can just keep that edge of hunger throw my stomach then I can be thin.  If I feel satisfied that means I’ve stuffed myself and my belly feels heavy and full like it’s pulling itself down and out to grow.  I hate it because food makes me unhappy.  I’m hungry but hate to eat and when I do eat I eat crap because I don’t buy a lot of food because if it’s here I will eat it.

And I will eat a Kit Kat today because I want the radio and it’s part of my routine in how I pass the shitty day.

And my pants are big so they hang awkwardly and I look like crap but at least big clothes make me feel thin.  But then if I get new clothes that fit and I gain the weight back I could NOT face going back up in size.

I want to be beautiful.  Because maybe then I’d be happy and feel in place in the world.  Ah, but when are you thin ENOUGH?  And WHEN and WHAT is beautiful?  It’s a never-ending cycle and I’m sort of pissed I’ve started it.  I was going all right at home, but the fact that no one will give me a second glance here makes me think I’m not good enough and need to look better.

Last day – August 24th?  18 shifts from here!  That would make 32 shifts!  (On the new system.)  [28 on the old system.  I like the new system much better.]

There’s nothing more dangerous than someone who thinks they’re funny.

The sunburned thick fingered taxi drivers are my salvation in this job.

“Would you like a bag?”

“No.  I’d like a bath.  And a drink.”

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