#Monday Morning Commute
I’m glad you (didn’t) ask! I just blitz’d a weekend in Maui for a best friend’s wedding, and well. Coming back to reality after two days in paradise requires efforting on several levels. Readjusting to timezones, readjusting to the perils and praxis of regular life, yadda, yadda.
But I can’t complain.
I’ve discovered the answer to a question I’ve been asking myself since last year, when I knew I would be going to Maui. Is thirty hours of travel in the span of four days, and thousands of dollars for said travel, and missing teaching two incredibly intensive summer classes, worth forty-eight hours in paradise, for a best friend’s wedding?
But this, right here! It’s the weekly column where we share what we’re up to, on a given week! I’ll share my own findings, as I rattle around in the befuddled muck of my consciousness, trying to figure out not just what I’m up to, but what day it is, what time it is, this and that, this and that.
It’s been a minute, Space-Ship OMEGA. A hot minute, since I’ve dusted off and rolled out Monday Morning Commute. For that, to the three dedicated community members we have, I prostrate (and if you’d like, prostate) myself before you and beg forgiveness.
Rendar was doing them, and then he was maybe doing then, and then it seems life sped up and he simply wasn’t doing them, and I should have intervened. But, you know how it goes. Life speeds up, the mind slows down. It’s Monday evening at 10pm and I could idly blink at the TeleVisor, or I could activate the neurons. Lethargy always, entropy claims, I choose not to fight the great unwinding.
Anyways, hey! I hope you’re still here. Anyways, hey! I hope you’re still down to play the old game of Monday Morning Commute — where we share the various distractions, dalliances, and distillations that are helping us combat the weekly drudgery.
I wasn’t supposed to be upset that Russell was dead.
Pops and Mahma explained to me when we first got him, years back, that he was mine to look after. After all, they reasoned, it was because of my begging and pleading that they agreed to go to a breeder in the first place. While it was true, Pops admitted, that we all fell in love with Russell’s soft whimpering and pouty eyes, he was mine to look after.
And that meant, in their parental estimation, not only enjoying the benefits but also dealing with the baggage. And to do so with the grace and poise for which our family — the Eldertons — was known.
So, needless to say, Pops and Mahma were none too thrilled when they found me cradling Russell’s body on the morning that I found him, gently and peacefully, dead in the backyard. I was crying, and they were disgusted, but I told them that Russell was my best friend and they should honor my feelings even if they didn’t agree with them.
I wasn’t supposed to be upset that Russell was dead, they told me. I was supposed to know that Russell’s lifespan, given his breed, was going to be short, they told me. I was supposed to stop crying, and when I collected myself I could go back to the breeder and get a new Russell, they told me.
But they’d never told me that it was risky for me to get Russell in the first place. They’d never told me that something’d gone awry when I was programmed. They’d never told me that I’d been glitch-maxxed for empathy.
I wasn’t supposed to be upset that Russell was dead, but he was more than just a human being to me.
He was my best friend.
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!
Now that you’ve survived another one of my brain-damaged attempts at drivel fiction, it’s time to discuss the upcoming week’s activities.
What’re you going to do to curb the blow of another workweek? What’re you looking forward to? What’s getting you jacked up and ready to embrace existence?
The well had dried.
Just to be sure, Louise through dropped a stone and listened eagerly, waiting for a PLOP! and a renewed hope. All she got was a THUNK! and a reaffirmed desperation. It wasn’t looking good.
Louise turned the pail upside to triple-check for any signs of water, and when gravity told her that she was shit out of luck she almost cried. She would’ve, too, if she wasn’t’ already so dehydrated. At this point, she was sure her blood was turning into dust and that her next period would look more like Lawrence of Arabia than Dracula.
“Fuck it,” Louise muttered, dropping the pail and looking to the sky. Not. A. Cloud. In. Sight. Her only hope – the only hope – of getting water would be to march down to Padre Sausalita’s house and knock on the door. Diligent as ever, the good Padre’d anticipated the drought and had pre-ordered countless gallons so that the congregation’d never run out of holy water.
The only problem? Louise had promised herself that if she ever saw him again, she’d kill Padre Sausalita. In fact, she’d promised herself that she’d drag his scab-ass to a big `ole mirror and slit his throat in front of it so that he’d be able to watch himself bleed out.
And Louise never broke a promise.
This right here? This is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!
First, I caffeinate myself into enough of a frenzy to offer a bit of prose — call it microfiction or short narrative or drivel-fiction — for your reading pleasure! Then, I present the various means I’ll be using in the upcoming Monday-through-Friday to cope with the workweek. Finally, you hop into the comments section and offer your own anti-ennui elixirs.
It’s not much more than show-and-tell, but it’s a fairly well-attended event aboard SPACESHIP OL!
Okay, let’s rock!
The Black-and-Blues were chasin’ me through the bazaar, gainin’ more and more ground than I’d thought they would’ve. Bastards. I pumped my legs harder and harder. Searched deeper and deeper in my ash-lungs. Ordered a drink when my bartender-heart flicked the lights and bellowed “Last call.”
Somehow, I burst outta the market without bein’ bludgeoned by `em. But that don’t mean that the lawmen’d given up. Hell no – you’d better believe that when the Black-and-Blues’ve worked up a thirst, they ain’t gonna stop `til they slake it with blood.
I pushed on, never stoppin’ until I saw her.
She stood at the end of the pier, smile beamin’ and hand extendin’.
We’d traveled the long hard road together, and there was no takin’ it back. None of it. Even if I’d wanted to – which you’d better believe I didn’t – there was no chance in Hell that’d we be able to undo what we’d done. The State don’t look too kindly on subversion.
And when you’re in the business of robbin’ banks and usin’ that money to fund off-world rockets for those who’ve failed all of the State’s prerequisite exams, well, y’better believe they’re lookin’ at you as subverts.
Feelin’ the heat on my heels, I ran to her, extendin’ my hand and reachin’ for hers. And when our hands interlocked, I clenched. Real goddamn hard, too. And that beamin’ smile of hers became a shootin’ scowl. Which worked perfect, `cause once I put my blade to her neck she knew what I was doin’ but couldn’t protest through the pain.
The Black-and-Blues saw a subversive maniac threatenin’ to slit the throat of a woman. She saw the sonofabitch she loved takin’ the hard hit for the team, headfirst into the goddamn boards. And I saw the woman I loved walk away, untouched by the State and free to do as she pleased.
Needless to say, it was pretty fuckin’ righteous when she turned around and pulled out her heater.
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!
Now that you’ve slogged through (or skipped!) my drivel-fiction, it’s time that we all share what we’ll be checking out this week. What movies, albums, action figures, TV shows, video games, sandwiches, or other entertaining entities are you looking forward to this week?
Remember, you’ll be dead before you know it, so you might as well enjoy some life!
I’ll get us started!
They tryta tell ya not to worry.
“Don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.”
They tryta tell ya that it’s not really fuckin’ weird.
“What you’re feeling, right now, it’s perfectly normal.”
They tryta tell ya that what — or, I guess, who – you’re seein’ is familiar.
“Look! There he is! He’s opened his eyes! See, he’s waving to you! Wave back!”
But I’ll be goddamned if I ain’t never seen nothin’ less familiar.
“Go ahead – go into the room and give him a hug!”
And I’ll be good goddamned if there ain’t nothin’ I’d ever wanted to destroy more.
“Here, let me bring you in! I can only imagine what waiting for The Reuniting has felt like.”
Unfortunately, turns out that paperworkin’ and payin’ and waitin’ all felt like shit, and that shit felt like gold compared to this shit.
Unfortunately, turns out that bein’ Reunited with your once-dead son don’t feel so good as they tryta tell ya.
Unfortunately, turns out that seein’ your once-dead son openin’ his eyes and wavin’ at ya don’t feel so good when ya could only afford to upload his mind into a bootleg clone.
They tryta tell ya not to worry.
Come one, come all, step right up, folks: this is the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!
First, I spit prose-nonsense at you (that’s the stuff at the top). Then, I try to apologize for it by sharing a list of pop culture detritus I’ll be chewing on all week (that’s the stuff you’ll see after the jump). Finally, you hit up the comments and tell us what you’ll be entertainment-consuming this week.
Right this way, hombres!
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE!
What’s the deal with the MMC, you ask? Well, this is the weekly feature that sees me vomitin’ a bit of short prose at you, and then apologizin’ by way of showin’ off the worthwhile entertainment I’ll be checkin’ out throughout the week.
Then, if you’re not totally repulsed, you hit up the comments section and tell us about the movies, TV programs, video juegos, rap songs, snacks, and other delectables you’ll be chompin’ on so as to make the workweek a bit more bearable.
Yes, you’re right — it is sorta like show-and-tell for Internet Maniacs. Let’s boogie, y’bastards!
“Let’s keep things in perspective – it was an easy winter.”
He thought of the foals they’d lost. Breathing labored and desperate. Eyelids too gummed up to open. Hot blood draining into cold snow.
He thought of the job they’d botched. Hyperdrive malfunctioning in subzero. Automatons screaming in death throes. Too few minerals for too many men to two-time `em all.
He thought of what this life’d cost. The honor. The glory. The woman.
“Easy winter? Hombre, there ain’t no such thing.”
Welcome to the MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE! This is the spot for sharin’ our survival tactics, the showcasin’ of wares we’ll be relyin’ upon to survive the workweek. `Cause it’s lookin’ bad out there, folks, so if we’re goin’ to keep the gaspipes from our lips, well, then we’re goin’ to need something to keep us gaspin’ for oxygen!
I’ll start this rock’n’roll dance-off!
Hello, friends. Hello, comrades. Passersby, lurkers, regulars. Hello, hello, hello. We are on Day Three of my Spring Break, which is also Day Three of my wife being away on a vacation in Belize.
Don’t fret! I’ve washed my ass. Don’t fret! My animals are alive. Don’t fret! I’m eating. Don’t fret, don’t fret, don’t fret. Oh sure, it’s a half-hearted scrub. Oh sure, they’re bored of me and I’m bored of them. Oh sure, no vegetables have been spotted near my throat-chasm since last week.
Am I losing my mind? Always.
Am I feeling Cabin Fever? I hope not, because there’s a blizzard coming tomorrow that’s going to pin me right in this house.
Am I hoping you’ll come hang out in Monday Morning Commute? Share what you’re enjoying-looking-forward-to-thinking-about-consuming this week?
There can be something exhilarating and freeing about a condemned, Post-Hope existence.
Sure. I utter this from a plateau. From a monument of privilege.
My wife makes good money, I got a dick, can pass for straight, and sport a blanche complexion.
With those caveats in tow, I mean, this rotting obelisk doesn’t seem so intimidating. It may be a survival technique, these gallantly leapt hoops I am gallantly leaping through. But what else would you ask of me?
The seas rise, the Earth heats, the resources dwindle, the population increases. Those in charge predicate power and greed over empathy and charity.
It’s done. It. Capital “I”, if you will. Shot through the heart. To carry on itself seems a tip of the cap to existential absurdism.
What else to do, what else would you have me do? A little mild resistance during the day. But the heart weakens, the mind fatigues, respite is earned and welcome.
So I fuck, and I smoke a little weed. I laugh with friends, go out to dinner with my wife. Enjoy movies, condemn liberal sophistic think pieces and conservative hate screeds alike. Play some video games, walk my dog. Marvel at the night sky and feel peace in the recognition that We Don’t Matter, We Never Mattered, And It will be fine when we’re gone. It. Capital “I”, if you will.
Every once in a while, I contemplate carrying on my lineage, am reminded that if anyone is getting off this melting marble it certainly won’t be an ancestor of my class and caste. I pass off that condemnation for another week, month, year, maybe forever. Can you imagine that? Willfully procreating at the end of civilization? Sometimes I can. Sometimes I can’t.
I have no words of encouragement other than we’re all down in the bottom decks of this wonderful, wicked, pointless sinking ship together. So fuck it, and fuck it together.
Let’s spend some time chatting. There’s nothing really else to do.