I’m in a different building this week. From the window where the training course is being held, I can see a couple of other buildings of the company campus. The one where I usually work is on the other side of things. I figure it’s probably a few blocks away.
I’m a city boy so I think of distances in blocks, where getting from points A to B can be plotted on a concrete-and-asphalt grid that reeks of piss and vomit. Where I work is not like that. There, getting around involves a straight shot across expansive parking lots between uniform beige buildings placed at odd angles to one another.
The building I’m in for training is just far enough away for me to choose a different route for my lunchtime stroll. So, instead of walking by the water tower and the abandoned special-needs gulag surrounding it, I wandered along the base of an embankment with a creek on the other side to the corner of the company campus. There I sit in a shady spot behind a bunch of dumpsters and shipping containers, which I imagine will be some kind of makeshift post-apocalyptic village after society takes a one-way trip down the crapper in the near future.
My routine and surroundings are quite similar to any other week, but just different enough to make me feel like I’m wandering around a place that isn’t quite my world. Fortunately, I feel like that most of the time already so the experience is not all that disconcerting.
I’ve felt similar about this blog lately. Believe it or not, I had a mission of sorts when I started blogging more back in late January. Trump had just been inaugurated and I predicted that politics, particularly that of the “Trump sucks” variety, was going to dominate verbal outpouring on the interwebs. I wanted no part of that.
It’s not that I’m an apolitical or that my political leanings have been kept entirely out of my blog posts. It just wanted what I wrote to be my voice and my perspective instead of echoing what everyone else was saying.
I’ve spent enough time on social media (primarily Facebook) to be sick to my guts of the neverending onslaught of groupthink. One could blame millennials and their affinity for the hive mind, but my memory is too good for that. People have never needed much prompting to jump on the bandwagon. Modern technology just gives them the opportunity to be more vocal about it.
Fuck that, thought I, I’m going to say what I want. I’m not going to worry if anyone sees things my way. And to show real bravery, I’m not going to back down even if no one cares one way or another what I say.
So month after month, that’s what I did. I indulged in high-minded experiments that yielded mixed results at best. I was open-ish about my mental-health issues and past substance abuse. And of course, I fell back on vulgar humor when I didn’t have anything else to say.
I was all me, all the time and while my efforts didn’t get me much in the way of accolades or increased readership, the volume of work has been high and the quality at least adequate. Where I think I’ve failed so far is that I haven’t produced that breakout piece of writing that raises my work to a new level.
Still, I keep at it simply because writing is preferable to not writing. It’s all a little strange, a little absurd, and what was once purpose has turned into force of habit. Maybe I’ll achieve brilliance someday, but it’s nice to know I don’t have to.