In which this shit is not normal


So this is a thing that I just did.  And I’d like to pretend that it’s a thing that I just did for the first time, but the fact is it’s a thing that I do all the time, and it’s a sign that there’s something wrong with me in my brain-parts and I probably ought to be put somewhere where either I can’t get at society or society can’t get at me.  Your choice which.

It was a long day at work today.  Not a bad day, necessarily, but a long one, and I’ll trust you know the difference.  For two days in a row now the pattern has been thus: a morning full of self-directed cleaning/organizing/repricing sorts of tasks, with few customers, then my lunch arrives, then three hours of screaming madness, during which I am unable to find even the couple of minutes necessary to eat my lunch– and as someone who doesn’t take lunch breaks and before being at this job was a teacher I can assure you I eat my lunch at lightning speed, and then several hours of wondering where the fuck everyone went.  Today had the added bonus of there only being two of us in a store that has, oh, I dunno, sixty thousand square feet of floor space.

On the way home from work, listening to music, the chewing gum analogy frequently used by abstinence advocates just happened to float through my head for some reason.  I’m not a teacher anymore, I never once taught sex ed when I was teaching, and I’ve never actually had anyone attempt to instruct kids in this way when I was in a classroom.  And yet one minute after this idea floated in my head I found myself, still alone in the car, in a very loud argument with no one at all as if there was someone in my car who was attempting to convince schoolchildren that fucking before marriage was the same thing as chewing used gum.

Very very loud.

And there was no one there with me at all.

I mean, I won the argument, but at one point I let loose a primal howl of suppressed rage and stress that was at sufficient volume that the people in the car next to me at the stoplight heard it.

This happens more often than I’d care to admit.  I mean, it’s not always about abstinence education, right?  But I get into arguments with imaginary assholes in the car on the way home from work.  Loud.  Arguments.

Send help, please.


5 thoughts on “In which this shit is not normal

  1. have you ever looked at the cars that pass you by? don’t you see them having the same argument? aren’t the ones who have more than one person being very still and quiet, as if in the aftermath of a fight? and the single-driver cars – aren’t they speaking? loudly? arguing, even?
    i’m wondering if this isn’t the new ‘destress’ moment people have on the way home from work – the only time they have to release it, let the monster out, give in to the …
    pretend you’re on the phone, maybe, and that there is a ‘special’ listener who won’t butt in, interfere, or talk back (or tell you to grow up, get a life, or any of those things).
    Maybe it’s not normal, but who’s to say what that even is now?
    However, as you are a writer, consider this: it is a character enhancement moment, something you’re going to put in a story …


  2. ‘In cars no-one can hear you scream’ 🙂 … I see absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario. You’re venting/letting off steam in a way that doesn’t impact those nearest to you. You’re ‘enthusiastically’ expressing yourself in a way that won’t blow up in your face on social media. You have the perfect argument partner. It’s a useful way to clarify your thoughts … and, so long as the car doesn’t start offering a third opinion, carry on regardless.


  3. Yep. Without my head meds it’s a thing I do a lot. So that when you are actually in a situation with imaginary asshole who is now in front of you, you have a series of readymade responses to fling in his face. I call it practising.

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