The Pumps Don’t Work Cause The Vandals Took The Handles

Another week and I still don’t feel like writing.
Desert Motel
It’s been hot in Southern California. Not like that time in Yuma, when it didn’t drop below 90 degrees 24 hours a day for the whole five weeks I was there. You’d wake up at 10 AM and it would already be pushing a hundred. You could get sunburned in ten minutes while submerged in the motel pool. Not me, of course. I don’t get sunburned, thanks to my eastern European swarthiness. Fleas don’t bite me, either, maybe for the same reason. The agent said if I did good in Yuma in July, she’d see about getting me some gigs in Alaska for the winter. I did pretty good there.

I met Debbie there that summer. Just a little thing in tight jeans and a big cowboy hat, but she drove a three-quarter ton Dodge pickup. If you’re driving a pickup just for show you get a one-ton. If you want a work truck, something to haul fertilizer or tile or two-by-fours, a half-ton will do. My first day off, Debbie picked me up at ten in the morning by driving her truck into the gravel turn-around at the motel and honking for me, several times. I was already sweating when I got out to the truck and read her bumper sticker: WHEN IN DOUBT, WHUP IT OUT. She handed me a longneck as we spun out of the driveway, throwing gravel through the fence and into the pool.

I felt so cheap.

It hasn’t been that hot here, but I think it might have hit 90 degrees in Long Beach today. I took a vacation day, so I could be home instead of in my air-conditioned office. I saw the national holiday coming up on the calendar, and the weekend just ahead of it, and that pesky Monday was the only thing standing in the way of a four-day weekend for me, so I zapped it with a Vacation Request Form. We’ve got a new Head Guy where I work, and I think mine was the first VRF he’d seen. He was recruited from outside HugeCorp, so he doesn’t know about all the stupid rules and forms we have. He gave me the standard half-joking bullshit about why do you want a day off, don’t you like it here, blah, blah, blah, but I didn’t play, and he was faced with signing it on the spot or appearing to be indecisive in front of a lesser human being (me), so he signed. I should have given myself a raise while I was at it.

So my third consecutive day of freedom, I sat alone in my hot house, and got nothing done. I seem to be paralyzed. Thoughts parade through my brain, and it’s an interesting show, but I don’t seem to care enough to grab one of them and wrestle it to the ground. I felt fatigued, though I haven’t done much lately. I felt uninspired, though the ideas are almost tangibly floating around in the room. I felt helpless, though my hands are not bound.

I feel frustrated, and vaguely disgusted. If I get a handle on this (see title of post), I’ll write it here. In the mean time, thanks to you Precious Few who have continued to comment, though I have become sporadic, and more boring than ever. My heart beats sporadically for you.

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7 Replies to “The Pumps Don’t Work Cause The Vandals Took The Handles”

  1. Eh, whaddya expect? Can’t be brilliant, incisive, etc. ALL the damn time, can you?

    Though I’d recommend you proceed with caution: it was precisely this kind of ennui that led me to pastry school, marriage, etc., and we see how well THAT’s all working out.

  2. I was a bit luckier. My boss said we could have Monday or Friday off, depending on our preference. I thought, “Is this guy effing crazy? Doesn’t he know the crushing production deadlines I have? There’s no way I should take off an extra effing day in addition to the effing holiday.”

    But I took the Monday. And when I came in today, Wednesday, I was asked by the boss, “So, where were you on Monday?”

    I reminded him of the memo. He kind of half-laughed and turned around and walked back to his office, shaking his head every so subtly, and shut the door.

    Stupid me. I didn’t know his memo was for the do-little, overpaid sales and the sales-support people. The memo can’t SAY that officially — it can’t say “Production Peons: This Does NOT Apply to You” — but I should have known. It seems that someone accidentally put the memo in my mail box.

    I do not have a signed VRF to back me up. All I have is a memo that I could have stolen or forged. And even if the memo’s authenticity is conceded, it is somehow still the case that I was a naughty boy for accepting its offer. I should have known it didn’t apply to me.

    But I had a highly productive and fulfilling four days off. I changed the direction of my life and started a religion that will save all of you. Details will be distributed soon.

  3. One – As a young alcoholic, you ought to know exactly what it will be like.

    Theresa – Ack. That video seems too hard to produce. I’ll just wait for someone else to do it. Someone with some gumption.

    Jeff – Did you say something after “…another day with Debbie.”?

    Goldie – At least you’re making some dough.

    CB– You knew all along. But I don’t blame you for not acknowledging the truth until after you got your day off.

  4. I shoulda known something was wrong when you had time to check out MY blog 😉

    Oh, we writers know that there’s nothing like some co-misery and co-writer’s block to share when you’re suffering. Care to go out for a ride in my truck later?

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