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A day without pants

Saturday —

Went to work today while the office was empty, just to steal some staples, index cards, glue, envelopes, scissors, tape, a portable fan, and four reams of paper. The company makes its money by owning me, paying the least they can, so I’ll take whatever isn’t nailed down, with no regrets.

This zine will be printed there, too, after hours in a few days, on one of the company copiers.

Riding the elevator down with a full backpack, I remembered another ride in that building’s elevators, where I’d stood beside two senior executives. They were MBA-types, like I wrote about yesterday, immune from being fired no matter how much they mismanage everything they touch. As the elevator descended, one of them complained to the other that on business trips, the company would no longer reimburse more than $25 per person, per meal.

“God,” I wanted to say but didn’t, “times are tough all over.”

♦ ♦ ♦

At the Pacific Film Archive tonight, Aliens was double-billed with The Brood. That’s an unusual match — I’ve seen Aliens several times, but it’s usually paired with Alien at cinemas that specialize in old movies.

Aliens starts at a slow simmer, then boils the rest of the way. It’s good but not as good as the original Alien, and I didn’t remember some of the special effects being quite so cheesy, or that the monsters only bleed acid when it won’t endanger Sigourney Weaver’s pretty face.

The Brood is an early David Cronenberg relic, and I’ve enjoyed some of his movies, like Videodrome and Scanners and the repulsive but irresistible Dead Ringers. There are some good moments in The Brood, but overall it’s ludicrous. Cronenberg’s script is laughable instead of frightening, and the scariest thing in the movie is Oliver Reed’s toupee.

♦ ♦ ♦

For dinner, a Big Mac and a big fries, but only one of each because I’m on a diet. After consuming this alleged nourishment, these reassuring words were found on the bottom of the waxed cardboard box that the waxed cardboard fries came in: “The design of this box is a registered trademark of the McDonald’s Corporation.”

Capitalism — quite a concept. On Tuesdays and alternate Saturdays I can see how it works, but most of the time it seems like a system set up for the rich and powerful, to keep them rich and powerful.

Do I have a better alternative? Not really. Hey, I just work here.

Sunday

Did nothing much this morning. Didn’t shower, didn’t put on a pair of pants, didn’t even emerge from my tiny apartment except to use the john down the hall. I read some interesting zines, tossed some uninteresting ones, and banged out these dull paragraphs. Spent lots of time on the bed, contemplating world politics and the cracks in the ceiling.

For lunch, bread and butter.

This afternoon, I sang “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” accompanying the bells of St Someone’s Church out my window. Killed a roach that had crawled up the lamp next to my typewriter, and left its corpse there as a warning to others. Listened to a baseball game on the radio, but only as background noise — I don’t know who won, and I’m not even sure what teams were playing. Thought about doing the laundry, but didn’t. Mowed my crew-cut with the clippers.

For dinner, bread and peanut butter, with a bag of dried fruit for dessert.

Then I edited away some subpar writing from this morning, scratched myself in a manly manner, and called it a day. Frankly, I’d call it a pretty good day.

♦ ♦ ♦

I’ve been turning my pathetic life into a pathetic zine for two months now, and what’s the moral of the story so far? Sorry, this is reality, so there’s no moral at all.

From Pathetic Life #2
Saturday, July 30 - Sunday, July 31, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.


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