Mired in the Lovecraftian Landscape

In a fit of sudden rage, I just flipped my computer to the floor. As its ruins smoke upon the floor, I can’t say I’m missing this device that, as of late, has functioned more as a Blue Screen countdown roulette game as opposed to a tool for my job search or quest to view all the cat videos. Tablets are where it’s at anyway. 

Now, it wasn’t just the constant cut to blue that made me decide to take this piece of hardware down. This has been a long time coming. And by a long time, I’m refering to really the past week that has tipped the scales where machinery murder doesn’t seem so immoral to me anymore.

The first strike came from the slew of engagements and baby announcements I have had to scroll through to get to my funny news stories and cat videos on the Facebook. First, my former best friend got engaged. My other former bestie congratulated her in the most self-serving manner possible, with her own Facebook status on how happy she was for her “best friend of 7 years.” Ugh. I liked the post. I’m not into those sour grapes. I’ve got a soft spot for how happy you are when you “find the one.”

Then it was a co-worker who got engaged. She’s only been dating this guy (a Buddy Holly smarmy type character she met at work) for maybe a year. But ok, yay for her too. Like. Then yesterday, my high school sweetheart announces his engagement. And looking through these pictures, I see that he did the same photoshop sappy writing over picture thing he did for me when we were dating IN THIS PROPOSAL. Yet, even still, I like this status. He’s a good guy, she’s a good gal…they’re gonna make each other pretty happy. What made this the first strike in my resentment towards my computer though was that it seems like all couples do in the winter months is get engaged and make babies, and then they run to the nearest smart device to post their bliss. And what’s up with all my exes meeting their future wife right after dating me? I’m gonna have to admit that maybe I’m doing it wrong (or right?). 

I understand, cold weather makes you stay inside. Two people inside can lead to engagments and/or babies. But, c’mon, break out a board game or something. All these engagments and the shoving of matrimony down my throat by proxy is getting my grinchly ire up. Marriage is just so…mainstream. Not to sound hipster or anything, but the engagments and announcements are starting to just plain bore me. Where’s the creativity in this life? What are we doing for mankind besides shacking up with one another? Ok…enough of that. I’m sure I’ve tweaked someone’s nose with that. Checking that one off the daily list.

Speaking of this weather. I can’t decide if I’m enjoying it or not. On the one hand, I do like the overcast, windy atmosphere that really brings out the crows on powerlines. It really sets a kind of Hitchcock/Lovecraft vibe that I dig. Because, most days I’m secretly (not so secretly) hoping that I’m a semi-protagonist in the next great horror. (I’d like to make it to the credits too if the man at the typewriter is listening.) Yet, this cold also takes that lonely dime-sized hole in my heart, works its finger into it and just starts to expand it from there. Every cold night of just giving up on the day and crawling into a cold bed is a sobering thing. It’s a thing that everyone has to go through, I know, but all these engagments and holiday cheer don’t make it any easier. Maybe it goes back to my roots as a Floridian. I want to be warm, in a bright place with a wide open sky. Maybe I’m just another non-unique human who someone let at a keyboard…Nah.

The second strike that led to the computer flipping was just plain ole annoyance at the extravigance of humankind, and how our local newspaper loves to report on the non-news that this is. I found, on the Facebook feed again, this news story of how a new restaurant…that’s actually being built across the street from me, will feature a “flaming waterfall and a 400 gallon fish task.” What the what? What restaurant needs a waterfall that is literally on fire? What’s the point? Why do I want to see this thing in the flesh? Let’s not report on their food or the jobs they are bringing to the area, let’s talk about this fish tank. This just gets on my journalism nerves. Not at the writer of the story, but at the human brain. People are much more likely to read a story based on a headline that talks about flames and fish as opposed to jobs and progress. And this is why we journalists have to search for bizarre tags to entice readers. I guess we are all just looking for a bit of trivia and a laugh to get us through the day. Bleak. 

The third strike that resulted in emminent computer death was my morning job search. There are no jobs in town for an English or a biology teacher. There are no journalism jobs in town. The jobs that are suggested for me by my career search Web sites are all server, hostess, and retail gigs. And even the retail managment openings want 5 to 7 years of manager experience. A receptionist position at a local veterinary office wants 2 years experience in a vererinary career. The only people calling me for interviews are Army/Navy recruiters, and the temptation to leave it all, sign my life unto the great unknown and at least pack-in some more writing experience is getting to be overwhelming. And then, as far as getting more higher education, a two year degree towards a ASL interpreter job won’t do much good without another bachelor’s. A one year technical program in the medical field requires a previous medical related degree. I’m just beating my head against all the ceilings it seems, and no one cared to tell me while I was spending a decade pursuing my worthless degrees that all I’d get from this is writing experience! 

So…during this exercise in futility, as my very inconsiderate neighbor continued to rev his muscle car for 20 minutes in the parking lot, and then gun his car a few feet, stop and repeat the process, I got a little cross. I flipped the computer to the floor, threw open the window and shouted down at him, “NO ONE IS IMPRESSED WITH YOUR TINY PENIS!”

I doubt he heard me as he gunned his bucket of nostalgia off into the wind tossed autumn leaves. All of you who were betting that I’d lose my cool on my other neighbor who likes to go to his porch as soon as I lay down for the night and talk for hours in a loud foreign tongue, lost that one. It was muscle car man this time that got the pent up Christmas-boloney-life-hack overflow, but I’m warning the world now that no one is safe. I’ve got two servers trying to start beef with one another over a failed dating experiment, and if they bring that weak sauce into my realm, they can expect nothing but stone cold smackdown. I’ve got a holiday season to get through, and retail takes no prisoners. Stop fighting over proper cup codes, and covering shifts, and who’s the boss…I’ll clear it up for your real quick: I am. I can tolerate a lot of things in my work place, but drama isn’t one of them. The buck stops here.

And now, a short comparison on the relationship Lanks and I have and the Twitter. I feel this is neccesary because I’ve never been in something like this, and I’ve had a few readers ask how I can be in a “relationship” with Lanks and still go on “dates” with the likes of Stumps and Blue. Well, here it is, in all its metaphorical glory. Lanks and I, like the Twitter, update each other once or twice daily with clever one-liners of less than 140 characters that usually involve how witty we are or how we like to complain that we should be better treated by life in general. Like Twitter, we check the feed a couple of times a day, perhaps hoping that our clever discourse with our other has been passed on to friends, or “retweeted” if you will. We know that our discourse with one another is “favorited.” That’s unspoken. And like Twitter, we both know on some level that our connection, just like this social media form, will go the way of the Dodo when something better comes along, to fill our time, to entertain us from the boredom, something with a better emotional return.

Like today. Our communication has been thus…Lanks: “I thought avoiding work would make me feel better. I was wrong.” Anna: “You were what? I don’t understand the word in that context.” Lanks: “Yeah, I know.” Anna: “You’re shaking my worldview. Hope you feel better soon.”

There’s a 75% chance that’s all we will say to one another today.  

That’s not to say that “Deadwriter” by RJD2 doesn’t play in my head when Lanks skips up the stairs to my cafe, because it does, and as he would say, “You make me feel…something. And that’s something.” I’m just saying that if Blue turns out to be a gentleman who wants to take me on a date that doesn’t involve me driving him to the used bookstore, I more than likely will take him up on the offer. Really, if I’m being honest with the Internet (which I more or less try to), I’m just trying to hold onto this buoy until the storm that is this year settles OR at least kicks up where I can catch a brutal wave to some kind of rocky island. Either is fine. I’m in a sort of limbo right now, and I can only hope it moves quickly to my next harrowing adventure or that I can use this time to find which door I’m supposed to take on this long hallway. (I know, I’m waxing a bit poetic on the metaphors today.) Either way, as I’ve said many a time, (and it’s been said better than I by others): This too shall pass. 

Only hours from now, I will be trying a very new, scary, and all together different experience in my first rock climbing excursion with my best friend Rachaele. And hey, I might brreak my neck and fall to my doom, but I’m not getting anywhere playing it safe. The Rope Swing incident of ’08 certainly wasn’t a good indication of my  balence and outdoorsman skills, but 5 years later I’m here to say: I’m willing to try again. Because everyone falls. It’s what you do when you get up (Lord willing you do get up) that makes the difference on where you’re going to end up. I’ll save the exact details of the Rope Swing Incident of ’08 until next time, but I’m sure you can imagine some great details in the meantime. Share them! I may work their factual/fiction into the post. 

Until then, if you find yourself in a windy and deserted, darkening parking lot and a shadow is looming from the trees…go all super Lovecraft hero and roll with it. Go check out that disembodied voice and find yourself some piece of mind on just what kind of protagonist you are.

-Anna R. Kotopple 

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