Hobo Nikkan James Shinbun: Friday, January 23, 2009

I don’t sleep. Actually, I should say that I don’t sleep very well. Ever since I was a child (eight years old being the earliest I can remember), no matter how tight I close my eyes or how exhausted I am from the day or how little sleep I got the night before, I find myself lying awake at night, every night.

Since this story doesn’t have a title, I’ll call this:

A Murder Mystery Where You Already Know The Killer

As I find myself now, as a twenty-two year old assistant manager at a Major American Retail Chain, it is even harder to sleep. In order to keep myself alert and ready to deal with the constant wave upon wave of absolute, pure, bleating, flailing stupidity, I chug down two ultra-strong energy drinks a day. It’s a wonder my heart is still beating.

“Do you have any Wii Fit?”

“No. Play a real video game.”

“Do you have the book Twilight?”

“No. Read a real book.”

“Do have any copies of Mama Mia?”

“No. Watch a real movie.”

These are things that I would like to say. I cannot obviously do so, unless I had no problem with sudden unemployment, and I kind of do. It would be a nice change of pace from constantly telling people that we do not have any Wiis in stock or how to properly set up a digital converter box (okay serious people drop the fucking gills, learn to walk upright and get cable or satellite like the rest of us), though. If it sounds like I’m whining, I am. My current source of stress relief: playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare into the wee hours of the morning (I can’t sleep remember) while blasting Croatian punk rock just doesn’t work as well as it used to (by the way, to any interested parties, my xbox gamertag is KirbyEnthusiasm).

Until about a week ago, my biggest headache at my job was one of my employees. A seventeen going on eighteen year old girl who has probably never been to a single event on time in her life. The type of person to be late to their own funeral. She charges into my store, twenty minutes late, beaming smile right in my face that soon opens to reveal one million different excuses. This happens every night. Every night for the last year. It drove me nuts that not only was she constantly late and loaded with excuses, but that nothing had ever been done about it. Back then, this was not the only thing she did wrong. She also had a habit of breaking street dates (which I would always hear about when I came back the next morning), causing all sorts of security issues by attracting horny teenage boys and broken middle-aged men going through their mid-life crises (plural, yo) and just generally doing a really shitty job. Myself and my immediate group of higher-level peers couldn’t wait for her to be fired.

Of course, that didn’t happen. That would’ve been a good idea, and good ideas never work.

Lately though, I seem to have had a change of heart. She has begun to grow on me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been locked in the corporate game for so long, but her carefree, downright irresponsible behavior has been healing. One thing I never wanted to become was some mindless corporate drone who got off on the suffering of others, and that’s what I found myself becoming.

She is a bad girl.

She is a rebel.

She is Rock and Roll.

I have forgotten what that term means.

It’s funny to think that someone I’ve hated for a year is now someone I have fallen for. Fallen particularly hard for. But hey, that’s life, I suppose. To Be Continued, America…

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