The Simple Life

Do you ever look back in your life, maybe to your childhood, or your teenage years and think about how simple things were? Do you ever wonder how things got to be so damn complicated? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we complicate and fuck up our own lives?

I’m just sitting here, paying bills and wondering how I ever got into all this mess. I’m trying to think about to back before all this ‘adult’ stuff started? Why can’t we just stay kids forever? Okay, no, I don’t want to be a kid again. I damn sure don’t want to be a teenager. I think people ignore you when you are a teenager. That’s the worst time of life, I think.

I wish I could back to my early 20s. When I was 20 years old, I was living the life. I didn’t have shit, but for some reason that was just the best time for me.

I moved to Florida when I was 20 years from Arizona for reasons undisclosed. I lived with my natural father for a little while. I worked at the Hilton Hotel as a room service operator. I made 6.35 an hour. I did not have a car; I didn’t even know how to drive. Everyday I would get my ass up, walk like half a mile up the street to the bus station and catch this bus downtown where the hotel was. I would frequently work 16 hour days to get extra money. The job was all right. I got to meet different people cuz it’s a hotel. I met a few celebrities. I met N’Sync, minus Justin Timberlake of course. I met Matchbox 20. I met David Hasslehoff. I met some of the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. Some other people I don’t really remember.

I worked with Billy, this older gay guy whose father used to be the CEO of BP Oil back in the 80s. His family came from sick money but after his father was killed in a yachting accident, they really lost all of their money. Billy said his credit was so bad that he couldn’t even get a bonus card from a grocery store.  He would tell me these hilarious stories about his life being an extremely wealthy teenager.  He told me he once got busted for possession and he was pissed, not because he was getting arrested, but because he was getting arrested in his brand new snow white sweat suit that he had just bought.  He tried to ask the cops if he could go home and change.  Naturally, they told him no, and he said he wouldn’t sit down in the jail because he didn’t want to mess up his sweat suit. 

I also worked with Wendy, who was a for real deal midget. She was like 4’1 or something like that. She was in the movie Poltergeist as the backup for the little lady who says “this house is clear.” Wendy told me about her sister Mona who killed herself by eating a Ketamine-poisoned apple after professing her love to this guy who totally dissed her. (The whole family was midgets).  She used to meet these guys on those gay ass singles lines.  She was meeting guys like nasty truckers who wanted her to stand under the table because she was like dick level.  She used to make me laugh because her outlook on life was so positive even though here she was this 50 something year old midget who really wanted to get laid.  I wonder what she’s doing now.

I really liked that job, I guess. I had a lot of fun there. I wasn’t get any health benefits or anything else, but I just did it.  Making 6 bucks an hour, I mean, what else can you do?

I lived in a 400 square foot efficiency. I frequently ate Ramen Noodles (Oodles of Noodles to you Northerners) and onions. Someone turned me onto bagged chicken and I started addding chicken to my ramen noodle creations.  I never heard of it until someone mentioned it. You could go to the store and get a bag of chicken for like 4 dollars. Whoever heard of a bag of chicken? On pay day I would walk up the street to this grocery store, buy a big ass box of ramen noodles, some onions and bagged chicken.  The cashier was like, “Don’t you buy anything else?”  I was like, “I can’t afford anything else.”  I would walk to the mall that was like 2 miles away if I was too lazy to wait for the bus just to go and look at clothes I could not afford.  I would sit in Barnes and Noble and read an entire book because I couldn’t afford to buy books.  I got kicked out of Border’s one time because the lady was like, “You can’t sit here and read the whole magazine.  You have to buy it.”  Man, I was trying to buy a car, fuck a magazine!  I told her that and she asked me to leave. 

I would do shit like, save up a few dollars and go to the movies and see like 3 movies at a time.  I also got kicked out of a theatre for doing that, but I was right back like 3 weeks later doing the same thing.  When you make 6 dollars an hour, that is what you have to do.  There was no shame in my game.  I didn’t feel bad about not having a car or a cell phone or cable TV or anything like that.  It was just like whatever. 

Then my sister moved in with me and we both lived in that efficiency. We didn’t have any furniture, no cars, nothing. We were always broke, but we didn’t have any bills to pay so who cared!

Every week, I would save my few little pennies and go to the club on Saturday night. I would pay 20 bucks each way for a cab to go to this goth club way across town. I lived that for that shit.

I lived next to door to other early 20 something losers like me.  There was David Suarez.  Oh my god, I will never forget this guy.  He wrecked his car after watching the movie Gone in 60 Seconds.  He was flying down the street at 60 miles an hour and tried to make a turn and blew out both his tires.  He stalked this chick Candace until her boyfriend threatened to smash his face in.  I could tell you stories about David that would just have you on the floor dying laughing.  That poor guy.  He was such a loser.

After I left the Hilton, I went to work for Citibank. To this day, that has been my favourite job. I adored that job. I was making 10.00 an hour and I thought I was the shit. When the lady told me I got the job and she told me how much I would be making, I called my dad like, “Oh my god! I am making 10 dollars an hour!!!” I’m big money now! I still didn’t have no car but I was working on it. Eventually I did buy an old ass Toyota Corolla. You could not tell me nothing once I got that thing. I would feel straight pimpin’ rolling into the garage at the bank. Okay, it is a corolla but I earned it! I saved every freaking penny I had to get it and pay for some insurance on it.

Anyway, I loved my job at the bank. It was different everyday. I loved my co-workers. We all got along so well even though we were all totally different. Barbara the middle age, middle class white lady. Scott, the older gay guy. Erica the hillbilly. Alisha the hood rich chick. Michael your average run of the mill white guy. Denita the “I am black woman, hear me roar” chick. And me, the resident goth. We just got along amazingly well at that job. We never had any issues. There was never any drama. The only gossip we exchanged was celebrity gossip. Something happened one time and it totally made everyone just stop and reorganise themselves so it wouldn’t happen again. Erica made comments about gay people. Scott got offended and reported it and we all had to write statements. It was the biggest thing to ever happen when I worked there and one day before we all started work, we sat down together and talked about it and agreed that we would always respect each other and let’s just continue to have fun at work. Nothing like that ever happened again. Could you imagine some shit like that happening at TSA? Let’s talk, guys. We should just love each other. Yeah right.

My sister and I moved into a bigger apartment where we actually had our own rooms and a living room. I guess we thought we were ballers because we bought furniture and started eating real food. I think for a long time we didn’t even look at a pack of Ramen noodles.

I just don’t know what happened. How did I get from there to here? Why did I leave that job? I say to myself it was because of money, but at the time I didn’t need any money. I was always broke but that’s because I just stayed shopping all the time. I didn’t have any bills to pay. My life was so free! I was going to concerts in other states, shopping all the time, enjoying life. Going on road trips. Eating out a lot. I was making 10 dollars an hour, a third less than I’m making now and I can’t afford to go to no damn concert, much less a road trip up to Blockbuster. What the fuck?

More money.  More problems.  Is this why rich people are never happy?  Never satisfied?  Is this why there is a high suicide rate for people who supposedly have everything?  What do we be looking for?

If I could go back in time, I would go back to that point and tell myself, “Stop being greedy! You don’t need shit else.” Citibank was cool. I got my little promotions, my little 5 cent raises and that was cool to me. Me and my sister were living the life and then we were both like, “Let’s quit and work for TSA.”

I should slap myself. Matter fact, I’m doing that right now.

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