21 May 2008

Bloviation about nothing

Is it normal to feel a good deal that you are loathed by many and cared for by none (save perhaps immediate family)? I doubt it is healthy to feel this way. Yet I cannot escape the notion that if I died tomorrow or somehow or other disappeared, people who know me - co-workers, acquaintances, etc. - would be happy to hear that I am gone. In fact they would go to a bar or restaurant after work and celebrate, figuratively dancing on my grave. I would bet a large sum of money that they would do this.

Oftentimes at work I feel like I am inconveniently "in the way" and lack the intelligence and skill to contribute something worthwhile or meaningful besides performing routine work which I already am long practiced at doing (which means I know how to do it by heart - and even there I screw up sometimes, go figure). I feel like the only reason I hold my current position is because I have stayed with my employer for a reasonable length of time (you wouldn't believe the turnover we have over there, esp. in one particular division) and because I have mostly stayed out of the big boss' way, thus giving him little reason to dislike me. (He may be the only person over there, believe it or not, who genuinely likes me and thinks I am doing a good job.) I feel like I am holding things back over there given that I am in a managerial job, and that there should be someone more skilled, talented, hardworking, dynamic, and people-friendly in my position. Because let's face it, I am none of those things and never have been. That's how one generally defines a loser - by lack of those exact traits.

I cannot seem to interest anyone, male or female, in having any sort of relationship with me beyond the professional, temporary, or fleeting - anything from friendship up through courtship and beyond. It is terribly disappointing to have that sort of negative impact on people, time after time. It says a lot about a person's character, or lack thereof, I believe. And believe me, I am not deliberately sabotaging things - I realized long ago the complete and utter stupidity of that social tactic. Do I repel people that much? If so, why? Are they afraid of somebody just a little bit different from them? Am I truly that different? Is it again, fear of the "jungle bunny" other that keeps people away? I grant that I am not the most warm and socially open person, but for god's sake I'm not a total reject, am I?

I fear that if this course of events does not alter significantly in the near future, it will lock into a pattern that will haunt me until the end of my days. Once I pass a certain point in my life, it will definitely be locked in place due to various circumstances (people get settled in their ways as they get older, aren't very willing to admit new people into their lives, etc.; this is on other people's part which I am referring to here). It will likely shorten my lifespan, and will certainly significantly reduce my quality of life and exclude me from ever experiencing love or physical intimacy with a woman. Time is ticking away - this is the 1970s of my life. Will the future be an urban ghetto or a nice clean neighborhood?

After a certain age (I'd say about 30-35, closer to the younger end for me of course), I transfer from being "single bachelor" to "dirty old man." You know the type I am talking about. I knew a person like that once. His name will not be mentioned here, but he was the most repulsive human being I have ever encountered. He appeared unwashed and dirty, dressed slovenly, was obese, and he leered at women. I believe he lived with his mother. Nobody liked him. The only reason he worked where he did was that he was civil service (he too held a GOVERNMENT JOB). I am not too much different from him by now, I fear. His physical traits are surprisingly similar to mine (or at least what I feel others perceive in me). And by the way, I have a GOVERNMENT JOB, also.

I am the portrait of a loser bureaucrat dumbass who can't find a better job, or any job in the private sector from dishwasher on up, because I lack the skill, dynamism, and social skills to do so.

I do take the time to go out and be social when I feel the opportunity is right. Unfortunately, that's not often enough and most nights I sit at home alone. Of course I can't be going out every night, but still....how often do normal people go out socially during the week? I haven't met anyone through the YMCA and I don't think I ever will, so that's a waste of money.

You know what scares me? I am becoming - no, I am - Travis Bickle. I am sure at some point in your life, you have seen the film Taxi Driver. As regular readers (that's all six of you) of this blog know, that is my favorite film - you figure out why, I'm sure the answer is obvious. I'll give you some hints: Alienated loner/loser + lives in big city away from family + low prestige job + not very intelligent + frequent fantasies involving females....well I don't watch porn films and I don't own any weapons so I haven't sunk that low yet.

But I feel like Travis Bickle. I also feel old, mainly because I know so much obscure historical junk, like why Nixon actually said "well I'm not a crook" (hint: it wasn't because of Watergate). That is my specialty of knowledge - pure crap. An obsolete and perfectly useless tripe for a world which requires actual salable skills in order to avoid starvation. It's like having a master's degree in philosophy; it certifies that you are quite intelligent, but only qualifies you to wash dishes.

I really could compete on a game show like Jeopardy! and win a large sum of money, if I were truly desperate and didn't mind making a complete ass of myself on national television. I wish I knew something valuable or useful, like how to fix a car or how to create software. My brother knows these things. He is far, far, far more successful and makes a hell of a lot more money than I ever will, even though he isn't as intelligent from an academic perspective (he didn't make straight A's in school, is what I mean). But you know what they say - you can be terrible at formal learning but quite intuitive at hands on stuff. That's how my brother is. Those folks often become the most successful people in this world.

That is my fundamental problem - I have so much promise, but fail to deliver time and time again. And that is why people detest me. Because that is the textbook definition of LOSER. With someone who isn't as skilled, they get more leeway and a lot of them are perfectly happy working at some shit job where they can be themselves and make friends at their low level. But if you have skills, and it's obvious (can you say Master's degree?) but are a complete dumbfuck in real life, isn't that somewhat of a clue that you are a worthless, lazy piece of shit?

I would hope that there isn't any truth to my grim self-assessment, and if there really, truly are some redeeming qualities to my personality. I would like to think that all of the above is completely untrue, that people really do care about me, that I am likable and that I haven't caused pain for my family and acquaintances, that I am a good worker who contributes things of importance to my organization, that I am intelligent and don't come off as a complete inarticulate dumbass to people, and that one day some nice young lady will accept me and fall in love with me. I suspect I am too much of a naive loser for the last part to happen, but the remainder is, I feel, somehow obtainable to some degree.

Sorry I must whine like this, but that is my loser lot.