I’m sitting, staring blankly at my computer monitor,surrounded, as always, by logos. I’m holding my Coke can, kicking off my Nike’s, digging into a greasy mass of Lays chips, all the while waiting for Netflix to load.
This is our lives, people. It’s not just mine alone. Sure, your personal life probably differs, but generally, we’re all inundated with brand names and labels every hour of every day; we all say we hate it; and yet we all, for some reason, put up with it and even seem to enjoy it when we’re not complaining about it.
And it’s not just advertising that causes this phenomenon. We say healthy living is the way to go while overeating ourselves into what the media has assured me is an obesity crisis. We all agree that it’s wrong to steal land and force people to work in sweatshops, but we still knowingly buy items attained through such means. We value education and safety, but we cut their budgets whenever possible. We say we’d like a simpler life free of stress and “drama” while hooking up our new state-of-the-art communication gadget (I don’t know. Think iPhone or something) on which we’ll spread bull shit behind our “friends'” backs until it comes back to bite us in the ass. When it does, we’ll complain about them starting the problem.
No, I’m not trying to preach or make anyone feel bad (or at least I’m going to say that’s not what I’m doing); I’m just pointing out a fact: we have a tendency to say one thing while doing something completely opposite. Some people may be quick to label this behavior as hypocritical and lying, but it’s not that. Hypocrites and liars are bad people, and we know this doesn’t apply. We’re not BAD; we’re good people doing bad things, maybe.
And to this some may try to say that good people can’t do bad things; if we’re doing bad things, then we’re bad people. Well, if that’s the case, maybe what we’re doing isn’t bad. Right?
I know I’m a good person…
Anyway, this isn’t about labels or society. This is about me sitting here, drinking Coke, eating Lays, and waiting for Netflix to load. I’ve done this a lot since she left; the house is just too quiet or something. Eating and watching movies keep the place somewhat lively…livable… something like that.
The apartment is a disaster. She was the one who maintained the place with the constant mopping, dish washing, and insistence that I get off my lazy ass to take out the trash. Without her, the filth has piled up leaving the house reeking of rotting food and body odor. I like for my house to be organized, but I don’t get up and clean. Instead I turn off the lights, turn on the computer, and pretend it’s all disappeared. You get used to the smell.
My lazy tendencies aside, I don’t understand why she left me. Sure, I lied, but everyone lies every day. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if new research broke saying that most of what we say is a lie. How many times have you told some ugly jerk they looked good? Or pretended you missed a text? Or said you ate only one cookie when you ate five? How many times have you said I love you just because the other person said it first?
And to Mister or Miss I-Never-Do-Any-Of- That, you’re probably the one of the greatest bull-shitters around. You’re so good at lying, you’ve even convinced yourself.
Now back to me. I lied to her, but I didn’t lie about loving her, because that I did, although I acted like someone who didn’t. I didn’t do much to make time for her; ignored the obvious hints, trying to convince myself that I didn’t pick up on them; promised her dates and romances, but never delivered; oh, and I cheated. It was just the one time. And I was drunk. Really drunk.
And I told her I wouldn’t cheat and I’d quit drinking, but what did she expect? I also said I’d start recycling and learn to pilot jets, but I never did any of that either! Yes, I enjoy the idea of recycling and flying just as I enjoy the idea of sobriety and monogamy. I am, however, just a product of my society. I’m going to do the opposite of what I say I’ll do. How can I be blamed for the culture?
But as women are often unreasonable (it’s true; I read it somewhere), she ignored my flawless justification, saying (screaming) instead that was through with me. I, of course, didn’t believe her. She said she was through, so that means she’ll be back. If I wait around enough, she’ll return to me. Until then, I have our smelly apartment, Netflix, and memories.
The chips irritate my gums, and I realize that I don’t remember the last time I brushed my teeth. I also realize that I have no real emotional state. Movies have moved me slightly, but without them I’m pretty sure I don’t feel anything. And Netflix wasn’t loading. It seems the payment didn’t clear.
I put the bag of chips aside and lay down on the sofa. Reluctantly, I surrender to responsibility; I’m to blame for my situation. By accepting blame, however, I’m also accepting power. I’ll make this right. I’ll get her back. I tell myself this and feel very confident about the assertion. But, between you and me, I’ll probably just forget about it tomorrow. Like dieting and exercising, becoming a pilot, committing to recycling, or even just telling the truth; it’s too much work. I’d rather not deal with it.
And I know you’re reading this and judging me, telling yourself that, if you were in my shoes, you’d make a change for the better. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t though. In theory, you’re for self improvement, but when offered the choice to do that or nothing, you’ll probably do nothing. Like me, you’re simply another product of the “say one thing, do another” society.
And also another good person…