Part 1: Apology
Dear formless monster,
I apologize for what I perceive as sins against you. I have no interest in pursuing what is called a career. My reasoning is simple, though you may find it hard to understand: In order to stomach working nine to five, five days a week, in a place you hate where you’re surrounded by your kin whose depression hangs like perfume in the air… in order to live this through, you need to have a very, very, good reason. Simply put, I don’t.
I have no interest in a house in the suburbs. The suburbs make me sad – they are the future cemeteries of dreams.
I have no interest in collecting a pension or social security (foolishly assuming it’s still there fifty years down the line). You see, I spent my childhood watching my father sweat and suffer for some mystical day who knew how far off in the future. That day, like any other, and which arrived on the wings of an official envelope – that day when the check simply shows up in the mailbox with his name in ink on the front.
And yet, despite his validation, even he knows that this road has ended. He chalks up the time he put in to ‘the way things were done.’ It’s what he was taught to do – to ‘get ahead’ and out of dire poverty and in this one instance, gray hair and half a back later, it worked. Statistically speaking, it can’t happen again for 172 years. In short, good reasons for wearing chains are becoming harder and harder to find these days.
Furthermore, I have no interest in moving beyond my class. I know this is tantamount to blasphemy, so I’ve sung the national anthem just to be safe. There are two reasons for this insult to idolatry:
The first is that I am aware of the fictitious nature of the whole ‘three classes’ idea. I know that the middle class is a meaningless term invented to encourage the continuation of the systematic servitude of millions. I also know that there are really only two classes: rich and poor, haves and havenots, capitalist and working. I know my place and I like it fine.
The second is that in order to truly move beyond my class, undignified activities would become necessary as the norm: exploitation, indirect torture and forced starvation, maybe even manslaughter – these my daily trade in order to cast off the weight of the working class week.
Now should I refuse to undertake these demands and yet still wish the satisfaction of working towards some idyllic upper class future, then I am basically living a lie. Not uncommon these days, living a lie, and certainly more socially acceptable than living a truth, but a life of falsehood nonetheless.
Part 2: Resignation
Upon reading my apology, you may note what appear to be some discrepancies. No interest in a career, no desire to ‘move up,’ what, then, is life to be made of? Why get up at all? Upon considering these questions and the seeming impossibility of it all, you may come to the conclusion that I am some disinterested leech – some apathetic and offcolor strand of the red, white, and blue. I assure you that this is not true. I have spent my brief life working and I aim to continue to do so. It simply won’t be for you.
Hence, you may consider this my resignation, effective some time ago though I didn’t know how to say it then. You may also take this letter with my most heartfelt sympathies. We both know that you are dying and we both know that it will neither be easy nor comfortable. I can only hope that your legions of doctors can help you as best they can in your hour of need.
And if that hour should come and you find yourself alone in your bed, no lover at your side caressing your hand, no small bouquet of flowers casting fragrant shadows upon your family who, while seated, weep quietly nearby – no, I know you are an orphan child – if this solemn scene should unfold, you may place this letter at your bedside and rest easy with the solace that I will be thinking of you.
PS: Bootstraps are out of style.