How to Be a Twenty-Something Loser

(In the style of Junot Diaz’s “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie”)

Your alarm clock blares, scaring you from your unpleasant slumber: the four-hour nap that you pathetically refer to as a full night’s sleep. Mumble a few expletives, then roll out of bed and shuffle to the bathroom like your great uncle Jack used to shuffle around, before he got his power chair.

After taking a piss, look in the mirror and fixate for a moment on your face. You look like a tired old man, in desperate need of a shave and a haircut. Then think, Fuck it, it’s fall, the rugged look is in.  You splash some cool water on your face and finally begin waking up, when you hear pounding on your room door. Oh yeah, you realize, you left your alarm on.

So, you open the door and decide to play dumb with your best bro/apartment mate. He curses at you about the noise and asks if you’re going to shut the goddamn thing off.  What noise, you respond, but you have to half-shout it because your alarm has escalated to an eardrum-shattering volume.

Smile when he calls you an asshole. He’s not a morning person, so he doesn’t take to your smile too kindly. Instead, he pushes past you into the room and rips the batteries out of the clock. He slams them into your hand and storms out the door, but not before you quip, Good morning to you too, sweetheart.

Shut your door and start getting dressed. Think about how much you hate your job and how quickly you’d quit if Sallie Mae didn’t have you by the balls.  But she does, so you throw on a blue plaid shirt with your corduroy pants.  Business casual? No, though you haven’t a shit to give. You figure it’ll be a few months, a year tops, before your crappy call center job is outsourced to India, anyway.

Go to the kitchen and assess your breakfast situation. It’s dire. There’s cereal, but no milk. Butter, but no bread.  Creamer, but no coffee. Your crisper contains a brown thing that may have once been a head of lettuce.  It’s moments like these when you loathe having a “bachelor pad” and wish you stayed home in your parents’ basement: Mom would coddle you to death and Dad would give you shit about not being an engineer, but at least you’d be guaranteed regular meals. Annoyed, you resolve to grab something at 7-11 on the way to work.

You get to work, late, and make a beeline toward your cubicle. Ignore the snarky receptionist who hates your guts because you hooked up with her girlfriend at the company party 2 weeks ago. Wave at your supervisor in passing: Don’t give him a chance to reprimand your tardiness or worse, force you to work through lunch to make up time. Stop and have small talk with the quiet, emo guy two cubicles down from yours. You want to stay on his good side, so that if and when he goes on a shooting rampage in your office, he’ll warn you in advance to stay home that day.

Look like you’re working, but really spend the majority of your time on Reddit and Twitter. Remain in the confines of your cubicle until lunchtime. Inch to the door with the intention of going to Chipotle, but get stopped by your supervisor right before you make it out. Work through lunch, while imagining untimely death scenarios for your supervisor. Eat the rest of the snacks you bought at 7-11 that morning.

Clock out at 5pm and drive home. Don’t buy groceries for the apartment. Instead, you and your bro, who’s now in a much better mood, have cereal and creamer for dinner. Watch TV, surf the Internet, and dick around until you fall asleep at some ungodly hour. Oversleep for work the next morning because you didn’t put the batteries back in your alarm clock.

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