The mouse slides across the desk.
Giant fingers tap keys and, on the monitor, YouTube pops up. The guy behind the desk goes, “You gotta see this music video.”
Sitting across the desk from him, surrounded by other cubicles, we’re in a giant warehouse where new cars sit on tiled floor. These new 2018 models are waxed and buffed until you can see yourself in the doors. In the black cars your reflection is just a shadow.
The place is so big they have an in-house Starbucks in the back corner.
The man across the desk, he pulls up a Nickelback video and then says, “I’m really not that good of a salesman, I’m just lenient, that’s all.” And this is the fourth time he’s said that.
Sitting in the dealership, we’re listening to Nickelback and I’m signing papers an hour away from home. I’m agreeing to a good lump sum per month, but that includes “gap coverage,” which the financial advisor says is important.
The salesman, he says, “I try to make things as stress free as possible.” And I’m not sure what kind of vibe I’m putting out, but the last thing I am is stressed. This process is just taking so long that I’m annoyed. I’m honestly more relieved at the fact that I don’t have to worry about driving the car I’m trading in anymore.
This Volvo I’ve been driving for the last few years has been a great car, don’t get me wrong. The thing starts every single time. But it’s got 191,000 miles on it and it needs a new catalytic converter, and the windows don’t roll down, and the doors don’t lock and the air conditioning hasn’t worked since I bought it. It’s at the point where I’m waiting for what the next thing is to need fixing. And because it’s a foreign car, every fix is a $200 ordeal. I can’t go in and have new brakes put in without it costing an arm and a leg. And the god damn thing needs an alignment every month because, “Volvo’s are soft,” my mechanic says. Every single time I hit a pothole my alignment is fucked. And if you’ve ever driven in Pennsylvania for any length of time, you’ll know that our entire state is just one big pothole waiting to be driven into. Thirty minutes into the drive home with my new car and I hit a pothole so hard I thought the wheel was going to fall off.
Everyone talks about wanting a BMW or a Mercedes or an Audi, but no one talks about how it costs $130 to get an oil change. No one thinks about the fact that replacing a headlight is going to cost $100.
I didn’t think about it when I bought my Volvo, because the car looked cool and was cheap. But that’s what I get for buying not just an older car, but a foreign car as well.
So now all is well, I have a vehicle I don’t have to worry about, shouldn’t be expensive to maintain, and I just have to make my payments. And like Shane said, “It seems like a lot of money when you see it written down on paper, but it’s not hard to make payments. And if you can’t” he shrugs and smiles and says, “Then someone will just come by to take it away from you.”
But I’m not worried about the payments, I just hate how expensive it is to be an adult.
Health insurance, car insurance, car payment, rent, electricity, gas, water, garbage, internet, netflix, hulu, and holy fuck, how do I afford to do anything?
I couldn’t fall asleep last night because the dog wouldn’t go to bed. He just sat there staring at the wall like a psycho and then when I’d look up he’d be staring straight at me, like he was watching me try to sleep. But it’s fine, because he’s sleeping great next to me right now. Curled up like a little cashew, he’s out cold. And I guess it’s great that someone is sleeping, even if that person isn’t me.
I promise I haven’t been forgetting to write. I’ve tried to sit down every day since we’ve gotten home, but nothing I type out feels good. Even this is more kind of fluid brain thought than actual writing, which I guess is fine, it just feels sort of chaotic to me.
I’ve been reading Benjamin Percy’s Thrill Me, which is a bunch of essays on the craft of writing and it’s actually really good. There’s a list of things I’ve written down to use as a checklist for when I go back to edit some of the stuff I’m working on.
I’m trying to break myself of the habit of editing while I write. Getting caught up in that breaks you away from the story and I think it’s easy to get writers block because you’re trying to make what you’re saying perfect instead of just getting the story or idea down first. Who cares how the first draft sounds, you’re the only one that’s going to read it.
A pretty cool riff came together the other day. I didn’t mean to, I was just jamming a little bit and it happened. Sometimes that’s how it works. My goal is ease back into everything, writing music and writing in general, exercising, practicing. I felt like I needed some time to just relax, but the more I do that, the more I feel like I’m wasting time. As much as I love sitting around doing nothing, it feels so unproductive. There’s so many things I have to do and want to do, and who knows how much time I have to do them all. I gotta get it all done before I can't!
Anyway, I gotta make breakfast and get back to real work. I spent a fucking hour this morning trying to get two different printers to work.