I’m Depressed and I’m Hungry – FML – Part 1
September 28, 2009
Steelers lost. I’m fasting for Yom Kippur. The Steelers better start winning or my new slate of sinning is going to take a 48 hour fast to cure.
I’m no stranger to fanfiction.
I have referenced a few times my love for the ancient artistry of Japanese anime/manga. Generally, these stories focus on early high school aged teenagers jacked up on hormones and super powers. No matter the time era, these kids are our only hope at saving the world from some catastrophic evil entity that they must battle in one-on-one combat as either ninjas, samurai, roller-bladers, pirates, wizards or pilot sixty-foot robots built for war into each other. And in the midst of all that, there are always one or two wildly innocent love subplots and a megaton of wildly perverted subplots.
I’ve seen my fair share of fanfiction based around these anime/mangas. Typically, they are based in the universe that was created by the archetype original series and follows the laws that were set. Until I started this blog and was treated to “The Office”, the thought never occurred to me that one would write fanfiction of your favorite literary characters outside the walls of whatever mystical world they are in. Fanfiction I’ve read is trying to expound on those walls. New enemies, new good guys, new venues for their favorite characters as if they were missing chapters or bonus chapters to what they are already reading. “The Office” is 100% the opposite. It is taking the extraordinary and making it ordinary. It’s the Twilight peeps working shit office jobs, right?
I know they’re fucking. I am going to bring that up. That is the magic in that story. They’re not immortal vampires; they’re bored to death 9-5ers who just so happen to fuck each other’s living brains out every 8 paragraphs. I see that. I’ve seen that. In the fanfiction I’ve seen about the anime/mangas I read, they still are ninjas and they are still fighting evil ninjas and then afterwords they perform the weirdest sex acts on each other. But they’re still ninjas or samurai or robot warriors! Who knows how people unwind after a fireball throwing death fight with a demon on top of a mountain? They may unwind by banging each other’s brains out. I get that. But “The Office”?
I work in an office. I’ve worked in offices for years. The only one getting fucked over here on a regular basis is me and my 401k. Zing! Economics jokes. So today, I am going to write some fanfiction. Some REAL fanfiction. Based on my experiences at office work. This may or may not be nearly identical to what my daily life was several years ago working at a non-profit in their HR department. This is not about my current job. On the off chance someone from my work does read this blog and is just keeping it a secret to themselves. So I’m choosing to write about an old job. And… it will feature the Twilight characters in a manner of speaking. Things are about to get really real.
*BAN* *BAN* *BAN*
Fake-Rob’s cell phone screams like an air raid siren through his REM sleep. A cold rush of panic shoots through his now semi-conscious body. This attack on his system is coupled with the exact same thought this alarm triggers every morning he hears it: I’m still alive and that means I have to go to work. Why can’t God just finish this already? Can’t I just go peacefully in my sleep? But no, Fake-Rob has survived another night of sleep and is now awake. Well sort of awake. He hasn’t opened his eyes yet.
Fake-Rob’s arm rises from underneath the covers blindly and is clumsily drawn to his cell phone’s screech like a marionette on strings. His thumb clicks the “end” button and finally the wails of electronic pain cease. In this quiet, Fake-Rob contemplates quitting his job just so he can sleep in. This is the same negotiating Fake-Rob does every morning at this time and sadly reaches the same conclusion each time. I have to go to work.
Jammed into the sleigh bed his parents bought Fake-Rob when he was 14, he lets out a yawn so powerful that it almost makes him vomit. He sits up and flings his dead legs off his bed onto the floor. Fake-Rob has yet to see the morning with open eyes. This is in part because of how extremely tired he is and partly because there is nothing new to see. Fake-Rob has not updated his childhood room since he was in fact a child. His brief apprenticeship as an interior decorator started and stopped when he was in elementary school. He adorned his walls with sports posters of that moment in time and has never thought a second about updating them.
Sluggishly, Fake-Rob, through sheer muscle memory and not sight, grabs his towel off the back of his door and a pair of underwear off his desk. His underwear, undershirts and socks are in three neat piles on his desk because he maturely refuses to put them away in any dresser drawers.
Now equipped, Fake-Rob walks into the bathroom and starts the shower. At this moment, standing across from the vanity mirror he unhinges his eyelids and allows himself to see for the first time this day: his utterly depressed face. Ugh. Why am I doing this to myself? Why am I wasting my youth at this job? Why couldn’t I have been born in a time and age where my youth was celebrated? Why can’t I just run through fields of golden wheat chasing young beautiful women in revealing white togas? Why can’t I do battle with my enemies using sword and shield? Why can’t I sit around with fellows discussing the answers to the universe in long elaborate hypothetical word problems? Why couldn’t I have been born to a filthy rich family where I got a disgustingly stupid inheritance just for turning 18? Ugh… fucking parents.
Shower, brushed teeth, and first morning piss which is so pleasurable it makes him arch his back and stretch up on his tiptoes. Back in the bedroom, Fake-Rob has dressed himself in a striped button up shirt and a pair of khaki pants. One last look at his lonely too small for him sleigh bed and he heads downstairs.
Instantly, his dogs attack him. As a rogue burglar that they can only kill with wagging tails and licks to the face, he is attacked. They jump at his legs and mark him with their shedded fur. The big one, the golden retriever, stands her full length and hits Fake-Rob hard in the chest sending him into the pantry. She will knock him down for the other smaller dog warriors to get their chance at him. Fake-Rob succumbs for a moment to the dog saliva and dander, but remembers one word: “work”.
He thanks his mother for the finely brewed cup of coffee which he snatches and drinks in one stupid gulp burning the roof of his mouth like every morning. He makes one last check that he has the holy quadrinity on him: cell phone, keys, wallet and iPod. He is out the door in a sprint. He is at his car. He is driving the speed limit through the suburbs of New Jersey to his goal: the New Jersey train stop by his house. He parks. He runs as the train is approaching in the distance and meets the train on the platform just as it arrives.
Once on the train, Fake-Rob slides his headphones on and collapses into the nearest seat. He skips through his gigabytes of music for something that will soothe him and feed into his chronic morning depression: Elliott Smith. He turns the music up so it drowns out all other noises. He removes his monthly train pass from his wallet and places it on his chest. And then he proceeds to try and fall asleep on the train like a young well-dressed hobo. He can’t sleep though. Fake-Rob was never a good public sleeper, so he just hangs in a purgatory for the first leg of his NJ Transit ride.
The train stops at Newark and Fake-Rob exits. He stands on the platform deaf to his surroundings with his iPod turned on high surrounded by the morning rat race heading into New York City . He glances around with his head on a swivel. He is looking for extremely brazen muggers or hot chicks. He spots one. A hot chick, not a mugger. There are no muggers. Newark Penn Station is completely safe. But if you walk two blocks from it you are immediately killed. But back to the hot chick, Fake-Nikki Reed.
Fake-Rob runs his eyes along every curve of her body. Tracing her profile from head to foot. Fake-Rob rubs his face and prepares himself for his best move: “sexy eyes”. Sexy eyes are the same as “creep eyes” depending on the other person’s subjective opinion on them. One move can easily become the other move without Fake-Rob doing anything. It is all about Fake-Nikki Reed’s interpretation of them. Fake-Rob engages sexy eyes. Fake-Nikki Reed minding her on business standing on the same platform 20 feet away looks to her left and catches eyes with Fake-Rob for a moment. Oh it’s on. After that moment, Fake-Rob adverts his eyes making Fake-Nikki Reed question whether or not they intentionally caught eyes. The plan is working perfectly.
The train pulls up and Fake-Rob and Fake-Nikki Reed have shared numerous glances. They both get on the same car of the train. Fake-Nikki Reed is now like a paranoid spy constantly looking over at Fake-Rob to see if he is looking back at her and sometimes he is and sometimes he appears to be just getting a head count of everyone in the car. This eye love affair is about as close as Fake-Rob will get because Fake-Rob has a severe phobia of being rejected in public.
Once in New York City, Fake-Nikki Reed exits the train to the left and Fake-Rob to the right and at that moment Fake-Rob feels his heart in pain. He watches her leave his sight interspersed in the millions of other New York City travelers. Fake-Rob thinks to himself, I would have loved you forever Fake-Nikki Reed. We could have gotten married and had children and we would have been so happy together. I loved you and I will love you forever until this exact thing happens with some other hot chick on the ride home tonight or the next morning or…
After a mile walk through the urban jungle that is Manhattan, Fake-Rob has fallen in and out of love a dozen times. Fake-Rob arrives at the foot of his work building. He turns off his iPod and can now hear the symphony of cursing, car horns, cop whistles and inane cell phone conversations that this wonderful city provides. He buys his second cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese from a street vendor and then enters the building. After a short elevator ride and serpentine walk through the cubicle maze, Fake-Rob is ten minutes early to his desk at a job everyone else shows up an hour late for.
Part II of this epic journey will be posted tomorrow!