Thursday, October 16, 2008

Advice from Tyler Durden

"You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world."

On that note, god I miss college. I miss no responsibilities. I miss walking into Iowa Book & Supply everyday to charge a Diet Coke and a bag of pretzels to my account. I miss the guy who sold gyros in the ped mall at 2 a.m. when the bars closed down. I miss the night crew at Panchero's. I miss the English-Philosphy Building. I miss sitting on our porch swing talking on the phone and hearing the sounds of my roommates watching TV inside through the screen window. I miss K Tan. I miss the Java House and their big, comfy couches where you can study all day and people watch. I miss cheap tabs. I miss the dirty ass elevator doors at Burge Hall. I miss Sunday nights listening to Kyle play the piano in the study lounge at Currier. I miss hooker boots and tube tops. I miss open doors in hallways and IM'ing my roommates from one room over. I miss sitting on our counter in the kitchen in the morning after a long night of drinking, trying to piece together unaccounted for moments. Laughing. I miss the drop box at the Dey House. I miss walking across the bridge to the Art Building. I miss the River Room and smoothies with Mel, watching the boys play pool. I miss our carpet picnics and makeshift Slip & Slides. I miss the cafeteria at Burge and trying to find a table at dinner. I miss Easy Place and Big Mike's. I miss Snowflake. I miss the smell of Mel's Pier One candle. I miss never coming home to an empty house and always having someone to go get McDonald's with after a night of boozing. I miss Erron from the Column. I miss our pimped out dorm room sophomore year, Donnelly. I miss our autographed Ricky Martin and Backstreet Boys posters. I miss going into the closet to make private phone calls. I miss the biggest double in the Big Ten. I miss waking up at 1 p.m. everyday. I miss making Brother's our bar. I miss seventy-five cent massive Diet Cokes from the QT. I miss the Handy House and red Solo cups. I miss 111 Evans St. I miss the Union Bar and the slutty girls who danced on boxes. I miss writing papers. Long ones. I miss a false sense of responsibility. I miss the smell of Iowa City in the fall. I miss my own bathroom in my room. I miss watching the frat boys come and go at the Main Library from behind the Reserve Room desk. I miss running the belt. I miss "Razor" and Edgar and Jeremy and Elijah. I miss ghetto Diamond Dave's karaoke and "Radar Love". I miss the workshop. A lot. I miss Panda Express at Coralville Mall. I miss borrowing Mel's wagon. I miss Donnelly's closet. I miss calling cards and ridiculous drunk emails to sort through and decipher the next day. I miss weekend trips to U of I. I miss thinking the Fieldhouse was the shit for like five minutes. I miss my horrible fake ID. I miss away messages.

But most of all, I miss "once I graduate".

'Cause the real world is not all it's cracked up to be. Nope. Not at all.

I'm fighting it, I really am. The pull into the corporate machine. It's constant. It's stronger than me. Like a present being slowly unwrapped, I am losing my skin, becoming unrecognizable from what I looked like when I started. The glossy and brilliant colors of me are lying crumpled, in a pile, on the floor. Defeated.

Seeing that, those foreign bits of me scattered about, makes me fight like hell not to lose the rest of me.

We're all in it. Me. You. Your brother in law. Your father. Your neighbors. My best friends.

We're going to nine to five our way into a society that works itself to death.

When did it become acceptable to flag an email with a big red exclamation point? Why do we think more of deadlines and market share and less of creativity and collaboration? Where did the individual go in individuality? The corporate machine has no sense of individuals, only growing pensions.

When did our priorities become inflicted and not chosen? Why has punching that time clock become the loudest, most resounding noise, drowning out everything else we cannot hear or simply refuse to hear?

That, my friends, unsettles me.

I counteract this numbness in my own way.

Some people have exercise, some people get massages, some people have Prozac.

I sit in my car and scream as loud as I can, "SINCE I WAS ALWAYS CAAAAGED AND NOW I'M FREEEEEEEE!!!!" along with Dave Grohl. Or Eddie Vedder. Or Trent Reznor.

It's how I keep from ramming my car into the car in front of me while I sit for two hours in traffic on my way home from a shitty day at the office where even the guy who comes in to clean the bathrooms at 2:30 p.m. everyday ignores me.

It's the way I keep from crying when I feel overwhelmed. When money's tight. When work sucks. When my love life's a mess.

I live a life of open ended questions so I sit in my car and scream as loud as I can.

And sometimes, if I’m really lucky, I feel better.

Go Hawkeyes!


S said...

Ah yes. I can relate. I spent most of my teens looking forward to college (you would've, too, if you'd grown up in my sh1thole hometown) and most of college looking forward to "after I graduate."

Too bad no one can tell adolescents to enjoy their freedom while they have it! But as my father often said, "you can't put an old head on young shoulders."

Anonymous said...


And only you could make me miss someplace I've never been.

lindsay said...

I've been visiting your blog for a while, and I'm choosing today to de-lurk.

Because this post absolutely terrifies me.

I am a senior at U of I and I can already feel that 'corporate pull' with the endless resumes critiques and interviews. You mean to tell me that the crushing conformity only gets worse? Aaaah!

I think this scares me so much because your writing and your sentiments always really resonate with me. And, honestly, if that's all real life has to offer I think I prefer to stay at college forever, slowly turning into that creepy middle-aged woman always hanging around campus bars, thankyouverymuch.

Colleen Snell said...

Damn good post. And, beautiful new design!

Business or Leisure? said...

You know, I rarely comment on things-- I mean who the fuck is who-- but I feel completely left out on missing college. I don't miss it for a second. The harsh demands of the real world are a lion's eye, true, but I couldn't stand listening to professors and students alike telling me what (not to mention how) to read and think. I am far more creative outside of the context of the ole thought box.

College is a dangerous, dangerous place with its conforming and damning ideals, its coddling nature and its connection to youth. i am enjoying a hell of a lot of the aspects of being older. I really am.

OK, I'll leave everyone alone now. I hope this didn't sound negative. The post was a damn fine sight-- like a Californian rollerblader grinding a post in Northern North Dakota or something of the like.

Cunning_Linguist said...

That's the funny thing about growing up. You keep wishing for it to happen someday and then you turn around.... and wish that youth wasn't wasted on the young. I know you are farrrrr from old ( as are most in the blogosphere) but you can see my point, no? Once you've travelled down that path, you can never go back.

Anonymous said...

So no one told you life was going to be this way.
Your job's a joke, you're broke, you're love life's DOA.
It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.
I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

You're still in bed at ten, the work began at eight.
You've burned your breakfast, so far, things are going great.
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these,
But she didn't tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees.

That, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.
I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

No one could ever know me, no one could ever see me.
Seems like you're the only one who knows what it's like to be me.
Someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with,
Someone I'll always laugh with, even at my worst, I'm best with you.

It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.
I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.


Anonymous said...

And you are loved more than you know