What's Missing

   I was driving home today and I passed this new housing development thatís just been built on this vacant lot near my house. Itís really crazy to me because the lot looked like it would hold maybe two houses and they built about fifteen, but thatís off the subject. So anyway as Iím driving home I notice that someone has put up blinds in one of the houses and all of a sudden I wanted more than anything to be that person.

            Okay, so not really THAT person exactly, more like I wanted to have that life. I wanted to be someone with a life so together I could afford to buy a brand new house. I wanted to be buying the furniture for the dining room and putting away my silverware in the drawer and my dishes in the cupboards. I want to be heading towards something definite or accomplishing something big. I want a life that makes sense.

            I want to get up each day and go somewhere where they know me and I have pictures on my desk and a plant that I always forget to water. I want to be annoyed by the copier that always jams and laugh at the exploits of the guy in the office down the hall.

            I get so tired of being unemployed. When you work, even if you work a lot, your job is just one part of your life. When youíre unemployed that fact becomes everything. It is who you are and what you do. Itís the fact that you get mad at yourself for spending $5.00 on lunch when you could have ordered from the $.99 menu. When youíre watching a movie and find yourself looking at the actor on the screen and thinking I wish that was my job and you mean the actors onscreen job as a waiter or an office clerk.

            It gets tiring to have to worry all the time about what happens next. To stress over where the money will come from to pay the bill that came in the mail today. You get worn out by always being the one other people have to pay for. You want to do nice things for the people you love because you love them, but you canít turn down the money they offer you for helping them around the house or walking the dog. 

            You begin to look at yourself and wonder if you will ever find a job. You start to think about retirement even though itís at least 35 years away and wonder what will become of you. Itís something you should be saving for, but you have to pay bills now and your creditors wonít take ĎI have to save for retirementí as a valid excuse for non-payment.

            Some people think still that being unemployed is like a big huge game. Partly I think because to pretend it isnít bad is the last way we have of clinging to whatís left of our pride. So they donít see the dark days and sleepless nights. They imagine a week of talk shows and soap operas as being like heaven and maybe even believe deep down, weíre here because we want to be. That, maybe losing our job wasnít our choice, but not getting another one definitely is.

            So we joke about it. We talk about how great it is to sleep in, laugh when someone tells us what a great tan weíve got. We shake our head in pity when they complain that they donít have any time to read. And, in my case, I built a web site.



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