And Now, for Something Completely Different.

[[Currently listening to: Magnetic Fields – Realism (a recent local music store find). It’s not quite like anything else I’ve heard. I think I’m digging it.]]

I’ve practically made a pastime out of bitching about working in a call center.

But now, for something completely different.

Truth is, if I ever get out of here, I will probably remember these days with some amount of fondness.

Because working in a call center, especially for an introvert, is living in a heightened, hyper-real state.

You are acutely aware of the intense human forcefield between yourself and others. Of all the things that can go haywire in a single interaction. Of how miraculous it is when they don’t. Of how unlikely it is that you ended up here, with these people, doing this thing.

How unlikely it is that you exist at all.

How amazing it is at the end of each day, every time you survive.

It’s that foolhardy, “I just fought my way through a probably useless and unwise rite of passage,” exhilaration.

You get a little wilder, messier, less controlled, in your everyday life. Because your livelihood forces you to digest your own imperfections and move on, to not obsessively/compulsively dwell on them, to supplant each shortfall rapidly with the next (and, by extension, be forced to realize that none of them is deadly).

Because transitioning from that heightened state always involves a crash, you seek out various rushes to maintain the feeling of levitating ever so slightly above ground. Because of that – and not just because of stress-related escapism – I would hypothesize that many forms of recreational chemical consumption occur at higher rates among call center workers.

*

Now…I’m not sure if this next observation has any connection to what I just wrote above. But tonight I’m also compelled to note that, out of curiosity, I just searched my old username on Facebook and found a bunch of stuff from 8-9 years ago: posts where people I was close friends with at the time had called me out, tagged me, made offerings to me. Of course all tags/links are now dead/broken, directed at a profile that no longer exists – but I am taken aback by the dissonance between my (still persisting) self-perception and the character of these gestures toward me. It often seems I was born feeling alien, conspicuously out of place… yet looks back reveal that I was accepted, even regarded affectionately. Which feels strange. I suppose it’s a testament to the power of distorted self-talk.

Anyway. Here’s something I scribbled on some scrap paper just now:

If you’re a certain type of person, it hits you now and then 
What an absurd amalgam of cells you are.
You review your personal history too much
To prove to yourself you’re real,
To keep from becoming untethered.

I don’t quite know what the point of this entry is; also I don’t mean to sound dark, as I am actually in a really buoyant, creative mood. But, in any event, permit me to close with some lyrics from the Magnetic Fields album I’m listening to:

I'm just a painted flower on silk brocade
Left in the sun I will slowly fade
Fade to nothing like I'd never been made
Like I'd never been made

I'm just a painted flower, a frozen bloom
Left alone in some forgotten room
A fly in amber, I pose in my tomb
I pose in my tomb

I'm only drops of paint in a silver frame
Without an aim and without a name
Gathering dust, every day just the same
Every day just the same.
-Magnetic Fields, “Painted Flower”
People of Earth, don't just stand
There, the Dada Polka
Is as fun as it sounds
Move hips and hands when the band
Plays the Dada Polka
You may lose a few pounds

Gyrate like a gyroscope
Collide like a kaleidoscope
Change!
Do something, anything
Do something strange

...

Do something, anything
Do something a little out of character
It won't kill you
Do something, anything
Do something true
-Magnetic Fields, “The Dada Polka”

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