Diary of an unemployed person
I read somewhere a line that said:’’ At the end of my suffering there was a door’’.
I read somewhere a line that said:’’ At the end of my suffering there was a door’’. Well now it seems that my doors have no end, or the other way around, I could not tell from this point of view. But maybe you can decipher what the hell is wrong with me. Let me describe you one ordinary day in my life. I wake up two hours after noon, exhausted from sleeping and of sleep deprivation. What I have is not another case of insomnia, but yet another undiagnosed condition. I like to call it a medical condition just to justify my way of living. But, let’s move on. I get up almost every day with a great hunger so I walk in my pajamas across the living room and enter the kitchen. I approach the refrigerator and grab its cold, white, plastic handle. I open the refrigerator and look around. As my eyes roam from the turkey salami to hot sauce flavored chicken paste I can feel the disgust and nausea rising from my stomach. It’s been just five hours since my last post-midnight snack and three rolled cigarettes. My stomach aches just at the sight of any kind of food. I say goodbye to the refrigerator and close its door silently so that no one notices that I’m up.
I walk up the six stairs in my house that lead to the bathroom. With the screeching sound of the door I enter a thoroughly lit bathroom that smells of lavender air freshener. I feel nauseated again. Not by the smell of the air freshener but by the sight of my pale face etched on the bathroom mirror. I take my tooth brush and a little bit of tooth paste, and as I stare into my own pale face and sunken eyes, I try not to throw up while I brush my teeth. That is the first challenge every morning. I will be honest with you: I don’t have an eating disorder and I’m not a drug addict. I’m just unemployed. Which is, if I may say, the same shit as if I were one. Miserable.
I fill my hands with a pond of fresh and cold water. I splash my face and stare at it while the drops of clear water run down my face and land on my shirt. A sudden flash of good mood surprises me and gives me hope that I will eventually achieve to change this particular day. Not all days are the same. But the previous ones have been. I enter the living room and turn the TV on. I don’t like silence. I move on to see if my father has left me something special from the bakery. This morning he did. I jump around as a kid because I don’t have to prepare anything for breakfast. Or lunch. It depends on the time when you wake up. I eat my breakfast at nearly 3 p.m. I pour myself a big glass of whatever juice is around, grab my chocolate croissant and dive into my beige sofa. My teeth slowly taste the sweetness of chocolate and then the texture of the pastry. Yummy, I think to myself. I’m going to eat and then I’ll watch TV for a bit. Everyone watches TV, don’t you? I know you do. So I rush through all channels, remember when ‘’Ally McBeal’’ starts and enter my room. I clean the mess from last night, tidy my bed, open the window to let the smoke out and start rolling my first cigarette. With the first smoke I know that this day will not be any different than the other. Than yesterday. But towards the end of the cigarette I plot about a possible task of the day. Maybe I can go fetch some healthy, fresh water for all of us, maybe I could go visit my cousin’s wife and kids, maybe have a coffee, come back home, use the car for all that and clear my head for a while. I finish of my cigarette and I jump up and head into the lean hallway. I can see that nearly 15 plastic bottles are full of fresh water. That one is crossed out, I say to myself. What was the other thing? Oh, yes. I could go and visit my cousin, his wife and their children. I love children. I rush to my mobile phone. I quickly type in the letter R and there it is, the number of my cousin’s wife. First a dull telephone sound, then a pleasant voice speaks and greets me with kindness. I ask where she is, she says she’s not at home. She is currently helping her mom whitewash the walls. Kids are with her and D is working late. I answer that it doesn't matter and that I will visit them next time. Then I hold on to the thought that I could go and pick up my mom from work and maybe help her shopping, cause that could be good, just to help me raise my spirits a bit. I open my front door and call on to my father. He is not at home. Brother is at school, I know that. I call my father up to ask him where he is and he says he has a meeting and that he will pick up mom on his way home. I surrender.
The clock strikes 4 p.m. ‘’Ally McBeal’’ starts and it’s that episode when she buys a mansion in order to get over Billy’s death. I plunge into my beige sofa and think about how many times have I watched this episode and cried like a little baby. That is what I’m going to do. Sit here, cry when something is emotional enough on the episode and wait for everyone to come home. I sit and watch until I hear my mother’s voice and the ruffling of the plastic bags. She went shopping for groceries. I greet her with a faint smile and ask how was her day. She says it’s too warm for this time of the year. I respond with a vague nod acknowledging that she is absolutely right. I grab the plastic bags and start looking at the groceries like a little child, searching for a chocolate hidden somewhere in between all other stuff. I put all that she bought in separate boxes in the kitchen, grab the chocolate bar and carry on watching ‘’Ally McBeal’’.
I don’t have to cook today, we have pees from yesterday and mom has already made a salad to go with it. Although I’m not hungry, I start eating my ‘’lunch’’ and a feeling of fullness starts to invade my body. After lunch mom watches her favorite TV show, dad takes a nap, brother is still at school and I got to my room. I go on the internet. Facebook. Nothing new. No news about the salaries that they did not manage to pay in on time. Gmail. No e-mails. No answers to my motivational letters and job applications. I stare at a blank field on youtube.com. I don’t know which song suits my current mood. So I don’t listen to anything. I call my boyfriend up. He is working, he loves me, I love him. I miss him, he misses me. We end the call with a promise that he will call me when he comes home. I look around my room. It’s tidy. There are some clothes on my favorite, nightmare-terminator sofa, but it doesn't ruin the complete impression of the room. My closet is tidy. All my clothes are neatly folded. My make-up and fake jewelry is neatly stored in cute little boxes and bowls. Only thing that bothers me is the tobacco spilled all over my computer and the stained glass table.
A knock on the door. My mother asks me if I want the coffee here in my room or if I want to drink it with them. I know it’s 8 p.m. I say that I’m going to join them in the living room. As I enter the living room, my brother hugs me, shares a few words with me regarding school and runs to his room to play games on the computer. I try to drink my coffee and I also try to follow the conversation between my mom and dad. I say a few words; we exchange a few smiles or even comment on the level of stupidity that is handed to us every day via television. I stay there for an hour. I finish my coffee and go back to my room. I talk with my good friend on the internet. We talk for hours on skype and facebook. We basically give and take our daily doses of courage, optimism and reality. I soak that in and because I know that this is going to be yet another sleepless night I don’t notice the hours passing by. I notice that my mom came in to ask me whether I plan to go anywhere in the morning. My answer is almost always no. I also notice that my father turned off the TV and yelled a fatherly ‘’sleep tight’’ to me and my brother. I also notice that my brother comes in, asks how I’m doing, kisses me and wishes he could also stay with me long after midnight. I wish him a good night. All other things somehow get blurry. The hours, the words, the research, the unfinished novels, novellas, poems, the unemployment, the new season finale of ‘’The Vampire Diaries’’, another torture of watching a documentary about an ex-Yugoslav band, whose members are not here with us.
My boyfriend calls me to say goodnight. He asks me when am I planning to go to sleep. I always say ‘’ In a minute’’ or ‘’ I will not stay much longer’’ and I wish him the sweetest possible dreams there are. Mine will not come this evening. I role a cigarette and finish it off staring at the brown alarm clock. It says: it’s half past four. I go to the bathroom. I wash my hands, clean my face, brush my teeth and clean all the ashtrays that I have left in the kitchen. I enter my room. Open the window to let the smoke out. I put on my pajamas and breathe in the fresh air. I close the window. I turn on my night lamp and lay in bed. That is where my suffering begins, because every day a door instead of a clock strikes 2 and wakes me up. All my days are the same and that is why at the end of this all I don’t see a door. I roll up one more cigarette, lit it up, while holding my stuffed white and blue colored bear close to me and I protest to all the nights that I didn't sleep on time and that I have spent awake, lonely, tired, exhausted, paranoid, scared and I say: I will not sleep tonight, but tomorrow I will make a door for myself and walk through it. I’ll put a sign on that particular door, and it will read: MY SUFFERING.
 Louise Gluck, The Wild Iris