Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All I want to do is drink beer and smoke cigarettes...

As most of you know, I worked in Iraq for 19 months, from October 2005 through May 2007. I saved $150,000 while I was there. I thought that by making the short term sacrifice of spending a year and a half working 84 hour workweeks in a war zone thousands of miles away from home I'd grant myself freedom from the rat race forever. I was wrong. Or was I?

"I got a cousin, he's broke, don't do shit." -Lawrence from Office Space

I filled up with gas today at a station near Rundberg and I35. This intersection is pretty much the heart of the Austin ghetto now that downtown east Austin has been cleaned up. Anyway, while I was filling up, a crackhead approached me and asked me for money. I've had a particularly rough week at work, and today was the worst day yet, so I was in no mood for his schtick. I exploded on him. I won't give details on what I told him but I will say that I was yelling, and ended up chasing him after he ran away.

I got off track.

When I first got back in the US in June of 2007, I got a job at Hula Hut working 3 shifts per week. For the six months that followed, I was happy for the only extended period of time in my adult life. I didn't work weekends. I never had to get up early. I had plenty of money to buy beer.

I don't have expensive tastes. I drive a Jeep Wrangler with over 150,000 miles. I take pride in buying my clothes from WalMart and Target. I'm cool with drinking Keystone Light and Bud Ice. I live in a modest home. So why can't I live my current lifestyle while only working 3 days per week at a restaurant? Is this too much to ask?

In my office, I have a spreadsheet with a formula that refreshes every time you press enter. It calculates the amount of time, to the second, until my (average) life span runs out. So, I literally sit in my cube and watch myself die.

I don't know what the point of this post is, other than to vent on the depression tip. But the question remains: would I be happier as a vagrant?