Zonk was not in the office.

“Out sick,” they said, dropping an avalanche of payroll on my desk. “If you can set these up, another gal can help you cut.”

I suppose on the bright side, it meant I could batch my payrolls without worrying that Zonk was going to come into my office and sweep them up out from under me, although I was still wary: he’d been “out sick” on another day, and I’d batched a bunch of payroll only to have I’m appear, briefly, over lunch hour- just long enough to sweep half of them out of my pile, and then was gone again for the rest of the day.

I couldn’t help but feel like we were beginning to engage in a cold war of payroll prep.

But today Zonk did not appear, so I was the only check cutter again.

“We’ll pay you overtime if you take a short lunch,” they said.

I took a short lunch. I’ll pretty much take any opportunity for overtime. And it was Friday: It’s not like I was eating anyway.

For most of the day I was quiet and calm. At some point around four thirty my mood began to deflate a bit. I searched my mind for a reason but found none- just a lingering sense of feeling trapped and inadequate.

Be grateful. I told myself. Think of things you’re grateful for. Think of people you’re grateful towards.

I did. It helped? But it didn’t cure the mood entirely. I find myself struggling to get a perspective on the future: everything seems very nebulous and uncertain, and without a future to pin my sights on, I’m trapped in the Right Now of life asking myself is this really what I want? and looking at my goals with a sense of what’s the point?

It’s frustrating.

I mean, to a certain extent I’m a natural grinder: I have a high tolerance for tedium and routine and can stay on task for a long time over many days. But I need to know that I’m grinding towards something.

But today I guess I’m just grinding into the ground: I got home you discover that we’d just gotten a statement from the insurance company for the Curmudgeonly Lion’s recent ER visit. It turns out that a day visit to the ER, involving only minor treatments such as IV fluids and Benadryl, costs $10,000. At an in network hospital.

The statement wasn’t itemized, of course- everything was just a “misc services”. So for all I know we were being charged for some insurance boss to get a lapdance from a stripper in a sexy nurse outfit (it’s a misc service, right?). And the insurance company, being a mensch, assured us that we were only responsible for paying $3500.

Only.

Christ, what’s the point?

We finally got out from under our tax bill. We both got raises, and we still can’t break even. Hell, we can’t even afford Daylight Savings anymore.

Happy Friday, y’all.

I’m already falling short on my writing goals for the month too, but at least having the goals is giving me something to swing for. Here’s where I’m at right now:

Novel: 2 pages

Quote: “I woke up to find myself stretched out in the narrow cardboard cell of an empty television box.”

Screenplay: 3 pages

Quote: “Hey-hay guysss… We gotta go- there’s ossifers here. Sorry, ossifer- we been celebrubratin!”

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on November 2, 2018.

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