Looking over my shoulder.

I keep looking for a way out of this working life I’ve ended up with. Working for other people is not working so well for me. I’d rather be sitting at home right now, peeling back the skin on my left thumb, trying to see the bone beneath. Painful, but so is 9 hours spent in a cubicle, trying hard to ignore the fast internet connection and expensive licensed graphics software and two flat-panel displays. My poems would be so wide if I resized the window. But I don’t. I stare at spreadsheets and Outlook and broken proprietary software. I wear a headset and listen to east coast clients who are three hours closer to quitting time complain. I spend the afternoon checking things off my to-do list and watching the clock. When I find myself saying “I want to go home” as involuntarily as I breathe, it’s not even that home is such a great destination at the moment, but it’s not here, and not-here is where I want to be. I want to be on the crowded, humid train full of other workers tired and wet from the cold rain outside. I want to drive behind angry honking commuters all the way back to Oakland. I want to do just about anything but what I’m paid to do, which is never enough, the pay. Never enough by design. And yet, here I am, taking a moment to pull open Notepad and write this because my boss left early, and for the first time today, there’s no one looking over my shoulder.

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