The plumber just called and is texting me his address so I can pay my parents’ plumbing charges for unclogging the drain of their water softener.

Normally I pay bills using my father’s checkbook, but I am too far away and will have to pay this guy with my checkbook, and then tell Shari to add it to our tab, and she will tell me at some point how much to pay ourselves back for the money we spent to keep my 91-year-old parents going, with a few snags and pauses to accommodate 14 years of Alzheimer’s for Mom and a fall-down-the-stairs-land-on-his-head Traumatic Brain Injury for Dad. But all things considered, they’re doing well, thanks for asking.

Is it just me, or has my life become extremely mundane and boring? My life has turned into merely “basic upkeep.” Pure maintenance. Minimal repairs, as needed. A lot of it is jerry rigged. If I sold my life, I’d have to list it “as is.” I’m an old car that still runs and may even last 350,000 miles but desperately needs a new muffler and exhaust system, emphasis on the exhaust part. I find existence exhausting. I often schedule my first nap of the day for the moment I get out of bed.  Chronic Existence Syndrome (C.E.S.) is beyond mere fatigue; I’m tired of simply being

Especially when I’m being a downer like this. Valley expects me to demonstrate in ten minutes what a wonderfully creative, brilliant, heartfelt, authentic, original writer I am, and I just can’t do it. There is way too much pressure, too much at stake. My whole reputation.  This doesn’t count in the final report.

Three minutes to go and I literally have nothing to say. That’s clearly a lie, I’m kidding myself, I’m just avoiding going deeper to anything truly real and substantial and soul baring that will touch and move people and change the world for the better. Talk about pressure.

Two minutes forty-four seconds left, at least I know we won’t be going into overtime. The game ends when the timer dings no matter who’s winning. Is this a competition? I want to lose; I don’t want to be better or worse than anybody; I want to fit in, I’m not that brainy nerd the girls loved to talk to but not kiss.  Go away, little boy.

Under a minute to go [oops: ten-minute phone call from Dad about the plumber, me screaming so he can hear me, but he doesn’t fully grasp the situation, any situation.]

I didn’t write this in longhand first.

I don’t remember if there was also a time limit on the editing process; I’ve been re-working this for eight days. 


Eliezer Sobel, generic human:

Eliezer has been a guest teacher in Valley's classes.