While I Was Out

The web site has been down for a bit longer than I’d hoped, mostly due to all of my free time being consumed with moving into a new house. And yet, everyday at THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD (!!!), I have random thoughts and, frankly, no one nearby worth sharing them with. Things at work continue to change. We had a gay receptionist, just out of high school, who was still young enough to think that talking loudly about how much he loved cock somehow made him “edgy” and/or “flamboyant”, and/or “in your face” when, in fact, it just made him an obnoxious extrovert who needed to grow the fuck up. He got the boot, which made me happier than it probably should have. That happiness was short lived, however, as he has been replaced by a fifty-something, heavy-smoking gorgon, who listens to classic rock and tries to disguise her ash tray odor by putting on too much perfume. The result just as off putting as the smell of fresh-baked bread and cow shit, which was what you used to smell every day when you worked on San Sevaine in scenic Mira Loma. Oh and she also runs and e-brothel in Second Life. Seriously.

Laughs-uncontrollably-every-day-at-3pm girl is also no longer with us, and I-can’t-believe-she-hasn’t-pulled-a-Columbine-yet girl appears to be on her way out, which will make me the senior employee in the office after little more than a year and a half of working here. Never in all the years I’ve spent working for mediocre small businesses have I seen employee turnover on this scale. Pretty amazing, really.

It occurred to me the other day that while you might not be able to determine a whole hell of a lot by watching a person exit a smelly bathroom, you can get a pretty good gauge on that person’s level of education. I had this realization last week, mere moments after Satan dropped a deuce in the office restroom. I wasn’t actually here when he was taking a shit, but my more-or-less average sense of smell was able to determine that, clearly, The Devil Himself had used our facilities. I walked into the bathroom, it smelled of sulphur and poo, I made the oh-my-god-I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-smelling face, took a piss, and left the bathroom, grateful my eyeballs hadn’t liquefied. Then, not a minute later, someone we’ll refer to as Beer Saves My Marriage walked into the restroom and immediately walked back out waving his arms and shouting, “GODDAMN! SOMEONE DROPPED A FUCKIN’ BOMB IN THERE! IT SMELLS LIKE FUCKIN’ SHIT!” and so on and so forth. And laughs-uncontrollably-every-day-at-3pm girl laughed her ass off, so he’ll do it again the next time it happens. This is why I don’t like positive reinforcement.

You know, people have been buying and selling homes in this country since day one, which would make you think there wouldn’t be so many surprises for first-time buyers. I’ve learned two things in the last couple months. One of those things I can’t really do anything about and having advanced knowledge of the other probably wouldn’t have changed anything anyway. That said, those two things are:

  1. Title transfers are public knowledge and every business in your area will know that you’ve just bought a house before you’ve had the chance to finish telling all your friends. This is especially true of life insurance companies. They really ought to warn neurotic people that when you buy a house you will literally receive over a hundred pieces of mail in the first month discussing what will happen if you die.
  2. You will go to Home Depot and you will spend lots and lots of money there. You’ll think you can control it but you can’t. Because the sink in the back bathroom has really shitty water pressure and needs a new aerator. And the wallpaper in the front bathroom is fucking butt ugly and you have to take care of that shit now. And the dumbasses that replaced the termite-damaged wood weren’t contracted to paint it, so fuck you, off to Home Depot you go. And it doesn’t matter if you hate Home Depot or not. You will go there and you will go there twice a week. Maybe until you die. And while you’re there you’ll walk down an isle and think to yourself, “Now that’s a kitchen sink” as though the kitchen sink you have is somehow inadequate, because you’re an impatient fucking idiot and you want your new home to be perfect. Right. Fucking. Now. There will be at least one cashier who looks at you and says, “Back again?” and you will feel The Shame but you won’t correct your behavior until the end of the month when you balance your checkbook and realize that even middle-aged people earning a decent income are sometimes forced to eat Top Ramen.

So, yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to. I’m writing this at the tail end of September, but it’ll probably be sometime in October before it gets published to the new site, which means that by the time you read this, it will already be old news.


Tim Hatch lives in a secret volcano headquarters somewhere in the South Pacific, where he controls the world economy and writes confessional poetry about his disappointing childhood.

His poetry has been published in MungBeing, East Jasmine Review, The Pacific Review, The Vehicle, Touch: The Journal Of Healing, Apeiron Review, and he is the recipient of the 2014 Felix Valdez Award.

He finds writing about himself in the third person to be an overtly seductive invitation to tell lies.

He once captured a French Eagle at Talavera.

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