My wife woke me up this morning at the early hour of ten a.m. She told me that she wanted to take me out for breakfast. I tried to be polite and say that she did not have to pay, but after a minimal struggle I decided to relent and let her buy me breakfast. I climbed out of bed, put on a cap, changed into something comfortable and we headed out into the cold morning.
I noticed a small itch in the back of my throat and hoped that it was not an impending sickness. I watched the gray building pass by as my wife drove to a particular restaurant she likes in downtown Oakland. I had not much to say on the drive to breakfast and admittedly told her I was feeling a bit low and under the weather. Being that my wife still experiences the good health which is the result of being in your twenties, she always seemed to be in good spirits.
We sat in a corner where a hint of sunlight made its way through the white blinds. The restaurant was recently opened and celebrated the roaring 1920’s with its Art Nouveau style and elegant old world charm. I ordered scrambled eggs with sausages and my wife ordered eggs and toast. To drink we ordered fresh squeezed orange juice. We where unusually silent staring at everything other than one another. There was only a few other costumers in the restaurant and I could feel a pressure between my wife and I that was soon to come undone.
My wife then cleared her throat and said, “Look I am feeling the need to talk with you about certain things.” “Okay honey, please,” I said welcoming any form of communication. She was hesitant and then began “well…I am worried about you.” “You are worried about me?” I asked- trying to pretend that I was surprised about such a statement. I was not surprised at all.
“Yeah, I am worried. Don’t you have a feeling that anything is wrong?” “What, could be wrong?” I responded feigning a false ignorance. I knew that a lot is wrong. “Look, in the past week you have been experiencing frightening heart symptoms, you have tried to have sex with me in your sleep and you have been sleep walking again, you sit around the house all day doing and saying very little, you are running out of money and are a unemployed high school Teacher with so much talent…. and, and.. last night you were all most arrested while taking a walk and I have noticed that you have been depressed. I feel like something energetically is off with you….and I am concerned.” Then she went silent and seemed to be thinking of other things to add to her list.
I did not know how to respond. Being a male it seems as if some innate mechanism within me wants to deny being helpless at whatever cost. Most males deny their helplessness by gaining wealth and/or power, by over working themselves- but I had and have very little to cover up my helplessness other than a straight silent face.
“I mean common honey none of what is going on with you concerns you? Don’t you feel like you need to take a good look at your life and make some effective decisions that will allow you to make positive changes…so that you can be happy?”
Of-course everything that my wife was saying was accurate. I could not disagree with her but something inside of me wanted to resist her argument. I wanted to say that everything would be okay and not to worry, but I was unable to mumble this obvious delusion. So all I could muster up from the depths of my soul was “things are difficult now, I know…but it only temporary.”
I have $2,400 dollars left in my bank account and no prospects of a job lined up on the horizon. Yesterday I went for a job interview as a drug and alcohol counselor but it is my belief that I sabotaged the interview by wearing jeans and asking the panel interviewing me, “so there is not much bureaucracy in this job is there?” They did not know how to respond. When one person on the panel asked me how my parents would describe me I said, “a nice kid, but a big disappointment.” The interview only lasted twenty five minutes.
“How did the job interview go yesterday?” my wife asked me. “I’d rather not talk about it,” I said staring down at the white table cloth. The waitress came with our food and kindly asked us if we would like anything else. I smiled at her and told her we were fine, “thank you.” As I watched her walk away I felt a chill run up my spine when the thought came into my mind that if I did not find a job soon I was going to have to return to the work of being a Waiter. I did this job (which almost always left me feeling like I had been dragged behind a car across asphalt for hours) for many years and I AM TERRIFIED OF HAVING TO RETURN to this world of contrived smiles and disappointed dreams.
“How are your eggs?” my wife asked me. “They are good, how about yours?” “They’re a little under cooked and soggy, but it’s okay,” she said while chewing her food. “Sorry about that,” I said not knowing if I really meant it- and we continued to eat the rest of our breakfast in silence.