The Cold Stench of Complete and Utter Failure

December 2014

In recent months, in order to save money, I decided to move upstate to the country in order to save money for a potential big move next year. Thus far, it has proven to be nothing but trouble, a failed exercise on my part due to poor spending habits and a lack of proper planning. I can blame myself for that one.

The most frustrating aspect of where I live is that I still work in the city and inevitably am forced to commute by bus a few days a week. The journey typically takes around two or so hours depending on the bus I take, but sometimes, on occasions like the one I experienced on Wednesday, can take far longer.

This past Wednesday, a complete asshole of a nor’easter positively slapped both the city and the area where I live. This was one of the days I was scheduled to be at my office for mandatory meetings, so I had to suck it up and make the trip. Starting with my 4AM wake up time, the day from Hell began its ill-mannered and violent choke hold on all of my hopes and dreams.

After having an absolutely crappy and long day at work, I left the office promptly at 5pm to catch my bus, which I made just barely. The snow had already begin to pile up in Manhattan, which meant it would be even worse up in the boonies. What normally should’ve been a two hour ride turned into a five hour expedition, riddled with what can only be described as a smorgasbord of near-death experiences as the bus repeatedly skidded out and nearly hit guardrails, inanimate objects, and other vehicles.

By the time that I arrived home at around 10:15pm, I was nearly in tears. I was exhausted, I was cranky and, most of all, I was painfully hungry. Needless to say, the only thing I wanted to do was eat. That, and booze. And not just regular “getting tipsy with dinner” boozing. I wanted to get rip-roaring, fall down, ripped to the core drunk. It was on.

So after experiencing the wonderful feeling of being able to take off my pants, I walked passionately and determinedly toward my refrigerator, made myself a sandwich, and poured myself a large glass of wine. To paint the picture of how much red wine was in this glass, I emptied half the bottle into this thing. And I was prepared to finish it.

This was it. This was all I had left. This sandwich and my wine were the last sliver of hope I had to have even a remotely redeemable day, one that didn’t make me feel like I was completely wasting my life. I had trekked over 200 miles and spent 8 hours in total commuting time on top of a 9 hour work day for this very moment.

I walked over to my table, placed the plate atop it, set my wine glass down, and took a seat upon the old wicker chair that had been sitting at the table since my grandfather bought it in the 1960’s. The chair had seen better days for sure.

Seconds after sitting down, wine glass in hand, I heard the chair make the unmistakable “thhhhhhh” sound that signified that something terrible was about to happen.

All in one horrifyingly painful motion, the weight of my fat ass completely eliminated any capacity for weight bearing that this old chair had left in it, and the weathered piece of furniture completely collapsed beneath me, sending me crashing to the floor, red wine spilling all over, and shards of wicker scattering the site of the collapse, some of which scratched my tired pasty ass.

So there it was, my one shot at redemption, the one thing I had left, the only thing that could’ve made me feel even remotely like a person again, like my life had meaning, manifested in a pile of shattered wicker and red wine in front of my living room table.

I left the scene as it was and went to bed to return in the morning to a reminder to never commute in the snow again.


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