Proletarian Crisis of Identity


“It gets easier”, as someone once told a young and lonely Wes Michael circa 2002.

It does?!

Every now and then, I’ll get thrown a bone. Career advancement welcomes me with open arms. Then I look at my bills. I see that I owe thousands of dollars to a  rehab facility where I nearly drowned in a hurricane. I also look at my fledgling and pointless writing career. My parents say “you’re 30 years old and went to college. Why do you live in a shithole?”. So I think “sure I can move up!”. But I’ve been down that road. It’s a road to nowhere.

At least nowhere I want to be.

Life doesn’t get easier. If people tell you that, they’re delusional. You only get used to it. You get used to the squalor…to the hopelessness. You learn to laugh at it.

You learn to embrace it.

Fighting it doesn’t make you better. You fight your neighbor, your friends. Life ceases to be a journey…it becomes a battle. Everyone’s your enemy. That’s what the virtue of free markets teach us. Want more. Do more. You might win, but everyone will hate you.

And you become a slave to your spoils.

At least that’s how I’ve rationalized it.

Pay bills? Or embrace the suck?

Don’t get me wrong…being poor sucks. But would I trade that in for the life of middle management, broken dreams, and a 401K? Unfortunately…yes.

In America, mediocrity always wins.

I almost have a career. My identity has been shaken.

My life has been governed by incompetence, disdain, underachievement, alcohol, and boredom. I’m a born loser. I define success by getting to work on time.

I need my bills. I need someone to say “you’re just not good enough”. What would I do if they said otherwise?

What would I be without misery?


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