It's -really fucking early- here, just after 4:00 am. I've been up for a bit, just reading news sites and such, playing with my rats, Buford and Enos. If I am not careful, the little bastards will take a nibble at an extended finger. I've one more day to myself, then it is back to the salt mine.
Christian, I will tell you this: I came to the realization a while ago that my job is just that: a job. Initially, it offered the satisfaction and excitement that only a new job can, and in Atlanta, while the policing was constant and rocking, I was even then beginning to suspect that it was a merely a means to an end. What end, sadly, has escaped me. I would leave my job tomorrow if only I had something to replace it with. In this economy, only the stupid man quits a $30-an-hour job with no other prospects on hand, and my writing and my business project in Brazil are far off.
The saddest thing is that I've become content, for lack of a better word. My job is easy and apart from that whole 'might get killed' thing, it's relatively un-eventful. I go in and collect a paycheck. And unfortunately, it's a pretty damn good one. While I understand the importance of taking drunk drivers off the road (by far our most arrests), I cannot see that as 'crime-fighting.' There's not much mental stimulation in my job, and worse still, I find myself surrounding by, and indeed following the orders of, dullards and sycophants; men who routinely, and with a completely straight face, say things like "Obama isn't an American," "Obama is trying to destroy this country," and "Obama is a practicing Muslim."
It does drain one's energy.
At this time, I'm just biding my time. But for what, I have not determined. I need to come up with a plan, a project, something to make the mental juices start flowing again, get my mind working. I've sank into dullard-dom myself. Don't get me wrong, there are a few guys here who are bright and think beyond the uniform, but...well...hell, you know. I need to find something To Give A Shit About, something worth doing. A woman called me the other night. A woman I took to the hospital on a mental hold because she drank a magnum of wine and ate a fistful of pills. She called me to say "thank you."
I'd like to say I was touched and all that, but the truth is, it was just my job and I did it with all my efficiency and professionalism as I have, but I did it without concern. If saving someone's life doesn't make it worth doing, what other possible job could I get that could provide any satisfaction?
Of course work is no fun, not fulfilling. It's not supposed to be fun and fulfilling. I do it because it pays well and I have as good of a work schedule as a man could want. I have a friend, he lives in Austin, Texas. He's an engineer, making probably in excess of $200,000 a year. You know, one of those jobs you write the alumni magazine about.
He is also a fairly accomplished yachtsman. I have tried, on more than one occasion, to get him to go in with me on a bare-boat rental in the gulf or somewhere to drift around on the water for a fortnight. He never goes. And he will never go. He gets two weeks off per year. A scant 14 days to call his own. When I showed him my schedule, this man, who is probably going to be a millionaire if he isn't one already, called -me- 'lucky.' Therein lies the rub. As bad as I have got it, I've got it pretty good.
I am sorry that you are lonely, my friend. I think that is the curse of most men, some of them are just good at blinding themselves to it with other things, family, church, social activities. You've got an enviable life, one that most men, mired in their quiet desperation, could never have. You've gone to amazing places, seen amazing things, and there is beauty and value in that. Revel in your time abroad, because there will come a time when you will return and things will settle. Idaho will always be here; Esto perpetua, you know. And while I would love to have you near to share a pint and some laughter, don't be too hasty in your decision to return. That said, what can I do to help? After this whole bankruptcy business is behind me, I expect that I will have a more positive outlook and will start to open my eyes again to travel and adventure.
I hope that your flight was pleasant and your return to the island was auspicious and you found a warm homecoming. Let me know when you get settled back in and I will continue to keep you posted about on-goings here. We -need- to get together and plan something monstrous before we die.
Let's start a war.