Decade

Lately I do my best to avoid archival Facebook posts. There’s too much history there best left buried, but today I’m glad I peeked into the crypt. Down at the bottom of the ossuary, so deep below the bleached bones of long dead relationships I almost missed it, was a small messsage apparently unseen at the time of its posting. My pal Christopher wrote, “What up yo?” ten years ago today. I’d just finished my almost daily work lunch of ten Ritz crackers and two tablespoons of Jif (the wrong way to pronounce gif) peanut butter when I noticed it and replied, “Not much.”

I yelled to Christopher, who was seated behind me in his office, and explained the situation. He pledged to reply in ten years. I’d place my bet on the collapse of civilization before then, and I’d almost prefer it to twenty years of Facebook. Still, I’d miss his reply, and that’s something to look forward to.

Where the magic happens.

Ten years ago, George W. Bush was in office and I’d been working here for about a year. Michael Jackson, David Bowie, and Prince were alive. So was my father. I was on my first marriage and would be for three more years. I usually don’t talk about that, because it’s ancient history, but how many lifetimes ago was it? Three? Four?

Ten years ago I wouldn’t be a dad for five more years. Ten years ago I thought it was still okay to call things gay, and I definitely wasn’t referring to actual sexuality or the 1890s. I hadn’t been to Alaska, Mexico, France, or the UK. I’d never been to civil court, which was fun, and I’m not talking about divorce (although that was a wild ride as well).

Did you know you can sue someone over some land they never owned, represent yourself in court, and be allowed to cross examine the defendant with nonsense questions for way too long before the judge stops you? You’ll definitely lose, but if you really want to ruin someone’s fucking day/week/month and you have the time, go for it.

Christopher just read aloud the financial report from last quarter. The company cited Adele’s disappointing sales and coloring books (we always miss the tail end of a fad, see also: Sudoku) for our most disappointing holiday season since 2005. Civilization may survive, and Facebook along with it, but Amalgamated Books & Coffee, Inc.? Doubtful. I blame Adele for a helluva lot of things, but our downfall isn’t one of them. The billion dollar e-reader debacle was full-blown cancer. We’re in remission now, but we may not last ’til the current administration has time to cause an economic flu epidemic.

I’m severely tempted to outline the thousand cuts that’ve bled us dry, but it wouldn’t make much sense in this format. Some of the issues are simple enough, but others are such a Catch-22 style clusterfuck that even I barely understand them. Such things are best left for a corporate post-mortem book, which you’ll have to get on Amazon along with all the board games and shitty romance titles we don’t carry.

I hope I’m here in ten years, but my headache and heart rate say, “Mmmmm, it’s a possibility!” in Mel Blanc’s 1940s Bugs Bunny voice, you know, back when he was still shooting dogs in the mouth. Nothing’s ever quite as funny as it was.

If fate grants us, and me, a reprieve, I hope I’m at least tapping this out from the office (or an office) instead of writing it on my lunchbreak and proofreading it while I take a piss. It’ll be much more sanitary, and I won’t have to keep flushing every time someone walks in. It’s easier than saying, “Don’t mind me. I’m not masturbating, I’m working on my blog.”

“Dude,” they’d reply. “You should have said you were masturbating.”