Listen: I have to get out of this city. It is killing me in a soft and ghostly way. This place sucks, man. I walk out my front door and I have zero curiosity about what lies beyond the places I go To Do Stuff (work, grocery store, et cetera). There is no going back to Austin. It is overrun and expensive and not at all the same as it was when I lived there. I have no home on the East Coast anymore, and no desire to be over there. The Bay is prohibitively expensive. And on and on.

I have received a few emails recently about jobs I applied for, all of them saying, more or less: “We like you, but unfortunately your application is not being considered for the next round.” I can never make it to that final round, man.

With the exception of one or two of my friends, the rest of my friends are all stuck in the same shit situation. Which is to say: having catastrophically bland and unfulfilling / low-paying jobs, perpetually being broke, mired in a deep depression bordering on total hopelessness, and a lack of enjoyment from the things we actually do like and find joy in!! ;-(

These are all smart and talented people. Why does it have to be like this? It can’t just be us that’s the problem. There are external forces at play that are much more powerful than our worthless efforts for a better life. Perhaps we live in an overcrowded world with too few good jobs to go around . . . not to mention we are living in the final days of the American Empire! Oh baby!! Oh baby baby.

I work full-time and I’m lucky to have ten bucks left over at the end of the month. Think about that! That’s not even an exaggeration. Even one of my paychecks isn’t enough to cover my rent. If one small unforeseen crisis were to emerge in my life, I would face total financial ruin. And have!

I didn’t move to this city because I thought it was cool (it’s not (at all))—I moved here to save money and to sometimes feel all right. Hell, that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, near as I can tell. All I can do is take care of my body and take care of my cat and hope to God one of these companies emails me back. Most of them don’t even do that. It’s not so much getting to the final round that’s difficult . . . it’s getting someone to acknowledge you at all. Hah!