West 34th: Chapter III

West 34th

I lost my job at the call center. Not much of a surprise: salesmen sell, and I couldn’t sell. It’s a relief, really. I felt like such a monster calling people in the middle of dinner to sell photo packages. Of course now I have no income and no idea what I’m going to do.

I had a date set up with Ellen. She said yes on Monday for Friday night. On Wednesday we talked on the telephone and she said she was going to have to make it a short dinner on Friday because her mom was in town. On Friday she called and said she had to cancel because her girlfriend was in town for a surprise visit, and it was also her grandmother’s funeral that night. I think she might have lied to me about some of this.

My toilet got fixed, and it worked for a while. Then it broke down again and the super is still dragging his feet getting it fixed. The piles of rotting garbage still block the sidewalks and the subways are still rank cesspools. The smell of this city and this apartment make me nauseous most days.

Here’s the thing that gets me about New York: I try to be a nice guy, but to live here you need to be an asshole. You need to be an asshole to make a living selling portrait packages, and you need to be a cold, calculated asshole with no sense of ethics to be good at it. You need to be an asshole to step over and around the winos on every sidewalk begging for change or a pop. You need to be an asshole to know where to cop dope. You need to be an asshole to get the super out to fix the toilet. And you need to be an asshole to set up a date and think she’ll want to keep it.

I don’t know if I can take it much longer. I’m trying, but it’s killing me. What am I doing in this shithole? I don’t belong here…

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13 comments
  1. A gripping life said:

    Just slightly depressing…
    A great start to the weekend! Haha!

    • Harrr! I figured you could use a week of bitter after all the sweet I’ve been churning out lately.

  2. There’s an intense black humor moment in “I think she might have lied to me about some of this.” Incredibly insightful and well written.

    • True story, unfortunately. Just substitute e-mail for phone.

  3. Maybe lied, some of it maybe. I love this story.

    • Possibly…perhaps a little white lie…

  4. This makes me sad. But it made me laugh too.

    There are people in NYC who aren’t assholes. They’re just not obvious because they’re not as loud and obnoxious. You have to rummage around to find them.

    • I think our protagionist definitely falls on the non-asshole side. *grin*

      Honored to have you here, Great Weebles, thanks.

      • Very glad to be here! I hope our protagonist meets some nicer people soon.

  5. Shahidah said:

    Okay. I want to know what is next for this guy. Totally feeling his angst.

    • hmmmmmm……

  6. There is a ray of light entering the window, maybe…
    robert

    • Hah! Yeah, I think you’re right.

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