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Jeremy, Pivot: Initializing Oneself

May 19, 2017

After a day or two of self-pity and quiet brooding, Jeremy finds himself with very little in his pocket. His Mother’s insurance check was able to keep him out of the red for a very long time, and the payments for their house were somewhat minimal, but drunken night after drunken night Jeremy’s accounts dwindled. Staring at his account balance, Jeremy should be more embarrassed for what he sees, but he is not. The house payment is coming up in 2 weeks, this week he gets paid, and next week he‘d like to eat after he’d paid his bills. Unprepared for what’s to come- with nobody to turn to. He‘s too embarrassed to ask Shannon for help. Also, to Jeremy, she had done too much for him from the get-go. He ponders his options for a moment, checks and rechecks his receipts and bills, and finally, comes up with the amount of money he needs to cover every bill and groceries. Staring down at this number, he shutters. It’s not that much, but it’s a lot to ask for, granted he had accounted for some alcohol intake during this time. Just needing $250.00, well less than that really, he looks around to his options. His first act of responsibility was to collect cans and bottles, in his house they were strewn about the place. Lying to himself, he feels that his laziness was some sort of survival mechanism. So, he checks every nook and cranny of his place. After filling up several bags, he completes one last search throughout the house. Discovering 4 more bottles of Bud Light and 9 cans of Tecate he thinks to himself, Tecate? When did this happen?

Once he completed collecting large bags full of his sins, he walks out of the front door to toss them into his car. Less than 4 minutes later 6 bags completely cover up his view of the rear windshield, however driving safely had never been high on Jeremy’s priority list.

Locking the door to his house after loading the last 2 bags in his car he turns around and yells, “WHAT THE FUCK!” The sound of his pettiness echoes in the neighborhood. His front driver side tire was flat. Jeremy hardly remembered getting home last night, yet he always felt that he would have remembered, at the least, hitting something. It was almost 4 O’clock at this time, so he went in search of his spare, jack, and tire iron. After searching for several minutes, he spends the next hour figuring out how to raise the car, take off the tire, and then replace the tire with a bald spare. All the while, he curses to himself. As he curses, he accounts for another 40 dollars for a used tire. Angrily he hopes that the cans and bottles cover more than he expects.

Once complete with his task, he throws the tire iron into his trunk and leaves his withered tire on the side of his house as he takes off to the recycling center. The way to this center was not far, but his cursing and angry yelling didn’t stop once he realized that he needs gas as well. Going down the list in what seemed to be in alphabetic order, he finally returns home with 83 dollars. Well over the amount he expected. Now, where to find 167 more dollars? He thinks to himself as he closes the door to his house behind him.

“OK,” Jeremy says to himself, “I need $167.00… I guess I don’t need electricity. I owe them…” He looks through his bills to find his electric bill. “$40.00.” After saying this, he stopped in his tracks… “Fuck.” He mutters to himself as he thinks, Why couldn’t it have been more? “OK, 127 dollars…” After a short pause, he notices his phone. “Alright, I can not pay this thing.” He states with confidence. This goes on until he justifies leaving himself about $40.00 to himself, which he should turn to food, but fails. “I don’t fucking need this shit.” He says several times throughout the night as he downs some cheap whiskey that he found in an old cupboard. It never struck him that it was his Father’s, nor did he care. All he wanted was to not think about anything. So, he drank what was left of the bottle, which was a bit pungent, and went to bed.

Jeremy had an odd dream that night. He was in his house alone, and out of nowhere, the TV turned on by itself. He, now, is holding the remote with 3 buttons on it. It says; less, favorable, and Favorite. As if they were all different channels, he could see each of his old friends on the TV screen: Jacob, Mike, and even Lexie. Not necessarily pressing the buttons in the order they appear on the remote, but in the order that they are closest to his thumb, Jeremy starts by pressing Favorable. That’s when Jacob appears sitting at what looked like a bar in Washington DC, he was surrounded by other Marines. They all seemed to talk to each other with pride and respect, something Jeremy has never had. By Pressing Less Mike appears in what looks like a gated community dressed as a security guard. He walks around in a place that seems to have no history of mischief. Jeremy thought, how boring, but during this time Mike wrote down notes on a small pad of paper that he kept on him. He was writing a book, about a security guard no doubt, writers always seem to write all about themselves. Jeremy thought as he turned his view towards Lexie. She was helping her Mother hobble to the coach, where she will eventually fall asleep. Lexie lovingly puts a blanket over her and slightly rubbed her shoulder. She sadly meandered into her room where she sat down and tried to do homework; apparently, she was still in school. The TV is now starting to get a little bit static-y, and Jeremy could barely read what text book she was studying from. The book is a drug counseling book. Feeling as if he contributed somewhat to her interest, Jeremy drops the remote, and the TV immediately turns off. He gets up and, in a sulking manner, walks towards the TV just to touch it. This is when the ground begins to shake. As cliché as it sounds, the walls slowly dissolve into the floor and so does everything in the house. He runs manically to his room to grab something important, just to find that there is nothing that he has that he cares about. As if out of the ether of the night, a warm feeling is felt on the back of Jeremy’s neck. He turns around to find himself in the middle of a desert with a large sun emerging through vacating clouds. There is not a plant, animal, road, or hill in the vicinity. The entire area is as flat as the eye can see, and oddly enough the heat of the sun was not too bright nor too cold. In fact, it seemed room temperature, and he felt no need for water or food.

Turning his head towards every direction he could think of, Jeremy found not a thing beyond the horizon. Figuring that it wouldn’t matter which step he took, he just started walking forward. At least I was facing this direction when I got here, he thought in some sort of careless solace. As he walks, there seems to be no end to this journey. Nothing to look forward to, it all seems the same. Hours slowly pass by, and he never feels closer to any goal, only farther and farther. Shit, I should have gone in the other direction, he thinks to himself as the thought of turning around and walking a few hours just to be back where he started seemed to make no sense. The thought of food and water, again, never occurred to him as he walked, however, how tiresome he got from a seemingly blank horizon humiliated him. This forced him to stop walking.

“DA FUCK!” He yells at the sky, luke warm sun, and the horizon. The sun hung in the same position as when he arrived in this wasteland. “This is fucking bullshit!” He stops walking and falls to his knees. He pouts for a second as he gently allows himself to lie down in the sand. “I fucking hate whiskey…” he says to himself as he tilts his head sideways and squints past the sun. Off in the distance to the right, there seems to be a small hacienda. Surprised and excited Jeremy hops to his feet and starts to run in that direction. As he runs the Hacienda seems to sink off away behind the horizon, as opposed to coming closer. After noticing this happening, Jeremy slows to a halt and frowns at the distance. “Son of a Bitch.” Scowling as hard as he can, with his furrowed brow twitching to keep itself in place, Jeremy looks around once again to all the different directions. In each direction; North, East, South, and West; there seems to be a City or Town. However, as he walks towards one specific direction that City or Town disappears in the distance and another one seems closer from a random opposing direction.

This was when he noticed two signs, which seemed to have popped up out of nowhere. One was a Stop sign, and the other was a billboard. Where’d the fuck did these come from? He thought to himself. The stop sign had graffiti that said Please in nice calligraphy letters above the word stop. The billboard was still a great distance away, and it said in huge letters next to a crying baby’s face, If you don’t want to have the baby, then use a condom. Right after the moment of understanding what the billboard said, Jeremy’s head got heavy. He felt tired, his eyes started to act un-accordingly, and he began to cry uncontrollably. His head didn’t hurt, but it throbbed. The throbbing went along with his quick pacing heart. His breathing became more and more fast and inefficient. Jeremy fell to his knees and then to his side, where he curled up into the fetal position. With every breath his brain felt bigger and his skull smaller, which caused him to shiver in a fever. As he looked around in an odd feeling without pain, he looked and saw the Stop sign once again. The sign no longer said, Please, above it, now it said in graffiti, Why and Now, with a question mark after the word Now. The words start to haunt Jeremy.

“I CAN’T!” Jeremy yells.

“Why Stop Now?” the wind seems to say in his ear.

“FUCK YOU!” Jeremy says, now feeling some sickening pain when all of a sudden he vomits. The brown liquid hurls out of his mouth and across Jeremy’s bedroom. He’s now at home, awake and it’s 10 AM. After finding his way to the bathroom, he won’t be able to stop vomiting and dry heaving for the next few hours. Luckily for him, he works at 4 O’clock today.

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