it’s a living #11



Grab N’ Go Gas Station, a capitalist machine. i’m not 100% sure what’s up with capitalism but i think it has to do with this hole that digs deeper in my chest as i stand behind the counter and listen to tinny synthpop:


persistent, infuriating

i don’t hate it, but i hate it’s constance.

like a migrain.

that’s a bad metaphor, because i do hate migrains.

and capitalism.


i don’t know.

deana said to write.

so i’m writing

i think.

just, whatever comes to mind, she said.

i had this high school english teacher who used to have us do this thing called freewriting. she’d give us a word or a phrase and we had to write about it, just go and go and go, until she told us to stop. maybe i should try that. don’t stop, don’t think. not thinking is what got me into all this shit to begin with, but who knows. well, i guess me, historically.

generous. that’s the word. don’t stop until a customer comes in.


the word’s been cycling through my head all day. you know when words do that? there’s a collection of syllables sitting up there, without their original meaning or attachment, like they’re waiting for their asigned seating. i had to asign it meaning eventually, cause it was getting annoying to have the word floating around up there without a purpose.

i’ve been wondering if generosity really exists, if people will actually do something just because it would help someone else. it seems like there’s always going to be at least a small part of you that wants to do it because it’ll make you feel better about yourself, right? like i know deana wants to help me, but also, she’s got her own issues. she’s got a guilt complex and i don’t think she has a lot of self-worth. so maybe some of it is her trying to alleveate that. i mean, i’m a good candidate, right? random kid with no connection to anyone else she knows, would probably be homeless and/or dead without her. that’s a hell of a drug for someone who wants to feel important.

i used to think my dad was really generous. he gave a lot of money to a lot of causes, and never really boasted about it. the only reason I knew about it was because he would make me help with bills and shit at the end of every month. wow, I always thought. what a generous guy.

and then I learned there was a difference between financial and ideological generosity. my dad has the first in spades. the second he’s still working on.


the ironic thing right now, of course, is that i’m being  incredibly ingenerous in my descriptions of them, as if i’m any better. let me be clear, if someone 100 years from now has found this notebook and has gotten farther than the first three words, that i am not better than deana. i’m probably not even better than my dad, and he’s a homophobic asshole. and he likes capitalism, probably. i’ve never asked him, but he seems like he would. pull yourself from your bootstraps and all that.

i don’t know why i’m stuck on capitalism today. it’s not the first thing that should come to mind when i’m supposed to be writing about generosity.

do you still have capitalism in 100 years? do you still have homophobia?

i assume after a century we’ll either be living in a dystopia or a utopia. it could go either way at this point, but my money’s on some hunger games shit for sure.

hey, person in 3018, if you ARE living some dystopian horror, would you mind travelling back in time and letting me know that i don’t have it so bad? just pop your head through a portal or some shit and say, “so what if your dad’s an asshole? at least you’re not being hunted by the government for harboring sugar rations and sentient android” or whatever.

generosity seems to have been a bad word to choose. i’ve got a way of

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I'm Em/Herb. MFA Student, fiction writer. Find me on Twitter @masteremdash if you're into gays yelling at the void.

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