The Loser Chronicles; I WANT YOU TO HURT LIKE (Part I)

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I WANT YOU TO HURT LIKE

Earl Petty Jr.

(Part 1 of 2)

So I was out on my ass again, no money, no job, no gas in the tank, no life, goddammit…

The unemployment part wasn’t the worst. I love the freedom, sleeping in, and the drinking at noon. What wrings the life out of me is the search for another job. I hate explaining how I need an extra three sheets of paper for the application to list all the jobs I’ve held in the last two years, why the list of my most recent five jobs only covers the last three months of my life, and that I’ve spent more days out of work than in it.

 

And if that doesn’t take the fuckin’ cake, I have to hang out at the unemployment office and watch a video tape (in English and Spanish) on how to fill out an application that’s already overloaded with useless instructions.

 

So I go to the Plasma Center and I get done filling out another personal history this time asking how risky my past sex life has been, (which informs me if you ever even thought about having sex with a homosexual interveinous drug user from and urban area whose had sexual contact with a prostitute from Haiti who had a blood transfusion you are lucky to be alive to fill out this damn form) only to be sent packing when I tell the eerie nurse who smells like kerosene and lemons that I had a sinister skull with one red eye tattooed on my right shoulder three months ago. She tells me I’ll have to wait another three months before I’ll be eligible to visit again. Possible exposure to hepatitis.

 

You know you are screwed when you can’t even sell your own blood.

 

Then I grab six disks constituting the remainder of my music collection and take them to the used CD shop where they are refused on sight – the pimply faced little counter girl won’t even pretend to look up a price on the computer. I take them to the pawnshop and the withered geezer at the filthy counter offers me a buck apiece. I do the math in my head. Six beers at happy hour. Not a bad trade.

 

So, I go home and dig through the rest of my possessions. I find three copies of Jay McInery’s Story of My Life I bought years ago at the “everything’s a buck” store because they were first editions. I open the covers on each and write, “Best Wishes, Jay,” in the most flamboyant hand I can muster. I figure an autographed first edition might be worth something. I take them to the used bookstore. The bloodless lady at the counter with the too tight bun in her hair offers me three bucks apiece. I take it. I couldn’t stomach any of the copies when I read them anyhow.

 

Nine dollars equals nine more beers. I’m a goddamned human calculator.

 

But now I’m tapped, my assets are entirely liquidated. The “everything must go” sale is over. No reasonable offer was refused.

 

Now I have no prospects. I’ve deeply betrayed so many employers in this town that I’m probably blackballed for life. I’m on everybody’s shit list. I’m a leper staggering through the streets screaming, “Unclean! Unclean!” so people will give me a wide berth and not contract what I have, a terminal case of evil luck.

 

What I decide I need to do is get out of town for a few days. Leave the bad karma golems behind, let them latch on to some other poor bastard and run him out of town.