The welfare office has something in common with any other epicenter of redtape, being that the employees want to shoot everyone, including themselves. The difference is that at the welfare office, this is probably a good idea--a Darwinist service to society and I'm ready not to make the cut because the waiting alone is going to kill me anyway. So, I hope they do it, starting at the people ahead of me if this line is ever going to move. But alas, nobody shoots anything in these handout places but dirty glances. Damned leftist-pussies.
Last I left off about the welfare office, I was waiting around. Just like now. But hey, who's complaining? Well, actually I am, aren't I. In fact, that's what this blog is I guess--county check bitching. That's right, it's not a commentary on society or the process of the welfare system, nor is it about the tiers of our urban society and all the cracks at the bottom of the melting pot from where it all plummets, somewhere off west Pico Boulevard where this is actually the Beverly Hills of welfare offices, oxymoron or not.
Nope, I think this blog is really about what a shitty thumb-twiddler I am. No wonder I am such an unskilled worker that I end up here throwing away jobcorps pamphlets like everyone else in the place. I can't take it. I do not have the attention span for any sort of office; I am like everyone else.
All around me, people are bumping 50 cent booty-wack jams from their cellphones, while some bald guy in a starched tshirt is eying his worker's butt and singing along. I need a break. Time for some risks: I put it all on the red number nine of the waiting game, chancing missing my shot, and then I head across the street to the donut shop.
I feel guilty, but not like any other time I'm in a donut shop and checking my sides for newly grown tires. I feel guilty as if my worker is going to catch me eating, paying for things at the counter--with money, that I clearly have--buying some sugar high right off the corner like an irresponsible wretch. But don't judge me! I promise that I can't afford a donut, because i can't. But coffee, man, that I can splurge for. Forgive me, I am only what my mammy and my uncle-sammy made me.
There's something funny about the establishments located in the periphery of the welfare office. And that is, well, that they are located in the periphery of the welfare office. I'd never noticed this before when I passed these corners. I'd never had the wisdom that comes with carrying a huge cardboard number around with me so that I won't forget that they will 'soon' be calling me. It's a number too big for pockets, so that all the shopowners know right away that I'm one of them. Yeah, what happens in this vicinity is a huge version of us vs. them across the counters of any and all local business establishments.
In the donut shop, I watch across the rainbow sprinkles and hearty twists and I have fantasies. Ones where I buy by the dozens and never change a pants size. But that is in another place. In this place, I see an altercation immediately and I can't even tell which person in front of me is the asshole here. Is it the lady with the yellow-white ponytail and a face that looks like dried apricots? OR is it the woman behind the counter with a double-stacked chipwich on her shoulder? In all fairness, they both seem so equally awful. The customer won't shut-up about the simplest transaction. The counterwoman is yelling at her.
By the time the change-counting is over, I have somehow convinced myself that I deserve a single donut hole, even if it means I have to walk the extra mile that will come if I can't afford the bus transfer. In terms of bodyfat, it sounds like a good trade. I feel justified, like I don't care if my worker sees me now anyway. Besides, the coffee is only 75 cents, which until I find out that a cup of it is more like a tablespoon of diluted urine, sounds like a great deal--kinda like bumming around for a shot at free medical insurance at the welfare office.
But I am pissing off counterpeople everywhere. "ONE donut hole? who wants ONE donut hole? there is no ONE donuthole. I think you mean SIX donutholes"
I'm confused and ashamed: I'm pretty sure that I only wanted one, but I have a welfare ticket so maybe I don't know what I'm doing. I start to retreat. LIke, maybe I was kidding. But this one ain't done with me. "ONE? Who wants ONE?"
Look, forget the donutholes. I don't want any. Please, forget it ever happened. Oh, but if I could only go back to where we started. Man, I'm so jarred by my mistake--by my underestimation of the holes that I am capable of--that I get my coffee, try not to gag on it, and then sit down with my book so that I may enjoy the worst cup of coffee I have had since I nuked the last of my nescafe for the third time which was actually pretty recent, but I think you get the point.
Within moments, she is yelling at the next customer. He doesn't smell like liquor, yet for some reason, I am certain that he is drunk. Eventually, he tires of her rude blurts and says "Dang, woman!"
At this point, I am looking for togetherness anywhere I can get it. I am familar with the us vs. them ; I know on which side of the counter I sit. I say, meekly, softly, seriously, "I know. She's kinda mean, huh."
There is strength in numbers. My statement incites full on mutiny and the man starts to fume--no, not of booze, but of anger. Once he starts mentioning that he is going to come back there with his belt if she doesn't back off and learn how to wait--the way we do in America, lady, well, that's enough for me. I am appalled by what I just incited, and within seconds, I am outside at the stoplight, guilt-rattled by what I'd instigated. But the consequences always come. I look to the right and see the dude is now beside me, donut in hand, swaying it brazenly toward the welfare building where we walk--together?
"Why, hello there," he says, smoother than southern comfort. "Look, I am looking for me a strong, real, good woman...are you ready?"
The stoplight turns green. I get set and go. And then I answer him resolutely "Absolutely not. I am not ready for you."
I beat him back to the building. Within the hour, they call me and I meet my worker. I did the right thing, there are no crumbs from any holes on my face. I only worry about the bad taste from the coffee.