I should like to suggest we start each day with a touch of nihilism. I find myself most adept at managing my day when I wake up and question my breakfast, what it stands for, who it works for. This starts out as skepticism but turns nihilistic when I realize I have been questioning my breakfast, which, in the end, is futile. I suggest you try it, though. Is your breakfast really attempting to nourish you, or is he really just trying to extend your subsistence, ever dependent on subsidy milk from regulated cows? Then decide how much you care about your subsistence. Believe me, it works.
Next, I’d like you to get into the shower. Not because you need to be clean, but because it feels good. Go dip yourself into what is the most mismanaged renewable resource on our planet for a bit. Let it dampen your hair. Let it tickle your tits, if you’ve got them, and tell me how that feels. I don’t know how it feels and I never will, but at this point in my shower I’ve already decided that doesn’t matter. I want you to ask your body wash what he’s doing in there. I want you to hold him accountable to his sulfates. If he doesn’t talk, squeeze him by the neck a bit, choke some fluids out of him, then bathe in them. Your shampoo, your face wash, your toothpaste, your conditioner – ask them, and yourself, how truly beneficial your relationship is. Ask them why they dress themselves in often-unrecyclable mixed plastics. Tell them you demand answers, then remember that all the while, you’ve just wasted gallons of what some little child just missed out on.
Exit the shower and look at the foggy clock that hangs in your bathroom. Acknowledge to the clock that you have not cared enough about this one to set it completely properly, and confess that it has been ticking a lie. The clock will argue back and say he’s close enough, but you know that he’s two minutes behind, and you account for this every time you look at him, and you get anxious because you know his inaccuracy only serves to further remind you how you wake up ten minutes too late every day.
As you helplessly waste your precious morning moments trying to wipe the dew off of your bathroom mirror, remember that you are looking at yourself much more critically than any of your critics. Your boss will not notice your new lipstick because your boss will barely even notice you unless you wore the right color of lipstick to your interview. Remember that your job doesn’t matter anyway, which is important, because if it were, that would make your boss important. Your boss, however, never talks about his home life at work because it is his greatest misery, and in the vain attempt to be optimistic about life, he has conditioned himself into a luxury sedan that whispers positive messages through an audio system designed to scream. He goes home and cries, just like everyone else. He gets furious about how his employees just don’t get it, much how you get furious about how your boss is so inept. He was staring in the mirror, too, thirty minutes ago, but he gets to work early. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t know what else would make him the boss.
You’ve now managed to toy with the ideas of eating real food, ditching your sulfate shower gels, and not reporting to work, but you know that it is not your best option because Margaret.
Margaret is your favorite coworker because she says funny shit sometimes, the kind of funny shit that could get you fired within minutes, whereas any performance-related shit would take you months to get fired. Margaret is just about to eat her breakfast because she usually eats breakfast right after the shower, but she optimistically has decided a bowl of muesli will keep death away, which is good, because for all the funny shit Margaret says, she will never understand the importance of holding your shower gels accountable, and she will never start her day with a bit of nihilism.
It’s now time for you to get into your car. You loved your car for about the first five weeks of owning, but then started noticing the things that you did not like about it. Car manufacturers know better than to perfect their craft; you don’t know better than to keep buying new ones. Your next-door neighbor has one that is two years newer, which makes you feel inadequate, but he bought his because yours had made him feel inadequate, and this cycle will continue until you move into a neighborhood where everyone’s car is so much nicer than the rest of the world that you don’t care about model years any longer. You are about fifteen minutes behind comfortably arriving with a moment to spare, which means you will pace yourself at that four-miles-per-hour sweet spot where you know you will not get pulled over for speeding, but you have deemed the best way to take more than you deserve from the road. You are still going to arrive later than you should, but Margaret will arrive even later than you, and your boss, who actually was looking at newspaper ads for firearms while drinking his morning coffee, thinks Margaret would be the first head to pop. This gives him a grin he can’t explain, and a guilt that secures her position.
You sit down at your desk, and you know that you will spend the next eight to nine hours working with minimal efficiency, lauding yourself each time you have a gust of productivity. Your productivity will be measured in three months. Your boss will be deeper in his firearm fantasy than any of you will ever know. You know now that you will then know nothing you didn’t know at this point, and you will contemplate going rogue by reading a book or finding a new fitness center to show the world who’s who, to really stick it to the man, to really up the ante on your breakfast cereal, because as a well-conditioned adult, you daydream often and wake up each morning knowing not what you thought for the last six hours of sleep. This leaves you lethargic, and sometimes you even wake up feeling a bit nihilistic.