Sometimes I think my life isn’t real, like I’m living in some version of The Matrix. Or The Truman Show. I’d say I’m cursed, but that’s just crazy. I say this because some things that happen to me are usually so completely ridiculous that I fail to see how it’s not simulated reality. I can’t even get a drink without things happening. It’s the reason this blog seems to be fast turning into a collection of reasons why I don’t like leaving the comfort of my bed. Sometimes I push myself to try something new, but I’m almost always reminded why I’m better off just staying indoors and studying Jerry Seinfeld. If you like coherence and hate digression, click here.
A couple of days ago, I got in touch with someone and we set up a meeting for an early morning within the week. I won’t say what the meeting was all about, but it should be obvious. There’s only a few things that can get me to go outside at certain hours.
The person said I should dress officially for the meeting. I found it laughable that he thought he could get me to leave the house before noon and wear a suit. I left the house that morning dressed casually, except for my shoes. I wore what would go with a suit, because I was trying to make it look like I had at least tried to dress officially.
Supplementary gibberish: It felt strange. This was expected, considering this was the first time I was wearing non-sneaker shoes this year. But the strangest thing of all was how much I seemingly blended into the crowd. I didn’t get any of the negative attention I’m so used to. No random security checks. No police officers with guns in hand following me and trying to make it look like they aren’t. No random person arguing with me in Arabic. No mothers fleeing with their babies. Not a single SWAT team rappelling into a bus from the roof whenever I reach into my pockets. It made me feel great. This one time I was standing at a bus stop, and a police car stopped near where I was, and none of them even noticed me. I felt proud of my country that morning, but then I started thinking. I looked exactly the same as I did every other day, except for my shoes. This drove me to the conclusion that people in this country are racist against Nike and Converse. What did Chuck Taylor ever do to you people?
Anyway, I got to the building where I was heading, and I just walked in. Straight in. They didn’t ask for ID, no metal detectors, they didn’t even make me sign the visitors’ form. Nothing. Reminded me of when I was a (bald-headed) child.
I don’t even know how fast the meeting ended, because after mere minutes, I found myself seated among a large group of people. It didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening. People sitting in presumably pre-planned locations? An annoying person trying to bring about an orderly seating arrangement from nothingness? Pens? Notebooks? Projector? People only slightly older than me at the front – what I found out was the stage – making chitchat, trying to look more important than they are?
I hate seminars. I mean, I hate most social gatherings, but seminars are just horrible. It’s always a bunch of people rubbing their success in your face. Some of them don’t even have the courtesy to dish out free food to make it hurt less. I couldn’t leave, because I still hadn’t gotten what I went there for. So I sat down and tried not to
cry lose my renowned composure.
One thing I hate about seminars is the constant need for the speaker to keep forcing interaction during the session. If, by any chance, someone who speaks publicly anywhere is reading this, you need to cut that out. Telling a joke every now and then works just fine. I’ll make friends on my own, thank you very much. Things like this:
Speaker: Good morning!
Everybody: Good morning!
My Mind: Kill me
Speaker: Turn to your neighbor and say ‘hello’ in your mother tongue!
Guy To My Right: [says something. I have no idea what]
Me: [grunts after deciding ‘konnichiwa’ is a bit too much]
Speaker: Ask your neighbor their name and tell then you’re happy to be here with them!
My Mind: But that would be lying
Guy To My Right: John. Happy to be here with you
My Mind: That is a terrible name
Speaker: Tell your neighbor they look very good today!
My Mind: We’re flirting now? You never tell us to say stuff like that when there’s a girl seated beside me
Guy To My Right: You look good today
Me: [pretends to be writing something in a notebook so it seems like I haven’t heard the speaker]
My Mind: Keep your niceness to yourself, with that name of yours
We got through with the introduction that was a bit too familiar for my liking, then the speaker started his little Jordan Belfort impersonation that was just lacking something. He was asking questions and picking people ‘at random’ to answer.
Speaker: Where do you see yourself going on vacation?
Everyone: [a lot of talk about the Bahamas, Vegas, some exotic island somewhere]
My Mind: Anywhere that’s not here sounds great right about now
Speaker: What car do you see yourself in?
Everyone: [a lot of talk about BMW, Lamborghini, Bugatti (ha!) and some idiot who actually said limousine]
My Mind: The bus that’s going to take me home from this hellhole
Me: Ferrari [because the speaker actually pointed at me and everybody’s attention was on me]
Speaker: Where do you see yourself living?
Everybody: [a lot of talk about posh areas with big houses, swimming pools and skinny girls]
My Mind: Kill me
Speaker: Why don’t I hear anybody saying [insert name of neighborhood]?
Me: Kill me now
The speaker mentioned the name of the neighborhood where I grew up. Everybody laughed. He said it sarcastically, in a way that meant ‘absolutely nobody wants to live there’. That made me a bit mad, because I grew up there, and I turned out okay. It also made me mad because there are way more neighborhoods in this one city that are worse. My neighborhood was better.
By this time I’m agitated, tired, paranoid and generally ready to punch people in the face. The speaker went on with his speaking, occasionally pausing to ‘let things sink in’. at one time, he asked us to list down our goals in our notebooks – our short term, long term and ultimate goals. I’m afraid this is where I stop, because I have none that don’t involve food, the Internet or Jerry Seinfeld. I’m also afraid I didn’t put much thought into this post and I rushed it because I’ve been too busy with this great book called Better Call Saul by bestselling author Vince Gilligan, you see. But mostly I got too distracted with the fact that I have no goals. Feel free to let me know yours so I can steal the best for myself. Or not.