2000 and Not Great

I wrote this in 2008, I believe. Interesting to look back on. Also a way of getting out of writing any new material.

With the agonizing process of discovering just where everyone was going completed, I set about preparing for the night. This included checking my financial situation, of which I’d rather not know about. If I could write one book, it would most likely by titled ‘The Ezy Guide to Financial Ruin!’ with a picture of me on the cover, shrugging pathetically whilst moths fly out of my wallet. Usually, I avoid being depressed before going out, as I have come to believe that women can sense it, along with desperation and the inclination to dispense free cigarettes, but tonight I cannot escape it. To distract myself, I turned on the stereo, and headed into the bathroom.  As I unpacked my various products, I couldn’t help but feel that everything would be alright, if only I had someone to talk to. Someone who understood, and would gently remind me that the world isn’t such a goddamn shithole, and that I would discover my long-sought place inside it soon enough.

‘Hello?’ a voice cried from the lounge room.

I cocked my head, interrupted in the middle of my ‘Preparations to Go Out’ grooming routine. The last time I was interrupted during this carefully planned schedule, I nearly burnt the house down due to an over-heated hair straightener.

‘Yes?’

‘Hi, I’m your television!’

Now this was something new. I wonder if I had inhaled too much hairspray. I walked into the lounge room, and stood before my newly-found neon friend.

‘I just thought we’d have a talk. We spend enough time together, so I just thought … which reminds me, what are you doing tonight?’

Rather nosey for an electrical good, I think. I contemplated hitting the mute button, but I didn’t want to offend the device that brings me Wheel of Fortune and late-night pornography.

‘I’m going out.’

Despite its flickering screen, I could almost see its face fall. I also wonder whether its vertical hold problem caused it to be bullied while growing up.

‘Oh … why?’

‘Because I’m planning on drinking. A lot.’

In fact, I planned to drink quite a bit more than ‘a lot’; perhaps until I was in danger of combusting.

‘I think you should just stay here with me. Look at what we can do tonight!’ it pleaded.

It flicked across numerous channels, before deciding to remain on some show about Jet Skis.

‘If you’re really trying to convince me, you should have at least shown me something with nudity. ‘

‘Not before 11 o’clock. What kind of television do you think I am?’

‘No porn on a first date?’

‘Well, even a television has to have standards.’

‘The thing is, I’d love to stay here with you, but I really have to get out of here.’

I sighed, and glanced around my bombed-out lounge room, before continuing.

‘This place has turned into my own personal cell, and I’m in danger of losing the key. ‘

This was apparently the last straw.

‘Typical. I provide you with hours of mind-numbing solitude, and don’t ask anything in return. But when I ask you to stay in, and spend the night with me, you suddenly have better things to do.’

It paused, searching for further inspiration.

‘Actually, leave. I don’t want to be with you. You’re depressing.’

Me, depressing? Depressed, perhaps, but depressing?

‘Just how exactly am I depressing?’

‘You sit around for hours, every single day, searching. Searching for a muse, for inspiration, for a better life – searching everywhere for something that you don’t even know, and perhaps never will. False meaning can never be a substitute for the real thing, but you keep trying, don’t you. And that’s what you’ll be doing tonight. So leave. You’ll be back, more lost than ever before. ’

I wonder how a television, that isn’t even Widescreen, could dispense such scathing insight. How do I respond to this, I wonder.

‘Yeah, well, your mother was a blender.’

A heavy silence descends.

‘That was uncalled for.’

I grab the remote, and switch the chattering monster off, before it has any chance of responding further. Goodnight, television.

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