This is Not a Joke

My quest to find a real job started the moment I realized I could not live forever off of student loans.  This hit me like a fully loaded semi, in the middle of the day, with children watching, while starring at the clouds daydreaming. Since when did my math calculations steer me wrong?  I really fucked this one up.  Goddamn.  I thought about it.  You can’t live off of $10,000 for the rest of your life?  No way.  I’m completely surprised.  The reality hit me a few months back.


Here I am a college graduate, well community college graduate with physical strength and communications skills and I cannot find a job.


I found myself downtown alone thinking of a Marcy’s Playground song.  Like sex and candy.  I am not alone in a sense.

A few days ago, rather two days ago I found myself in a basement grabbing my bed partner and exclaiming, “I am blind, I cannot see!”  She abruptly gave me a lecture that almost made me get up and leave.  The next morning I am pissing into a sink in the laundry room of a house in South and I hear this, “You know we do have a bathroom.”  I was completely naked, caught in the act and all right with it.  Ass out and smiling, I stood quasi-flaccid urinating into a drain.  In any other situation I would have had a hard time pissing, but I needed to get out, and I had to piss really bad.

The night before, before my late night outburst about being blind and the next morning’s golden water-works extravaganza, I was in a bar in South eating a Juicy Lucy to the tune of, oh, how the past was great, I love this place, and bullshit like that.  I was at the Official Matt’s officially and…  Or wait, it went something like this:  I was playing Simon and Garfunkel on the jukebox at Matt’s for a dollar when my lady friend expressed how she hated The Beatles.  Yeah, right.  If you think The Beatles are Simon and Garfunkel then I am Donald Trump and you are a workaholic.  Both groups were and are amazing.  I realize this and then I realize, wow, how is this being contemplated, argued, suggested?  In reality I am dealing with a child, namely, but not solely myself.  I shut up and eat, spend my money, and almost cry about it.  I can’t believe someone could mix those two bands up, I also can’t believe I am about to be poor.  Maybe I am just pissed.  I have to work, I have no concept of not working; however, I feel the need to not work a minimum wage job with little to zero creativity, so I pack it in.  I finish the burger, thank the cook and bounce.  The heat was on us, mainly on my shirt.  My back and underarms were soaked.  I looked like I got sprayed with a fire hose.  I thought about this as I sat outside of a house in South, after the bar, listening to gunshots.  Gunshots which in time got close enough to make us go in. The next morning I would get caught peeing and visibly be not blind.  Never sleep with your contacts in.

I made a profile for myself today extending my arms to those I know, those I have fucked, those I am friends with, and those I can hardly recall, looking for the elusive dream job.  I have found nothing.  The depression sets in as does the desperation, the reality takes hold, and I walk the streets in a puke-yellow shirt with brown seams in search of a job. My mom says I would be a good bartender.  I think of the line in The Departed where Marky Mark gets told he is on a 2 week paid vacation and their are plenty of bartending jobs, I want to live in Boston.

The first place I look is the gay bar down the street, I am straight and I have no problems with people doing whatever it is that they choose to do.  I have gay friends, straight friends, transsexual friends, Walrus friends, and asexual friends.  I will malign all of them at some point.  I think this place is peaceful in general because it lacks bros and drama, usually with the ladies, so it is tolerable, if not fun.  I assume they will not be filming any part of Jersey Shore here so I can rest assured that I will enjoy this location for a prospect job.  I also frequent this place in the winter being that it is close and the drinks are relatively inexpensive in comparison to other downtown bars.  (One time I kissed a girl here at bike rally, she was hot and whenever I walk in I think of this moment.  It was right by the front door.  I never saw her again and I didn’t even know her name.  We parted ways as we biked off.)  The pitchers of beer are inexpensive and they have a nice dart area setup in the corner.  I like to play cricket here.  I want to work at this bar because of the tips and the atmosphere.  Plus the AC is bumping.  Frigid.

I assume I am moderately attractive, and moderately sexual, so I guess people, well the patrons will notice this.  I think, I mean I hope I won’t be beaten up and taken advantage of, but it is a possibility.  Everything in life comes with some risk.

So, I get to the bar, I notice the girl outside is from the free church dinner earlier (FUCK!), possibly disease ridden, possibly living a rough life, possibly neither, and we lock eyes.  Like, we know we are both outside of a bar about to go in and spend money when we had to resort to free meals earlier.  Yeah, but I think there are people on EBT buying pop (soda, for you southern readers), alcohol, drugs, and whatever they want cause they sell them shits, so we aren’t doing so bad, eh?  Check it out at your local Rainbow.  But we know, so I hope we don’t have to go over it next Monday.  She looks away, as do I.


The free church dinner is where I go on Mondays to get closer to where I am going to be if I don’t get serious about getting a job.  The food is free, and it is for students and the homeless.  I was a student but not homeless; however, I am hungry all the time and I have little budget for food.  Growing boy issues I say.  So I am now an adaptive opportunist.  And super cheap.  Funny story, most girls will not go on a date to the free church dinner, I say this because I took a girl there one time and I told her she could take care of the tip, I would pay for dinner.  After some time she looked at me, looked at the rest of the people, got up and left and never called me.  I wasn’t down, my compadres felt for me.  All the others sat and didn’t judge.  Anyway, I brought two grocery bags to fill with condoms, church books, and all the whole-grain bread I needed.  I guess I didn’t walk home alone, I left with a couple of old bags.


So, the girl outside the bar…  She knows.  I know.  I am desperate and I need this drink-pouring gig.  I enter, leaving her outside, thank God.  I am dressed pretty neat, looking good in the lemon-colored vomit tank top.  It’s fitting nicely in the heat and sweat and all, and as I walk in everyone turns to me.  The temperature outside makes me look like I just got out of the shower.  I am rocking goose bumps because the proprietor just got his Central Air fixed, and wet.  Here is where I must have looked like fresh meat.  I open the doors and walk in.  I notice the patrons and all of a sudden I am being ogled.  They stare.  I stare back with some funny look that says please don’t realize I am not gay.  They stare back.  I stare back harder, looking natural and stuff.  I ask in a higher pitched voice if they have the applications handy.

Earlier I talked to a gentleman on the phone, he said, “Yeah we got applications, just come on in.”  So I did.  Unfortunately the applications were locked in the boss’s office and I was standing here looking for them.  I pass on a drink and run into the girl again, she smiles at me as she enters and I leave.  Mission to retrieve job at the local gay bar fail.  My looks and passion have left me in the gutter once again.

I press on.  I think to myself, my friends have 40 hour a week jobs that they “like” and I walk the streets looking for high school grad careers.  I got a thousand in the bank, and that is what I need to pay rent.  I eat free because I live like Marla Singer; going to free church dinners at my leisure and all.  Crafty.

I love Minneapolis and I love the idea of struggling to live, but there is a breaking point.  I sit inside all day because of the heat advisory and watch The X-Files, and reading, while filing through jobs on Craigslist and through friends, hoping that the jobs don’t suck and the jobs on Craigslist aren’t killers in hiding.

I guess my job search would make me easy prey anyway.  At least if I died I would no longer have to pay bills, my student loan would not be my worst nightmare (aside from going blind), I wouldn’t have to conform to banalities of society, and I wouldn’t have to listen to what other people were trying to tell me while they didn’t even know their ass from their elbows.

My creative genius is a direct correlation of my $10,000 7 year investment of a Liberal Arts Associates Degree.  Sound the horns, ring the bells, and roll out the red carpets.  In my dreams.  Please hire me now God.  Fuck the people who only take a 2 year associates and graduate, they miss so much good material.  High honors my ass, more like high levels of bullshit.  I should be a medical doctor.  I have a library of books in my room!  And I live in a pantry.


Anyway…  All this happened right after I thought it would be a great idea to go on a run.  Forget that.  If you ever want to go on a run in 100 degree weather, just forget it.  There is no possible way it will work out.  You might even die.  I thought I was going to faint, or die, a little more than halfway back, but I kept going.  Then I thought of the girl who just died while running, she was 19.  I mean I drink a bit and I smoke a bit, but this girl was in perfect shape and she died.  She was just out on a light jog.  So, I guess I had to walk back home.

I felt my age then.  I felt 25.  I won’t talk like that when I am 80, if I make it.  Maybe I should join the Army, yet maybe then again I shouldn’t.  They probably won’t let me take a breather in the shade if I get tired.

I thought about this as I almost died trying to break into the flower garden area by the statue garden in hopes of getting to a drinking fountain.  You know, right by that huge cherry in that huge spoon in the center of that huge park?  The drinking fountain was visible, just beyond glass doors and the place was usually open.  Signs said they were, but no one was inside.  I banged on the doors, pushed and pulled, nothing.  I got nothing.  When I got there and realized this, I really thought it was my day.  Instead, I made it back, took a shower, masturbated, and watched more Netflix.  Even watching Netflix makes me feel like a beggar, simply because the account belongs to my ex-girlfriend’s mother.  I love you Peggy, thanks for the instant cues.  Watching The X-Files is a must at the moment.  Honestly, its way too hot to try and go for a run.


Meanwhile, downtown there was a mirage of lights, diversity, drama, and the sad working crowd leaving their posts.  No one wants these jobs that is what their faces said; business suits here, bar logos there; a little flare for the passerby-anything to get their name out there.  How about this one:  Terry Scott.  I walked past cringing, I thought about my new smart phone bill, my drinking habit (which costs a lot!), and my social life, not to mention my rent.  I thought they were walking by and judging me, as if, how does one leave the house looking like that?  I walked with confidence, pen in hand, ready for a bartending job.  I wanted to fill out as many applications as possible, the control of being wanted by so many.  Security.  My goal was visible, yet was it truly what I wanted?  I should have brought a backpack, a book, and some paper.  Documentation is necessary for interpretation.

Tonight, minus the cash situation, was great.  The sun, bright red along the horizon was just going down.  I should have brought glasses.



My journey had begun, and already I was hopelessly lost as I walked through the old oak-growth in the park.  I looked down and caught a glimpse of copious amounts of ants spanning the circumference of half of a dried up orange.  This had just fallen in front of them out of the sky; they were hungry and had been sufficed.  If only I was an ant.  They might not make it home.  I picked the fruit up and contemplated a lofty underarm toss, and then I set the leathery-shelled fruit down in the same spot I had found it.  Ants unscathed, and unknowing.

I walked through the middle of Loring Park avoiding the sidewalk, walking right down the middle towards the red brick apartment building, a crow’s fly home.  The sun was gone, the lights reflected off of the top of the pond.  A girl walked her two dogs, and a couple of guys sat on a bench listening to their voicemail.  I hurry past, closer to my apartment I notice a few more people, a pregnant girl, and two lovers holding hands walking out of the coffee shop down the street.  A blond crossed the steps in front of my building.  I missed my calling.  I ran up the stairs, sweating.  It was 9 pm and still smoldering.  Summer heat how we forget in January.  I took everything and was looking for something I didn’t even want.  Something about it was sacred and hard to understand, but the best was to come.  I hoped.


Let’s look at the bright side of things.  I am still getting action, sort of.  I am still happy.  Yeah, I am.  I still have my arms and legs and a bad attitude about physical labor and oppression.  I still think external costs of corporations outweigh the benefits of their existence.  I think all women are right (wink) and deserve to be paid equal wages, the same as men at least.  I still think people drink, swear, steal, and lie because I listen to country music sometimes, and that song sucks.  And at all cost I avoid talking directly to priests because I don’t want to ask them real questions about relationships, boys, and Science.  And this is my 101th post, so I can still tell you what I think.  Shaboom!


Keep searching and you will never find it, find it and you won’t need to search anymore.  We got to have something to live for.


My last text of the night is this:  “You wouldn’t happen to have a smoke and a beer to bum to your loser of a neighbor?”  She didn’t reply.


And yeah, it’s exactly like two-face in Batman, as Eddie says…


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks:
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One Response to This is Not a Joke

  1. laurastir says:

    You didnt think about your loans and financial situation until you were staring at the clouds? What did you learn in college, Terry? How to pee in sinks of other people’s residences?

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