Apparently there is WAY more to running for office than sticking your name on a ballot. Just got a notification that I’m late in filing my Quarterly Finance Report. My WHA??? I don’t even have a bank account! Is there any chance you’ll accept an astrology report instead?
The good part is I’m getting a crash course in practical life skills. I now have a wallet. Containing two credit cards which I don’t know how to use. A phone-watch. Which I don’t know how to use. A personal identification card. I didn’t have this before and it made many things impossible. A few semi-normal outfits from Walmart. And some aquaintances that live in my city. Before I knew no one.
Feeling unpractical has been my greatest source of shame for so long. It made me afraid to interact with people cause I never knew when they would ask for my SK27 number and I would have no idea what they were talking about and then everyone would start laughing at me. And I didn’t know how deep everyone else’s practical skills went. How many forms do they fill out on a daily basis and how many bureaus do they visit? How many sequences of random numbers and letters are stored in their memory and what do they use them for? What cards do they make sure to have on them at all times and who do they show them to?
Even if blood is squirting from your ears it’s not like you can just walk into a hospital with a big wad of cash. You need cards. Papers. Letters. Numbers. Don’t know the square root of pi? “I’m sorry Ms. Aklei, but unless you can recite it to the 33rd digit there’s really nothing we can do. Our hands are tied.”
I don’t even feel confident in my ability to buy groceries. No matter how I position the card it is always the wrong position. Then pictures start flashing on the screen showing what you’re supposed to do but my brain goes into a panic and can’t compute. Then the sirens start going off. “STEP AWAY FROM THE BAGGING AREA!!! MA’AM!! STEP AWAY FROM THE BAGGING AREA NOW!!!! PLACE YOUR HANDS ON YOUR PSYILISUS MUSCLES AND FACE EAST UNTIL AN ATTENDENT ARRIVES!!!!” Fuck, life is complicated. You gotta be so slick to survive.
But for some reason, I can’t even memorize my address. I don’t know why. I memorize songs all the time so I made my address into a little song about dicks but somehow it just slips in and out of my brain. But now I’m sure I will be asked my address constantly. Knowing your address is 50% of politics.
The other 50% is enemies.
I was confused at first because everyone I met seemed like the absolute nicest person of all time. And yet- after an initial period of exhileration- I was starting to have a mental & physical breakdown. I would just lie in bed crying all the time in a state of unbearable tension. I could hardly walk without a cane. I couldn’t write about this because public servants are supposed to be strong. I wanted to drop out so the torture would end but didn’t want to let anyone down.
James suggested my state could be caused by people messing with me. Psychically. Which annoyed me because the last thing you want when feeling overwhelmed is for someone to bring up the astral plane. But he pressed the issue until I finally lit a red candle and recited the 91st Psalm, a classic cure for enemies. And BAM! Just like magic I could walk again. I stopped crying and felt happy. And it occurred to me that most of the universe is currently transiting my House of Secret Enemies. Perhaps it is the case that in politics the majority of enemies are the secret kind.
Door knocking is still fun though and highly recommended. James goes with me. ‘Just be yourself’ he says. ‘Oh but don’t say that.’ ‘You didn’t tell them your name!.’ ‘You can’t make jokes about bribes Julien- you could go to jail!’ ‘Don’t use words relating to violence or murder- people might take you seriously!” It is funny how being taken seriously changes the meaning of what you say. I have never been taken seriously before.