Being Back

Sometimes America is too much.

I knew things would get worse before better once I got back home, and thus prepared myself for the worse when I got here. I crawled into a shitty job and managed to whittle away just about a month without too many problems. In the meantime I had friends to catch up with, and just a few days before Thanksgiving I managed to meet up with one. As we walked to the restaurant where we would eat we passed the front window of a bank, The whole thing was adorned with a massive Christmas themed decoration, including nativity scenes and little Christmas celebrating village with a model train running through it.

Again, this was a day or two before Thanksgiving. But apparently the christmas season had already started.


And it wasn’t even Christmas yet. A few days later I was graced with this picture featured to the left.

This is an interesting phenomenon that seems to be happening in America right now. I’ve taken to call it the great holiday annex, wherein Christmas is rapidly encroaching on other holidays. By the time I reach retirement the Christmas season should fall directly after Easter and terminate shortly after groundhogs day. In some dark future, it will always be Christmas.

This is horrific. Partially because I do suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and partially because I am a non-religious person alienated from his family  and with few real friends. I would much prefer it if Christmas just kind of came and went without making too much noise.

The idea of perpetual Christmas isn’t brought up randomly. Every days has become Christmas, or has come to feel like Christmas, at least when I go check my mail. In the apartment complex I live in there also live many a young and middle age people, who have largely abandoned the malls and shopping centers to purchase everything they can from Amazon. I don’t have a problem with this (why would I?), except when the purchases reach such a critical mass that I am physically unable to step over the pile newly purchased immersion blenders and instantpots to open my damn mailbox. This has happened with surprising frequency. And every time I go down there to see the overflowing pile of boxes I say to myself “It’s Christmas”.

I’ve got many of the older, more curmudgeonly tenants of the apartment make the exact same joke.

And then there is my job. Knowing full well that the DC metro area could burn through any cash reserves with ease, I decided to take the first job I could find. This job was handed to me well before I even got back into the country, as my father was contacted by my old employer to ask if anyone could come do a few extra hours. And thus I found myself once again as an ESL teacher.  I went to the job hoping to put my best foot forward, and somehow found myself dealing with the same old shit. The students here were largely stupid and indifferent, just as they were anywhere else, but had the added virtue of being (for the most part, there were some exceptions) sat there only because being signed up for an ESL school is the easiest way to get a US visa. And so they don’t really care to be there. In fact, they are convinced that you are wasting their time, and wish you would just let them go home or to their illegally held jobs.

This shit again.

Which is why I put the picture of the burning carousel at the top (well, that and I really like it). That’s what America feels to me, just another turn of the same old flaming shit.  My life is as of right no in no way appreciably better than it was when I was in China, unless you consider the fact that there isn’t a rich, thick, creamy layer of pollution to coat my lungs.

Thus began the period I would later call “The great American Malaise”

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