Sunday, August 2, 2015
The Sunday Series: Sunday August 2, 2015
The Sunday Series:
Sunday August 2, 2015
This Sunday, it will be exactly three years ago that I left my job as a book-buyer for a well-known bookstore in Los Angeles. Off -and-on, I have worked there for twenty-five years. The last 15 years are pretty much straight through. From the end of 2009 to August 2012, my chief role was to buy books for the store. Without a doubt, it was the best job I have ever had. There wasn’t a day, even though sometimes it was a struggle, that I didn’t enjoy. For me, it was like being on a beautiful island, surrounded by books and interesting people. I never underestimated the customers as well as my fellow workers at the shop. Also, it was one of the few things I have done in my life that I felt was a total success. Of course, one makes mistakes here and there, but over-all I’m very proud of the work I have done at this bookstore.
Since I left the job, I have been living off my savings, which I see disappear on a daily basis. While working, I tend to add services such as cable, more internet speed, and dining out. Slowly I have been eliminating some of the service, and I pretty much stopped eating at restaurants. I also used to go to expensive markets like Gelsons, but now, I tend to shop for generic brands in discounted supermarkets. I ate meat, but now gave that up, which in hindsight, is good for my health. My breakfast every morning is instant oatmeal, and at one time, I would empty two packets for breakfast, but now, I only eat one packet of instant oatmeal. I add water of course, but very little, to make it more thick, and therefore more filling. I avoid lunch and focus on having broccoli head and a plate of pasta for dinner. My wine of choice is Two-buck Chuck. I get a buzz which helps me in the long run to forget my everyday struggle or my lack of inner-happiness.
I have a large library, and I tend to either re-read my books or go to the library, which I’m extremely fond of. You tend to have to wait for popular titles, but the price of books is pretty expensive. If I have the money, I don't mind spending it on books, but then I have to think about the use of electricity in the house. I normally like to read at night, but to save money I have all the lights out - about an hour after dusk. It doesn’t save a whole lot, but everything helps. To save water, due to the cost of the Department of Water and Power, and the drought, I pour myself a big glass of water in a glass, and I place it in the refrigerator. I sip on it throughout the day which helps with hunger and it is also something I look forward for the duration of the day.
I miss my work greatly, because it was a job where everyday I had to do something. Purchasing books for a store are pretty much seven days a week type of occupation. Since it’s a busy store, I needed to re-stock the titles as soon as they were sold. The public gets hungry for books, and therefore I had to supply their hunger. The same I do at home now for my body and soul.
I have heard that in Japan, they put a lid over the bath to keep it warm, and therefore the whole family can use it, after showering. What I do is fill the bathtub up with water, and completely shut the room up - even closing the window. The temperature gets cooler of course, but it is never frozen, perhaps due to the Southern California climate. Nevertheless I just use a dime-sized drop of shampoo and the latter I use it to wash my body as well. I perhaps go through this procedure every other day. I don’t do that much physical activity, so I rarely sweat, unless the humidity is high. To minimize my life in such a way has become an art to me. Besides writing, I have very little tools to express myself, and I think through poverty, I found a medium that suits my purpose. Currency is the cancer of the 21st century. I prefer to live without it and just focus on the everyday needs one may or may not have. We’re all individuals, and we each have our specific issues that we must deal with. Mine is to go to disappear into the entrance of nonexistence. To open that door, and to stick one’s head through the entrance, and then jump in, sounds like a beautiful ending to this narrative.