Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek
benpeek

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Why I Don't Blog About My Life

Every now and then, I get told how different I am in person to how I come across on this blog. It's a strange thing, really, to hear people tell you (or in this case me). Partly because this blog is me, and while it is just a public me, it is by no means a fake me. I'm just a private person for the most part and I'm perfectly happy keeping my neurotic tendencies and shit to myself. I figure none of you much care, and I don't have any real urge to confess to you all my deep dark secrets, like the fact that I find Starsailor's Silence is Easy album kind of addictive. It's so melodic, I just can't help myself. I know it's nothing but Brit Pop and that I shouldn't like, but god, ever since I heard the 'Four to the Floor' I just can't stop, so please, please help me--

See, I don't need to do that. I can keep that to myself. The result is that I am seen differently here, and differently in life, and that's fine, because in life I still don't talk about that Starsailor album. I voice the same opinions, I keep the same ideas, so I don't know why the blog is so different, or why it has been called intimidating, or why it led one person to suggest I'd be great as a cut-throat businessman, or any of the other things that have been said, but it is how it is. I made the decision long ago not to talk about my life and I figure I'm going to keep doing that in as much as I always have, because, as the story will show you below, I am stupid. The truth is, I am much, much too stupid to continue living. If I posted here daily about the things I did, or experienced, or the situations I found myself, a bunch of you would organise yourselves into a group, wait for me to appear somewhere, and then me. Afterward, you would all receive medals.

Today was Sunday. I work on Sunday's. I teach English and Creative Writing to children and teenagers who don't want to be there. There is a car park behind the tutoring place I work, and this is where I park my car, and it is dim and dank as a car park can be. I park in the Reserved spots because no one operates it on a Sunday so it is free. When I pull in, I see a couple I work with sitting in their car, eating McDonald's. B. and J. are on a diet. It is not, you might be thinking, a very successful one. J. believes that fast food is laced with addictive drugs like tobacco was, because, as he says as we're walking up to the back entrance, "You never have those cravings for your mother's cooking at two am."

He was buying kebabs at two am. It's a good diet.

So, we get in, classes happen. Try not to think about it. It's best if you don't.

Then, I walk out, work finished, down to my car. Same spot. Same car. I open the door. I put the key in the ignition. Radio, lights, no engine. The battery light is quite bright. Is the battery light meant to come on if your battery doesn't work? I don't know shit about cars so I assume (and still assume) that it does, otherwise why have a light. So I try again. Same response. Fuck, I think. "Fuck," I say. I try again. "Fuck."

Out of the car. Back into work. The bosses look at me. I say, "Battery is dead. Phone." Male boss starts talking about wet and dry batteries. I look at him as if he's speaking Cantonese, which he does, and then I grab the phone, ready to call the NRMA. For those overseas, the NRMA is a roadside service. I pull out the little card and I see, written on the card, my old number plate. My mind is blank. I grab a pen, walk back down, get the number plate of my car, the street I'm in, walk back up, spend about twenty minutes on hold, waiting.

While I'm waiting, a girl in year five I teach, M., comes up to me and starts telling me that her Mum won't be there till two thirty to pick her up. She's bitching. Learn to complain early. That's how life goes. I sympathise with her, because all I want to do is go home. I tell her my car is dead. She laughs at me knowing that, at the very least, someone is coming for her. I might die here in the cold loney suburb of Fairfield.

Finally, someone at the NRMA answers.

During the phone call, I manage to mangle my number plate number, drop the phone, and lose the connection. Luckily, she's still on the line when I get it hooked up. With a rather annoyed air, she tells me that, if I'm lucky, "Roadside Service will be there within sixty minutes. I can't find the street you want, so you could stand on the corner, please."

Yeah. Great. Thanks.

Outside work, I pull up a corner. I feel like a hooker. The battery on my mobile is on one bar, but I message people to pass the time, anyway. I want sympathy but get told by S. that the corner of streets are good places to pick up. She's not single, you know. Thoughts cross my mind. Another S. gives me sympathy. She is single. I think only cruel and cold hearted people date. I have no evidence to back this up. It's hot on that street corner. Cigarette butts litter the ground. I figure I don't need evidence for my theory. My fellow workers drive pass and wave. I can't help but note that they aren't single either. Often, they wave as couples.

The NRMA arrive before I can reach a full theory, thankfully. I've been waiting about twenty five minutes.

Up to my car we go. Open the hood. I told about the battery light. He asks if I left the lights on. I'm not that stupid, I say. He pulls out the measuring thing and informs me that battery is good. Nothing wrong with the battery, mate, why don't you try it again.

Key, ignition... nothing.

Roadside guy looks round my car. Peers in. Taps on the passenger window. I unlock the door.

"Are you in reverse?"

I look down.

...

"Fuck."

The guy laughs.

"Fuck me."

He laughs some more. "It's cool, mate. Don't worry 'bout it."

"No, man, seriously." I put the car into park, turn the key. It starts. "I'm much too stupid to live."

"I'd help you out, but they frown on that killing bit nowadays."

"Thanks."

"Anytime."

And so, seeming to enjoy himself, the roadside service guy gets in his truck and drives away. I sigh, close the door, and drive home, where I will later go to a printer and hand over a file containing my doctorate. Try not to think about it. I find it's best not to do this. Which is why, of course, I don't write about my life here. Why I don't talk about myself. Because if I did, you would all be forced to realise that this--this is me--





--And I do not deserve to live. Thank you.
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