#106

Brecht Evens1
“Why I Am Not Coming In To Work Today” by Jess Zimmerman

Dear employers,

I will have to take the day off today because:

☐ It’s December and the streets are papier-mached with wet bronze leaves and it’s so dark outside that the cars have their headlights on at 3pm

☐ I have recently been through a breakup, or I have been through a breakup at any time in my life really, and I woke up today with the absolute conviction that I will never be loved again

☐ A dog looked at me

☐ I got a text from someone for whom I feel a mix of concern and frustration and recognition and longing that is both more and less than romance

☐ Someone made a joke about dead pets meeting you in heaven

☐ Daylight savings time

☐ I passed a knot of flowers that were so bright they glowed through the dim grey water of the day and when was anything in my life last that luminous?

☐ Girls are too pretty

☐ For the first time I genuinely comprehend that there is not enough time to have all the lives I wanted

☐ I accidentally listened to Leonard Cohen

I am submitting the following documentation:

☐ A scrap of an old lover’s favorite flannel shirt

☐ Trembling cupped hands full of rainwater

☐ Light angling over the face of a brownstone at 4 on a winter afternoon

☐ A blunt-edged ticket stub from a movie of which I remember nothing except how soft her hands were

☐ A crumbling copy of my favorite novel from childhood

☐ The universe

☐ The peachy glow of a sodium lamp far ahead down an icy pitch-dark path

I think I just need to:

☐ Stare at a cup of tea held in nerveless fingers and slowly leaching heat

☐ Watch the sun glow ruby through the dogwood leaves until I regain some capacity to be comforted by beauty

☐ Read old emails from someone who loved me because he knew nothing

☐ Move to Omaha without telling anyone and find work as a sympathetic bartender named Roxy

☐ Learn to live alongside the fundamental meaningless of existence, not just mine but everyone’s

☐ Get a drastic haircut

☐ Listen to Tegan and Sara’s “Heartthrob” on repeat for 24 hours

☐ Scream into a pillow until my throat feels like it’s going to split


I will be back to work once:

☐ I can get out of this empty bathtub

☐ It is spring

☐ Someone gorgeous has brought me warm milk

☐ The consequences of being terribly drunk start to seem more grim than the consequences of not being terribly drunk

☐ I have watched every episode of Key & Peele

Sincerely,

______________

More art by Brecht Evens here.

Recommended listening: What Light – Wilco
 
Links of the Day: Indie fonts
 
 
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