I know I’m anxious because in my dream last night all my teeth fell out. I’ve always been sensitive about my teeth because I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth. It’s riddled with decay but I’m afraid to go to the dentist in case he insists on removing it. In the dream I ran around chasing after all the teeth and caught them all in a tiny bucket. I don’t know what I thought that would achieve, but dreams are fucking bullshit anyway and I’ve already given up on most of mine.
So many people ask “are you okay?” as I approach them that it’s becoming my new theme song. Being unemployed for the last 6 months, they want to know what I’m doing with all my time. I tell them that last week my elderly cat vomited over the top of the radiator in my house, and I had to clean steamy hot sick rising like steam from the inside of my radiator with a toothbrush and some of it flicked up in my face. I am swamped.
Yep, there’s no two ways about it; I love being unemployed. I am Kat, I’m 22, female, and an unemployment addict. I guess it all started when I began life and realised that working is hard.
I think my mum fantasises about returning me to whatever sewer I climbed out from, complaining “it’s not working”. I blame the language of a capitalist society that ‘working’ means ‘functional’ and ‘not working’ means broken and obsolete. Even though I am both of those things.
But I am working. I have very important things to do, like performing covers of classic pop songs with an imaginary band of wooden spoons.
Unemployment is my heroin. God, give me some more of that sweet unemployment. Hook it up to my veins. I belong in the corner of a squat, crouched and scrolling through Indeed, not applying for things.
Unfortunately I need money to fund my unemployment addiction, which is a sad paradox I don’t think I can sell to buy more unemployment. But on this delicious trip I think I’ve lost touch with the real world. In job interviews I have this smirk on my face that potential employers find unsettling; like I think I’m too good for the job. In reality I’m smirking at the thought of me being taken seriously – the notion is absurd.
I think I’m happiest when I’m lying in my bed in the dark at midday, staring at the ceiling. Although that’s definitely what an addict would say, isn’t it?
“A toast to myself!” I say, at midday in the dark, clinking two pieces of toast together before eating ruined toast alone in my bed and spooning the crumbs .
I don’t know what it is about delicious unemployment that means I have become its cruel mistress. I like the routine. I look forward to my scheduled ‘sit on the neighbour’s fence and cry into a bit of dusty loo roll’. Even if I do remember, moments after burying my face into it, that it’s a little bit splattered with elderly cat vomit.