“Real World” –
The existing state of things, as opposed to one that is imaginary, simulated, or theoretical.
Ex. “We live in the real world of limited financial resources”
Dear “Real World,”
With your high expectations and low tolerance; your keen eyes and carved out limits, your cut throat systematic charm, or perhaps, lack thereof.
Isn’t that, “just how it is?”
There’s a lot to be said about you, or, to you. I’ve noticed your messages on my friends’ phones, and your clothing in their drawers. I imagine you’ve all been together, adjusting to each other, all in good time. Me, on the other hand, I’ve been trying to keep my distance. But recently…
I’ve smelled your oven-fresh doses of reality and, felt your home-spun, unquestionable winter, frigid air.
I’ve tasted your oaky, poignant wine, and logged on to your home page – I’ve even skimmed your blog.
I’ve often wondered if you’re quite as daunting as I’ve accepted you to be. You, with that, “pulls herself up by her bootstraps” type of look; your distinguished tattered garments, oil smudged and oil spilled; leaking from lofty eyes, subtly and all at once.
And here I am, a novice’s pride and joy, a soft-handed conman’s offspring, thrown in, hard and fast – never grasping, always gazing and sorting through the truths and the untruths.
As well as the subjective truths and the colors that don’t match but look so good together anyway. And maybe until now I’ve been misled. You nourish only with your finite and temporary, whimsical and, cold-blooded notion that, “this is how things are.” But recently, all I’ve heard is,
“No one will take your criticism or read your letters of appeal – you’re on your own out here little one – it’s time to accept it.”
It’s time to dump out your empty, smoky wallet, all beaten and worn; sell your last good pair of shoes. Move on.
It’s time to button up your borrowed blazer, tastefully and attractively. Just fake it, I know you can.
Dust of your tired lungs and reprogram the box in your throat, so accustomed to saying the same things,
Again and again.
Attend interview after interview, each one more formal than the previous one. Smile, but not too much, act professional, whatever that means.
Don’t make jokes, no one’s laughing. There’s nothing charming or endearing about this moment or your hopeless attempt to interact with it. No one will hire you this way. You’ll never be hired.”
So, I pace along the carved out, monotonous system you’ve carved out for me, oh “Real World,” with your rules and regulations,
Your impossible expectations. Your systems and your swings, how swiftly they implore me to,
Revamp my resume,
Again and again.
One cover letter, then another, then one more. Red fish, blue fish. old fish, new fish?
Here, please; tell me in just a few moments why you, yourself, and all your flaws and, your aching soul, are adequate to work for me.
When elevator pitches become, misty, morning rambles, lists of unkempt qualifications, so general and easily applied to any new fish,
Taken right out of the water and ruthlessly thrown into that rusty, old, bucket. Is this the right fit?
Dear “Real World”
Where do I sign up? Perhaps I’ll stand in stagnant lines for endless moments in time, holding on to hopes. Perhaps I’ll cause the line to zig and zag.
Maybe I can condense my whole world into just a couple of pages so it’ll be easier to understand. Maybe I can act professional, I can fill out applications with my phone number and my email address and my phone number and my email address and my phone number and my email address. Maybe I can even click “confirm.”
I’ll follow link after link of robotic follow-up messages, I’ll politely send regards, I’ll call my grandmother more often, I’ll engage in small talk. I’ll ask my sister to be my emergency contact…
I’ll edit for spelling and grammar mistakes,
Again and again. I’ll follow your rules and smile and try as hard as the,
High-heeled, flared dress-pants wearing, perfectly tucked, zipped, and made-up, lady beside me at this wooden round table, where at the head sits the woman who is seemingly in charge of deciding my fate…
In this uniform, formal setting, where I’ve been led to, alongside the masses,
I will somehow, try to stand out.
Of course, I’m not sure how to conduct myself. Can I smile? Laugh? Answer first, or last? Am I confident, am I timid? Who am I in the context of this space and time?
When am I available to come in?
…One real rejection after another.
The program is competitive, the applicants outweigh the availability, we’ve done everything in our power to allow you in.
So now what? Do I turn my back on you? On the formality, the personal statements, the interviews; the system itself?
Or must I succumb to the categories? Must I be placed? Must I fall into step behind,
The lines of civilians, marching to their fate.
Is this what “real” looks like? And if so, how can I escape it?
How can I transgress the conventions of this world, so organized and set?
How can this be the “real” world?
Real, real, real, real, real, real.
I say it again and again, until the word becomes strange and dismantled.
Tiny little pieces of one big whole.
One big hole I can fill in how I wish to, I can paint however I’d like to.
Dye, tear, shred, outline, design, unpack, shade, shift, dip, crunch.
Was it supposed to be this way?
– an anonymous escapist