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do what ya gotta do
a working man's blues
by robert a. melos

It was the great sage Billy Joel who once said, “You may be right. I may be crazy.” Given that I take most of my advice and philosophical life lessons from song lyrics, Billy Joel’s words have been ringing in my ears as of late. Why would I think these words, of all the other possibly phrases the great sage has strung together, most pertain to me at this moment? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell ya.

Everyday I get up and go to work at a job I hate. Now this doesn’t make me crazy per se, well the job does but going to work at something I hate doesn’t. Everyone has to do something to earn a living, unless you marry or are born into enough money to support yourself in a comfortable lifestyle. Being gay I’m not afforded the opportunity to marry into money for the time being, and I wasn’t born rich. Oh I was born okay by most people’s standards, but I’m talking filthy rich on the level of a Kennedy or a Morgan or a Stanley. I’d say a Bailey a Banks or a Biddles, but considering Sidney Biddles Burrows resorted to prostitution to make ends meet, I think I’ll stick to my original choices.

So I hate my job. So what? It isn’t like I’m the only one in the entire world who hates what he does for a living. Plenty of people hate their jobs. But in the light of the new day that dawned upon America on September 12th of 2001, going to work at a job I hate just seems wrong. In fact, after being shown in a not so nice way just how unpredictable life is, and how much we are all at the mercy of the actions of other people, no matter how random it may all seem, it is quite obvious to me that no one should be doing something in their lives they do not love to do.

Sure it sounds radical to just expect everyone to drop what he or she is doing, if they hate their jobs, and start doing what they love to do. Who would collect the garbage, and stock the shelves in grocery stores, and who would greet you with a cheery smile and ask, “Do you want fries with that?” Why if everyone stopped working at jobs they hated, there would be world chaos. The entire system we’ve all come to depend upon would simply breakdown, and those of us who loved their jobs to begin with would be at a loss because they wouldn’t know how to cope with the rest of us just ignoring the unwritten rules of survival and going about doing whatever it is we damn well pleased.

The thing of it is, the concept of doing something I love to do, rather than doing what I am currently doing, is overwhelmingly appealing. The only problem with the whole idea of walking away from everything I hate doing is, I need to earn a living to have the things I want aside from the pleasure of doing for a living something that I love.

Now if you couple the idea of dropping everything I hate doing and only do the things I love doing, with the fact I’m so burnt out by the things I hate doing that I don’t think there is anything I love doing, then you can see my dilemma. What can I do that I will love enough to support me and to get me motivated enough to actually work?

After all, I’m too the point where I consider playing the lottery a very viable way of supplementing my income and possibly even assuring my future security. I used to put my money in a bank, but with diminishing returns, not to mention mounting bills requiring me to spend that earmarked-for-savings money, a bank just became some place for my money to stop on the way to the credit card company and the gas company, and the hand of the smiling person who asks “do you want fries with that?”

So if I were to just chuck it all, and say the heck with society, I would have to do something. Now I do love to write, and have written and published a couple of novels, but since I haven’t slept with anyone famous and don’t write self help gobbledygook that preys on the more disenfranchised than myself, I’m not a world famous author.

Another option would be cartoonist. I have created a cute little comic I call Impure Thoughts, with the help of CorelDraw, but sadly it isn’t anymore famous than my novels. So it seems creativity, no matter how fond of it I am, just isn’t going to pay my mounting bills. Thus I need to move on down my list of possibly professions I would love to do.

Okay, now this is where the problem comes into the picture. My third choice of career is Director. Oh come on! You say. Everyone wants to direct. That may be so, but after sitting through hour upon hour of badly directed films I think I could do just as good of a job, if not better, than many of those so-called directors. They’re hacks, I tell you! I could out Spielberg Spielberg. Alas, no one will just give me a director’s chair and 300 million dollars to make a movie. So it’s back to the list.

Let me see. How about Dot Com entrepreneur? I’m sure I could come up with something the general public needs or wants, that I could sell over the Internet so I could limit my actual physical contact with the human race. It can’t be that hard to do, can it? I’ve surfed enough websites to know what the general public buys over the Internet. Now all I need are big-breasted women and well-endowed men, all with movie star looks and flawless bodies, and I could become a purveyor of porn.

Sure, it isn’t exactly a career move I could brag about to most of my friends, but it would limit my contact with the human race. Fewer people would want to shake my hand.

Well if those jobs aren’t going to fulfill me financially, even if they feed my soul, and it should be obvious by now I’m not looking for hours of hard work, then I’m left with the obvious conclusion I just have to cope with a career I hate until the lottery comes through for me. Why not? After all, if the randomness of life can show me the darker side of life in a matter of minutes, and change my entire outlook through the outside influences of other people, than a few ping pong balls with numbers painted on them can once again set everything right in my world.


Robert is the author of the novels Cool Mint Blue, Melba Ridge, and the recently released The Adventures of Homosexual Man and Lesbian Lad; and the creator of the on-line comix Impure Thoughts found at his web site Inside R.A. Melos, as well as having been an on-line staff writer for QBliss where he had a monthly humor column, Maybe A Yip, Maybe A Yap. In his non-writing time, when he's not studying the metaphysical or creating a tarot deck, he sells real estate in Middlesex County New Jersey, hangs out with his dog Zeus, and spends time at the Pride Center of New Jersey in Highland Park, NJ, where he is on the Board of Trustees.

more about robert a. melos


war and remembrance
that was then, this is now, what about me?
by robert a. melos
topic: humor
published: 3.19.03

where were you when you mind went snap?
ever wonder what someone is thinking?
by robert a. melos
topic: humor
published: 7.5.05


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