Man, I am in the minority now and I am digging it like a son of a bitch.
I was driving home from work last Friday night feeling like the King of the World - goddamn happy, smiling on the inside, feeling alive. I felt so good it seemed like something was wrong - I wasn't drunk, I had not consumed illegal drugs of any sort and yet there it was - unrestrained, unexplained happiness.
That's when it hit me - Friday night in my life is now exactly what Friday night should be - the start of the weekend. A real goddamn weekend.
And my soul knew it.
Same thing last night. Holy shit what a feeling.
I get a three day weekend every weekend, which is pretty extravagant, I know, but I think even if it was two days I would still be as giddy as a school child.
And I know, you're saying "Jesus Christ, Joe - you only work twenty hours a week."
True, but getting out of work is getting out of work, and weekends are weekends, baby.
Been doing the retail thing thing since 2006 - ten years, between tending bar and the goddamn liquor commission. Begging for weekends off, planning our personal life around a pain in the ass schedule.
Now I am a free bird.
Even cooler - Carol has Saturday and Sunday off so we get weekends together. Carol engineered her own fate, working her ass off for years in shitty jobs with questionable schedules. But she never gave up and finally worked her way into the Monday through Friday routine, making pretty good money, I might add.
We have been married for thirty eight years, baby, and we have weathered some harsh and frightening times.
Finally, at this point, sixty two years down the road, we have some freedom to dig life as it should be dug.
For 99% of the working class today the word weekend does not even exist - it might as well be removed from the dictionary.
That is because this country has become so warped that employers can twist everything around in their favor, and they do not give a damn about your personal life or your health.
I know so many people who only get one day off at a time, often working ten or twelve days in a row just to get there. I have been there and I know how it feels.
It is dehumanizing. It is good for liquor stores and the pusher man because the only life people have is the one they manufacture in their heads.
So I continue to consider myself lucky.
Sometimes I wonder what the hell I did to deserve the amazing twist my life has taken. Sometimes I feel like I fucking deserve it (which is happening more and more).
So yeah, I'll work my twenty hours between Tuesday and Friday. And I will dance like a crazy man when that Friday night bell rings, releasing me back into my sweet, sweet life.
And I will be grateful, aware and peace-filled.
I will also be smiling my ass off.