The War on Normal People

 Kate and the baby were sniffling sick yesterday. In bed till noon. Groggy-eyed and frog throat. I got up at 4:15 to swim toes in at 5am and worked the kitchen shift at Black Sheep Coffee, and then covered Kate’s bar shift til 3.


This morning I slept in till 7 which is rare, no swim, no run. Just cheerios in a baby bowl, feet up, reading 10% Happier. Then a massage at 10am. Feels good to give massage, paradoxically. I hope the woman felt benefit and I hope more folks hit me up. I’m doing pay-what-you-can pricing.


Afterward, I felt voraciously hungry and gorged on bowl after bowl of Fage yogurt with Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel sprouted cereal. Kate and the baby left with the dog to take care of Uncle Mike and Shiela. I wrote myself a to do list and then collapsed in the bedroom, which is as cavernous 64 degrees. I woke up 4 hours later, a puddle of drool eeping from my mouth. Some days. Just fried crispy exhausted.


I’m still full from the yogurt, which is unpleasant.


I created another username and password for another free Audible trial so that I could listen to Andrew Yang’s The War on Normal People, a book about universal basic income. It’s depressing but validating because I too look around and just see people working jobs that could totally be done by machines or widgets or software or robots or AI. And I see all their look-at-me-I’m-working pride as superfluous. Or maybe I’m just feeling the heat of what my grandma called “not having a real job.” Grandma is getting in my head.


So I’m hitting up solo practitioners in the Twin Cities. Maybe one or two of them is decent and will have a chat. Maybe I can shadow them. Maybe what they do is interesting and humane and productive. Maybe I can get in on it, or learn a thing or do, or at the very least figure out if it’s possible for a guy like me to hang a shingle and just start practicing law. Even though I wouldn’t actually hang a shingle. I’d make a FB and Insta page and boost some posts. Roll the die, you know?


About writing an Alt Dad book. I’ve been hem hawing, for months. How to format. How to order. How to shape all this bulk of material. What’s the focus? What’s the lens. Who’s the audience? What’s the purpose? I decided sometime between double at the coffeeshop and crashing hard on the cavernous bed that I’m just going to do it. I’m going to write and release a chapter every two weeks to my Patreon supporters, so if you’re not yet on that bandwagon, jump on it. You can pay admission of whatever you want, as little as a bone a month. It’s all groovy and supports the cause.


In 1999, I was 13. The age I worked my first job. De-tasseling corn for $13 an hour. Now, 19 years later, I’m a kitchen cook for $10. The decline in average wage is a nation wide trend. As is the labor participation rate, which is the number of folks ages 19-64 who are employed or actively seeking employment. In fact, compared to other countries (Canada, France, Spain, Sweden, Germany, UK, Japan) only France has a lower labor participation rate. Currently, the US is at 62.9%.


I cite these statistics not only because I’m listening to The War on Normal People but because I’m trying to tell myself not to worry so damn much about not having a real job, because soon, very soon, there will be very few real jobs left. And more and more people will be in my shoes.