First, an introduction.
Here's a definition from Wikipedia: "The monomyth (often referred to as the Hero's Journey) is the cyclical journey undertaken by the standard mythological hero
, as described by Joseph Campbell
in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces
(1948) or the journey called Haft-khân (Seven Stages) undertaken by the Persian hero Rustam
in the monumental epos Shahnama
. The core concept of the monomyth is: "A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow men."
I have always been interested in patterns and cycles, which explains my interest in mathematics. In every song I've ever heard I hear a formula, and the same goes for film. There is truly nothing new out there, and everything that is happening or will happen is just a repetition of something that came earlier. While doing research last night I stumbled across the concept of the Monomyth and was fascinated by it. Remembering how this concept was used by James Joyce (probably before this concept even had a name) in "Ulysses" and even "Finnegans Wake," I figured I'd apply the basic formula to my everyday work routine. So here it is...Roland & the Monomyth.
Departure (or Separation)
The Call to Adventure
Seven a.m. and the fucking alarm clock is bleating out it's irritating reminder. One, two, three, four...by the fifth I finally reach the goddamn thing and switch it off. I sit on the edge of the bed, running my hands through my hair. Why the fuck can't I just lay back down? While my bed isn't the most comfortable thing in the world, it's good enough to lay on and get a nice fucking rest when your body's worn out from a long day of nothing happening.
Refusal of the Call
If I called in sick today, it's not like it would even matter. Sure, the morning shift is hectic, but fuck it. I'm not in the mood to deal with the elderly bitching about how I made a mistake checking in an item that they still have sitting in their car. I love the library, but sometimes the people I have to deal with make working there as pleasant as fucking a ziplock baggie full of gravel. I can stay in. It won't hurt anyone.
Fuck, my Visa bill is due in a couple of weeks. I need to get my ass out of bed and into the shower.
The Crossing of the First Threshold
I go into the bathroom and lay my freshly washed wife beater, jeans, and briefs on the hamper, and place a warm towel on top of it. I turn the hot water knob in the shower on first and wait for it to warm up. A nice steam starts rising, so I twist the cold water knob until the heat inside is bearable. Ahhh...this water feels so goddamn good on my skin. I can sit in this warm spot all day. Damn it...my stomach. This always happens. I better get to the toilet before I shit all over the tile. Great, now there's water all over the toilet seat. What is it about a hot shower that always gives me the shits? I don't get it. Now I have to shower in a bathroom full of diarrhea stink. On the bright side I can clean my ass without needing toilet paper. More soap. My hair is nice and soft now. Receding maybe, but soft as a fresh slice of cake. This bores me and I'm clean already, better turn this shit off. Wipe away every drop, starting with my arms. Slip on my briefs, wife beater, finally pants, and I'm ready to brush my teeth. These fillings look ugly...goddamn it! Is that another cavity? I don't even like Brit pop, so this shit's not gonna fly. Ah well. I don't need to shave. The rugged look will do for today.
The Belly of the Whale
I pop open the trunk of my car and get the faceplate for my CD player out. Opening up the door I set my books down on the passenger's seat, usually empty, and put in whatever CD is tickling my fancy at the moment. Some country will do for today. Nice sad much to get me through the ride.
The Road of Trials
What the FUCK is up with all these stupid assholes on the road today? Jesus CHRIST almighty! Dumb shits don't even know how to use a turn signal. It's not hard...you flip one fucking lever in one direction. Are these people retarded? YOU CAN'T CROSS HERE, BITCH! THERE'S A CROSSWALK NOT EVEN A BLOCK DOWN!!! Yeah, fuck you too, buddy. Great, I forgot that school's starting. You don't drop your kids off in the middle of the street, dick! Oooh, you're SO cool. Teenagers asserting their "individuality." You're pathetic. I always catch this stupid light. Nobody's here yet...oh wait, I see some cars. My usual spot.
The Meeting with the Goddess
She opens up the door and smiles at me, her sweet chubby face pinched on each side with dimples. "Good morning, Roland" she says, in the sweetest voice I'll hear all morning. After putting my books in my cubbyhole I return to her and ask what I'm to do this morning. She's the one who knows my destiny. Without her guidance, I am lost. She shows me the work schedule and informs me about what I'm to do to get through the morning shift.
Woman as Temptress
I walk to the desk and begin my shift. I take my items off of my record and begin cleaning up the front as much as I can. A coworker comes up to me and tells me what job I should be doing this morning. While this job is more appealing than the other, I let her know that a schedule was already made, and I've been assigned something else. She looks at me, raises an eyebrow, and says, "Oh, OK." Temptation overcome, I resume my scheduled work.
Atonement With the Father
What the fuck am I doing here? When I was growing up I always heard stories about how my dad was constantly working. He'd brag about being fourteen years old and already having a job. Then I'd hear about how he had kids early, a wife, and blah blah blah, all this shit. I want kids, but I'm glad I don't have them now, with my part time job, depression, and debt. Also, I don't think a failed marriage is something to be bragging about, especially since it was to a woman that I don't even know. A woman who, if he would have stayed with her, would have insured that I would never have been born. I understand what he's trying to say, though. I know that there is so much more I could be doing with my life. He means the best for me, and this "bragging" is probably the only way he knows how to pass the morals and ethics he grew up with down to me. He never beat the shit out of me, so that's a plus. I have that advantage over both of my parents, who were both kicked around by theirs when they were kids.
College has been a total fucking waste of my time! As if having a fancy degree is gonna guarantee a good life. I already have an AA...shouldn't that be enough? Sure, it may help with jobs like the one I'm in now, but really, is this what I plan on doing for the remainder of my life? I jumped into the library system because it fit most conveniently with my school schedule. Is this the life I want? There is so much more that I can be doing, and the only problem is that I'm not actively making it happen. This is bullshit!!!
The Ultimate Boon
I'll be OK. I'm working on things now, making them happen in my own way. I have a club, I have friends, I have connections. I just have to bide my time. That's what I've always done, and things have always worked out for me. This will be no different. Oooh, and look...I'm almost off! Just another few minutes. Hope no fucking customer with a stack of forty-nine books comes up a minute before my shift ends. I look at the time on the phone, and see my time for the day is just about up. Five, four, three, two, one...I'm off! See y'all tomorrow!
Refusal of the Return
I grab my stuff and start heading for the door. Hey, my friend came in just now! I'd like to stick around for a bit...wait, no, I better not. If I stay here now, who knows when the hell I'll get out. Plus, I might be asked to change my schedule again. Oh, but they brought food! They lay out various snacks and fruits along the table, all of them looking incredibly delicious. No...I have to leave now. But I'm hungry! I look over once again at the table, and see some of my coworkers start digging their hands into the food, shoving fistfuls of cake down their gullets. I can hear the chewing, and it helps me make my way out the door.
The Magic Flight
I pull out of the driveway and begin my trip home. Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle. Bright sun outside and hardly any traffic. This is new. I see the kids are getting out of their classes. Thank God I won't have to deal with them now! Smooth roads, and the air smells nice, like freshly cut grass.
Rescue From Without
How much change do I have? I should stop and grab a burger, since I didn't eat any breakfast and didn't stick around to eat any of the food that was brought in to work. Let's see...a quarter, some pennies, a couple nickels...FUCK. This pile of change is useless.
The Crossing of the Return Threshold
I pull into my driveway and park in the backyard. After I put the faceplate to my CD player in the trunk I gather the books I checked out and head to the back door. Surprise surprise, the shit's locked. Why do they lock this when they know I always come in through the back? I walk to the front and dodge the chickens and cats along the way. When I reach the front door I twist the knob and feel the nice cool air of my home hit me as I open the door.
Master of Two Worlds
I walk into my bedroom and lay my identification badge on the computer desk. Looking down at it I realize that I am an expert at my job. There are a few areas that I may need some brushing up on, but by and large I know exactly what to do and how to do it. When I work I am a different person than who I am with my friends, but those differences have more to do with my lexicon than anything else. I take the skills I learn from work and apply them to my daily life, and apply skills I take from my daily life to my work. Perfect harmony is achieved.
Freedom to Live
I walk to my computer and feel at ease. I have completed my job for the day. Now I am a step closer to paying off my bills and maintaining my lifestyle. Maybe I'll visit a friend today, or maybe I'll watch a film. Everything is open before me, and it feels magnificent. Today was, indeed, a beautiful Goodpussy day, and it ain't even over yet.