Disconnected: Installment Four

Disconnected is a column published bi-weekly by Rob George. Disconnected is a collection of semi stream-of-consciousness poems usually generated from one compelling thought. The rest of the poem is written around this thought, at an attempt to be both surprising but concrete.

I, Carumba

By Rob George

Vexillology, as a subject, is complicated and interests me greatly. It is the study of the symbolism and importance of flags, namely national flags. The other important type of flag would be nautical flags. In an accidental way, the shared importance of flags between nations and seafarers creates a connection, though tenuous, between these two genres of belonging. Ships, therefore, become small nations of the sea. I am curious whether international waters are named as such due to the frequency of their occupation by random nation-ships.

Does the fact that a fish can breathe water preclude its ability to also drown?

My dad calls me and we discuss the likelihood of our reality being a simulation. He is convinced of it due to two facts. The first being that his favorite philosophy podcast finds it more than likely that this is the case. The second being an anecdote that he tells me where he and my brother search for a folding cot to use in my brother’s upcoming camping trip. They comb the house to no avail, only to remember that, if our reality is a simulation and the cot was forgotten by a lazy programmer, a cheat code could be necessary to break the dimensional wall and retrieve the lost item. They proceed to bend their knees in a similar fashion to how you would manipulate an XBOX joystick, with their eyes closed, and upon opening them the cot was directly in front of their eyes.

If my reality is a simulation, it is likely that on screen it resembles The Sims. I wish that I too could change my clothes in a confined personal tornado.

With taxes due in a few weeks, I went to my old place of employment, where I was employed and had a job that I worked at and that payed me money which I spent mostly on groceries, beer, and cigarettes, to complain about my ex-employer’s dropping of the proverbial ball regarding a copy of my much needed W-2 form, which was necessary to complete the filing of my taxes. My ex-employer, who I believe to be quite literally leading me on as would an unrequited lover, but in this case an unrequited paycheck, informed me that if I were to stay in contact with him, he may give me my job back. As would a benign invitation received from a well-meaning friend-from-whom-you-would-prefer-more-than-friendship incite feelings of anxiety and hope, my eyes grew wide at the prospect of being able to purchase more groceries, beer, and cigarettes.

If groceries, beer, and cigarettes cost money then it tracks that I do happen to live in a society.

As a rule, I try never to instigate conflict between me and those around me. I instead choose to focus on forgetting important dates and information regarding my friends, and harboring dull and placid emotions toward most of the people I meet. I do, however, expect the opposite to be returned to me by those with whom I come in contact. This, I feel, is a great way to achieve a sedentary, noncommittal lifestyle, which is the easiest form of lifestyle to attain when one is depressed and/or suffering feelings of worthlessness. When at my lowest points, I try to stay

grounded in the things that I like or enjoy coming into contact with. Therefore I have links bookmarked on my Firefox browser, which I run with Linux, to assure myself that I am much cooler and more interesting than those around me, that when clicked take me to websites offering beautiful collages of national flags. If that doesn’t work, I will go to the store to purchase immense quantities of groceries, beer, and cigarettes.