All that compromising for nada, nothing, not a damn thing. All the money I wasted on meds to help me cope and sleep, all the trips to the work therapy group (dedicated employees with asshole bosses or supervisors). I’ve put up with so much crap the last 40 years. My mantra “I understand” has gotten me through some tough situations. But it didn’t work this time.
She’s such a bitch, he thought as he headed out the door, not even noticing the “good nights”, “see you tomorrow”, or” Jim, Jim, wait up!” He pulled out his keys, and pushed the remote button. Nothing.
He realized he was standing in the parking lot of his former employer and his car was gone. Oh shit! Perfect! he screamed, and sat down on the curb, tears streaming down his cheeks. He sat there sobbing quietly, just out of view of the employees clocking out for the day. If you asked him what he was thinking, or what happened during that time, he would give you a blank stare, slowly focusing and responding with “what? And then fading away again, back inside where it’s safe.
He felt a hand on his shoulder and saw the blonde panhandler who had been holding court on the median strip the last few days. What’s wrong honey? she said quietly. He looked up at her silently, thinking that she had an awfully nice pedicure for a panhandler.
The next thing he knew, he started to get cold, and realized that night had fallen and he was still sitting on the curb, on his own. I didn’t even see her leave, he thought, and using his hands pushed himself to his feet.
His legs were asleep and prickly. He rocked back and forth, shifting his weight from one leg to the other, until they returned to life. His new black work shoes, ordered from a catalog, were gone. So were his jacket and his wallet. He looked in the bushes behind him and found a trolley pass, along with his empty wallet.
Good Karma he thought and began to laugh hysterically. Brushing the dirt and gravel from the seat of his pants, he wrapped his arms around his torso, running his hands up and down his side, to try to get warm.
My car, he remembered, my car is gone. As he returned to reality, he headed up the street, in his socks towards the trolley station. As he passed the brake shop, he stopped suddenly, remembering that he had lost his car to the finance company months ago, and had been riding the trolley ever since. He’d dropped some of his baby fat too, with all this walking. He chuckled to himself at the thought of anything related to his body being described as baby, by anyone.
Can’t wait to tell my wife the bitch won, and I’m out of a job, probably shortly out of a house, maybe out of a family. What about his pets. How would he ever feed them?
He stopped again. A sharp rock that pierced the formerly white athletic socks that were now covered with dirt and grime. How much food is left in the house for us? Is there any money at all in the bank? I need to remember to call and have them issue a new check tomorrow, to replace the stolen one. Maybe his son in law could float him some money for a day or two. He was working, and the two of them had been living in his house for over two years. Wish he had a cell phone so I could call him. Wait, where’s my cell?
He realized in his rush to get out of the building after his visit to HR, that he had left his personal cell phone on the computer stand in his office. Did I turn in my key, he pondered? Should I head back, see if I can get in, see if there is any change in my desk, and then head home, or to Clancy’s first for a beer, if he can come up with some change?
It’s only 7:00pm so it’s not too late. If I can’t find a security guard to get my phone, should I use the key? Will they think I’m breaking in to vandalize the place? Will the guard even give me my stuff without getting authorization from the CEO, who barely knew I was alive when I worked there, and probably has no idea I exist at all. HR will think I’m up to no good, thanks to the bitch and the ”set up” that had caused all this grief.
God, my eyes itch. Is it spring already, allergy season. Thoughts were racing through his mind, random, seemingly unrelated. All he knew was he needed his phone, he couldn’t leave without his phone, so he reversed direction and headed back towards work, or his former work.