It was a dark and stormy afternoon. It had not yet begun to precipitate, but the sky was a moldy blue and the evening before had already provided enough warning of what was to come. I sat beside a window and waited for something to happen. There were a lot of thoughts going through my mind, and none of them had to do with the weather. More than a month ago I had been fired from my job. With no prospects and less hope, I worried about my future and the possibility that I could be ruined, and it was all because of a conspiracy I couldn’t prove.
My employer never came out and said so, but for months I had been manipulated, fed a series of phone calls that originated from our own offices, baiting me into a trap I couldn’t get out of, waiting for me to fail. During the exit interview, conducted over the phone and with someone I’d never met, they played cool until I started to reveal the full brunt of my frustrations. This had been a place where you were expected to remain calm, even in the midst of interminable abuse, from strangers who didn’t mind insulting you in the process of rebelling against a system they suddenly found to be unjust. The real joke was that I became the victim, a hapless martyr to a cause and recipients who would never know and would always be ungrateful. I sat there dejected, utterly crushed.
My phone sat in my pocket and every time it rang I was disappointed, never what I wanted, never someone who would understand, or offer me a job. I guess I felt deserving, and not a little annoyed, and stewed over a mystery that would never be solved. How do you find answers when you’ve been told to never return? Without a reason, it was not like I was going to show up at the office and just hope someone slipped up. I had already given up the chance to go back. They mailed me anything that I still needed from them, after the accordion file I walked away with and not much else. I even left my candy in the drawer.
Wind was hustling the trees, and for a moment I shook myself out of a mindless revelry to watch, and listened to a bird sing its confession to the world. The only thing I had left was a desire to forget. I could never move on as long as the past weighed me down instead of doing its job, help point a way forward. I shunned the window and imagined that I was in a cave, surrounded by images of the great and tragic heroes, those who challenged fate, and for whom living to tell about it was now and forever a moot point. I realized that the only way to survive was to die. The end of my ego would be the beginning.