Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Lost Needs and Pathological Liars

Snow. White shrapnel from warring in the heavens, I suppose. It's amazing
how many sufferers there are today of a serious seasonal depression. With
the arrival of the winter months, many find it hard to keep going, to find
meaning amidst struggle and hardship. Especially, I guess, because of the
fact that Christmas is reportedly one of the highest suicide times of the
whole year. All of these bullshit glitzy glamour 'I'm a rich bastard with
medicated white teeth who shops at Macys' commericals really inundate
any sort of integrity associated with this holiday. It kind of makes me
feel sick and hurt when I think about some unlucky bastard blowing his
brains out beside a scraggly Christmas tree holding a 38 special in one
hand and a bottle of Johnnie Walker blue in the other (because hey, if
you're gonna go out, midaswell go out with an expensive brand of X.)

I'm finding it harder to make it to work each day, what with the whistling
winds from frosty heights that shake and rattle my being to its core.
The canal is already starting to freeze over and it's only December for
shit sakes. December. What did I do to deserve this? Please tell me.

Digressing. Processing.

Interesting thing happened on the way to work the other day. As I
walked to the foot of the building near the black glass entrance doors
(this is usually the part of the day where I curse myself and the day
I was born) I saw someone with a full head of steam coming out from
the elevators. The face on this older person was beet red and you
could almost see smoke rising from his head. But as he got closer
to the doors, I knew the jacket he was wearing, kind of an orangey
black. Yep. It was Vance. I figured he was pissed off about some
systematic 'fo-paw' within our marketing campaign as he...well..
always is pissed off at someone or something. But for some reason,
as he came closer to me, I didn't feel so mad at him and all his big
never-shutting, nation-spanning mouth as I could tell that...he had
been crying.

Maybe it was in the elevator or maybe it was on the phone to his ex,
who he is still in large legal battle with, but he had been crying. You
could see it in the corners of the eyes and a little extra glassy-ness
in his eye fluid. He spotted me, unfortunately, and cut across a few
people's lanes of walking traffic and for some unknown reason stuck
out his hand, as if he wanted to shake my hand formally. I don't
really like this kind of thing for a few reasons;
1. I try to 'interact' with other people as little as possible
2. With many other people around, the last thing I want is a 'scene'.
3. I've never liked him and I don't really care about what he is
going to tell me.

But anyways, I shook the bastard's hand and that's when he said it.
'Well dude, it's been nice knowing you. I've been terminated'. And
with all of the mustered confidence in the world, I could tell that
today, of all days, Vance wasn't going to say much because he could
barely get that last word out without crying like a collicky newborn.
I felt horrible. There we were, his hand still holding mine in a half-
shake and half-'I don't want to let go' hold. Poor fucker. I mean I
know he lied all the time, claimed to have millions in trust funds
(and to have trained shareholders in Sweden) and partially owned
a golf course, but I could as everyone could see it now that most and
all of what Vance said was bullshit...but I couldn't let him just stand
there humiliated like that. He was, after all, still a human being.

So what happened next kind of defies the word 'weird' in all of its
mysticism. He blubbered on, slouching in front of me, having lost all
composure...and I felt an unshakeable urge...to hug him. I don't
really even understand what hugging is and I think I've really only
seen it in movies and shitty sitcom shows, but there I was, a near
thirty year old man hugging another man of sixty plus. And as I
pulled him in, he kind of fell into me, understanding that it was
something he wanted...and just needed at that moment in his life.
Hell, who knows. I bet he doesn't even have an ex-wife. This poor
sucker probably has no one. No one at all. I could smell a faint trace
of Old Spice (figures, it's probably Wilford Brimley's favorite brand)
and a little bit of strong alcohol, like tequila or whiskey of some kind.
I guess that's what he kept in his aluminum carry mug.

I'm not really sure how long the hug lasted, or really what else
happened that day, but I know that I haven't seen Vance since then
and I probably never will again. Ember is happy that he's 'finally'
gone. What a bitch. She worked with him for not even a month
and she says 'finally'. Pat the Cuckoo clock doesn't even know
what happened and keeps sidling up to people in the lunchroom asking
'what's going on? where's Vance?' as she will always be someone who is
forever out-of-the-loop, both socially and universally. But one thing
is for sure- No one knows what happened with Vance and I and
I hope to hell that no one EVER finds out.

But it makes me wonder how long I can keep on like this.

How long can I do it?
How long can I surely be rid?
How long till its over?
How much longer can I stay off the grid?