I quit my job.
  March 25, 2003

By god, I've done it!  Release the balloons!  I gave notice at my firm yesterday and blamed it on Lanie's impending residency at a hospital in Long Island.  Martha, the office secretary and a walking repository of gossip, stopped by and asked in a theatrical whisper, eyes wide: “Did they finally get to you?”  I smiled and shook my head, although of course they did.  I feel relieved but I suspect the weight will descend again soon.  At least the subject matter of my contemplated new career is books, not power plants.

I hear voices in my head as I walk around: sentences, snippets of dialogue.  I catch myself mentally writing the narratives of events while they are still happening around me, to me.  No wonder I'm distracted.  This formed in my head the other day, more or less complete:

My officemate is a learned man. He uses a lot of big words that make me feel stupid by comparison. I asked him today what the deal was with the staplers. He smiled a knowing smile and advised me not to be such an embryo.

“Listen, Red,” he said. “How come your name is 'Red'? Were your parents commies or something?”

“What do you care?” I bristled.

“I don't. My interest is purely entomological.”


“So were they?”

“I dunno,” I answered reluctantly. “You tell me. They believed that man is a fundamentally virtuous animal capable of transcending his narrow self-interest and building a society free of rabid exploitation and based on the pursuit of common good and the nurturing of individual talent.”

He stared at me for a second. “Nah,” he decided. “They weren't commies, they were just stupid.”

“Fuck you,” I said, to which he grinned.

I don't have an officemate…

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