writers blog:dry humid desert. empty for weeks
solution: make an assignment
Assignment: unemployment dreams
Begin: when it all finally happened it wasn’t like losing jobs that I had in the past. That sudden splash of cold water in your face-that dizzying blurred shock. In the past: One time walking down the streets of New York in a total haze. The financial numbers going thru my head. I’ve always been on the verge of total bankruptcy. Living paycheck to paycheck. But still, when they told me, I smiled and thanked them for the opportunity to work with them, the two short Jewish guys. I firmly shook their hands. Turned around and ran for the door before the other employees could see me.
There’s a certain amount of embarrassment to getting laid off. Although there shouldn’t be. The ones who should be embarrassed are the ones that lost the big accounts. Greedy negotiating or lack of salesmanship killed this place.
Now: For a long time I had seen the end coming here. I had witnessed the first tiny leak in the hull. Shrugging that off as just something that happens in business. Each year more people jumping ship until towards the end it was just Gabby and me. Clinging on to the railing, our bodies half way deep into the salty rush of bankruptcy ocean. The builder of the boat unseen for four long years. Tangled in debt. Exhausted of credit.
So it wasn’t guillotine swift but it still hurt. I gave my everything and failed (or so I thought)
In all of the
dreams nightmares of unemployment it is dark warehouses from my past. It is dreary and almost apocolypstic in nature. It is a David Lynch movie. Black and white. Filmed on streets of abandoned cities. Graffiti on brick walls still dripping wet. You are always alone. There is never anyone to help you.
Your new coworkers have blank faces and mumble instructions for your new tasks. You don’t understand. They shake their heads and walk back into an office probably to report you.
I’ve always thought to myself that money is the solution to all problems. Money equals happiness. But it is, as Forest Gump so simply says, one less thing. There are people in jail for the love of money. There are people dead from greed. Wars have been fought for wealth, It is somewhere written that cash is the root to all evil. The moral of the story is this: everyone finds out the hard way that money isn’t the absolute key to happiness. Respect money. Manage it well and you can live a good life. Try to get, hope for, pray for, inherit a good work ethic.
I had finally found a break, a paid vacation, sleeping in, staying up late but I couldn’t enjoy it. Finding a job is more work than actually having a job. The interviews. The revamping of resumes. The searching. The searching. And of course, the searching. Write a cover letter that will grab their attention in the first few sentences. Cliche is boring!
The real nightmare was reality. My car on the edge of total death. Every day a little older and who hires old people anyway? So fear is reality. Again. Fear triggers these nightmares of worthlessness, self-pity and creates these streets of industrial gloom in my dreams. Every job I’ve ever worked comes back to visit me. Decades before the dot com bust I delivered newspapers, tried painting, assembly lines, pumped gas, drove fork trucks down skinny warehouse aisles, poured five gallons plastic containers of bleach, loaded trucks on wind swept zero degree shipping docks on the overnight shift. Punched in. Punched out. Met a slew of the strangest people.
This is the thing: Suck up your fear. Walk thru the door. Shake their hand with power and knowledge. Smile with wisdom. And if you don’t know what the fuck they are talking about, nod your head in agreement and say you do. Fake it till you make it. The dots will always connect. They always have somehow for me.