If I'd known in October 2005 that the job I was so excited to have would turn out to be such a dead-end for me, I would have tried to hang on for a real job.
It finally hit me about 1130 this morning (ET) that because I'd been moved from a position of considerable responsibility to a menial, scut job as what amounts to a receiving clerk, I was now going to have a reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally hard time getting another decent job, and I was effectively trapped in the most dead-end job I have ever had.
What intelligent HR guy is going to hire someone who was demoted?
I lost it today at work, confining my anger to a barely controlled seething that turned into a sullen pout the likes of which I've not displayed since I was maybe 12, and then finally degenerated into a deep depression and sense of the total futility of life-I thought for a split second of hurtling my little KIA at full speed into a tree or off a cliff, I swear to God I did, then I considered shooting myself (we do not fool around in my family-my little handgun is the same one my dad's third wife used to end her life when her epilepsy became uncontrollable).
Which, BTW, I'd given rather serious thought back in August of 1998. Suicide I mean.
Being from a family of people who do not fool around, I load my weapons with the max allowed by law (easier to get and keep that way), so I carried my snub-nosed .38 loaded with jacketed hollow points into the hot August night somewhere around 2200; I got into my so-called birthday present car (a '96 fully loaded factory condition Crown Vic) and drove out to a quiet spot west of Dothan.
I parked. I thought about it; I even cried out to the night "Give me one good reason to keep on living!"
I put the business end of the barrel against my forehead, all the while listening for someone to whisper into my heart the one good reason I needed to convince me I was worth the trouble.
The nice thing about a snub-nose is that you can easily point it at yourself without all that silly awkwardness, and shoot a clean shot that makes sure you don't survive to become a drooling further burden on those so-called loved ones that drove you to commit suicide in the first place. Comes in handy, that.
So I'm sitting there in the front seat of the last decent car I would drive for the next seven and a half completely miserable years, and just as I am going to pull the trigger, a thought occurs to me...
I don't hear a bloody thing. Nothing, not even my own breathing or heartbeat.
It is as if the world is holding it's breath.
I know, it sounds cliche, right-hey, could I enter that in some kind of contest for worst tripe written?
But it is true. For about twenty seconds, until I lowered the gun and started the car, and drove home to try slogging through the coming nightmare, I had the complete sense of surety that the entire world was stopped, holding it's breath.
This afternoon as I sat in the car after work waiting for the car to warm up I briefly considered coming home, cleaning the house and then blowing my useless and now unemployable brains out.
So of course, in a flash, for a flash, I remembered that moment ten years ago so clearly that I swear to God for a nano-second the sky was all of a sudden a night sky, I saw the stars even, and I was back in that August moment.
6th July 1998. Crusty gets in from his two weeks at work, and I realize he's been with a hooker. Has got on an airplane and flown back to America still wearing the stench and remains of a romp with a pro, he's not even bothered to shower before coming 'home' to spend time with his family.
"Open your eyes," says the mental whisper, "Open your eyes." And I do.
But it takes another month for the reality, some of it, to sink in, and when I realize how awful it is, and how very likely it is that there is ever some much more that is even worse, and my beautiful boy is beginning to hate me, my heart begins to break, and prescience sends me into a humid August night in a vain attempt to just bloody end it before all the truth is revealed.
Because I know in my heart of hearts that there is so very, very much more truth out there to settle around me, to drag me down to the very bottom where I will spend Eternity in a drowned but not dead state.
But instead, I hear nothing; the world holds it breath, and suddenly it is ten years later and I am in an Alpharetta car park shaking my head, starting the car...
"Open your eyes..."