Friday, November 10, 2006

Life Can Be Scary

The young lady walks through the living room wearing black sweatpants and a string tank top. “Excuse me,” she says politely, as I watch that perfect little body go by. Every time Eva B. passes, thoughts of malevolence run through my head. She’s a fine looking lady, an addict at least a decade younger than Dan M. I have to constantly reminding myself she’s his girlfriend. It’s good to exercise one’s daemons. It teaches you that morality is not inherent.

Lying in bed, nearly falling back to sleep way too early in the evening, thoughts of June W. run through my head. I couldn’t stop the anger from building up in me from the day before. June had said we’d have time to spend together that evening, or so I thought. There are so many feelings about her that are coming to the surface that I wanted to discuss with her. But then she changed her mind and decided she didn’t have time to spend with me because of an important party she’s throwing for her boss and colleagues.

With June it’s always too early to discuss our current relationship. She doesn’t even want to admit we have one. My belief is that there’s always a relationship between two people, any two people. If the human mind is the most complex thing in the known universe, the relationship between any two must be the most complicated protocol known to man. The fact that she is not interested in expending one ounce of effort to try to understand or define it after our divorce is so negligent.

Then it clicked! What really makes June tick: money. She’s attracted to money. That’s what attracted her to me. I was a Software Engineer (well, I guess I still am) who made a decent wage. And at that time, before the technology bubble burst, anyone in the computer field had a promising career ahead of them.

However, June never could understand what made me tick. I never got into the computer field for the money. I love programming computers. After the technology bubble burst, many surviving companies decided the computer field would be measured by the bottom line. That’s when outsourcing the technology trust became a popular choice for American CEOs. Programming computers for the fun of it was now relegated to the technology centers around the nation, like Silicone Valley.

I never would’ve imagined that my job would be outsourced to India. Now American’s complain that they are discussing their private financial records on an over-seas call with someone who’s native language is not English; how secure is that?

So Wax falls back on this first love, what he majored in college originally: photography. And what better way to get your feet wet than to work in a photo lab. Being constantly depressed about my situation, I looked forward to going to work instead of the harsh reality of my life.

Being turned down for the Photo Lab Manager position was not devastating. I really took away from that experience a healthy lesson in failure. We must reach for the stars if wish to travel to the Moon. I had my regrets afterwards, which made me question motives of The Store. But the complicated machinery of a highly successful corporation is not always understood by one cog.

Soon, I fell back into my old comfortable position of the repairman, a habit that dies hard. I was always trying to fix things in my marriage, not realizing that when June was complaining about problems, she didn’t always want her man to fix them; sometimes it was enough just to listen. But sometimes she did. I never could distinguish which though. At work, I distracted myself by making sure all machinery worked flawlessly. It’s a busy job, but it paid off. As a consolation, I was moved full-time to Photo Lab, instead of two day there and three days in Electronics.

Simon P. called while I was working frantically in the lab. “Hey Wax, when you get a chance, please stop by my office.”

“Is this about that dreaded news you’ve been scaring me with?” I jest.

“No, no, nothing like that.” Of course, no more detail than that. He’s got something important to tell me, but it must be face-to-face.

“Okay, I’ve got a half-dozen one-hours to process. Can it be in thirty minutes?”

“Sure, whenever you finish, come meet me in my office,” he says.

It’s fallen on Simon to discipline me for working way past my scheduled hours. It’s got to be that. Simon is the executive in charge of Photo Lab, its manager’s boss. He has a keen interest in making sure the lab runs smoothly and has thanked me on several occasions for going above and beyond the call of duty. In fact, he’s the only one who appreciates my efforts. Who else better to deliver bad news?

“Latisha, can you hold down the lab for a little while? Simon wants to see me in his office,” I ask.

“Is it good news,” she asks with a shit-eating grin on her face. She knows something. Latisha A. is their choice for Photo Lab Manager, one made more for her leadership skills then her photography.

“Now how would I know what he wants me for?” I reply.

Simon invites me into his office and shuts the door. “How would you like to be Photo Lab Manager?” he asks.

Without Wax,