Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Getting terminated: Human way of saying you fucked up!
By Mark William Darus
Marks refrigerator is a never ending science fair project of mold and decay. Months old streak, pork and leftovers growing new forms. Smelling not because of temperature not failing.
Unlike his kitchen carpet, it’s reeking of ammonia from dog piss and such other foul matter causing one to heave.
Cold sweats bring him about with damp clarity. Feel aof unease that never fades not matter how many times it happens, the result of medications that aim him to personal center. Not happy. Awakened once again, reaching for an empty box of LM’s tall reds, uttering the word ‘shit’ to no one but his dogs in audience, he leaves the couch to which he sleeps.
A mere hour before he drifted to slumber, eyes closed, mind most tranquil, laying on his left side as he listened to either World War II or Ken Burns Civil War documentaries. Wind of a fan covering him, cooling him. Faint whiffs of a blown out Yankee Baked Apple Pie candle fading. Falling asleep.
Full sleep, with Trazodone flowing through his system, all falls short.
He does not have nightmares to cause this. He does not have feel fear. He just awakens, bathed in his bodies own water that seeps from his pores in ever growing repeated fashion. What happened once a month just some ninety days ago, now happens three to four times a night. Unknown side effects of the combination of pills that keeps his mind going on even flows.
He had told his manager about this and his attempts to contact his psychiatrist.
Use to this, not happy for it, he scoops up his sheets and pillows and replaces them with fresh substitutes.
Letting his dogs outside, journeying to his basement, he places drenched things into the washer for cleansing.
He is not worried about mildew build-up before he gets up in the morning. A pro at this now, he knows he will be awake in another 1-2 hours to repeat this process.
Needing a cigarette, aware he will not return to sleep for at least an hour, he leaves his home after covering himself with yesterdays dark blue Echo t-shirt and faded shorts. Before doing so he brings his dogs into the his house. Giving them a snack of hamburger buns, their tails wagging about.
Into the night, strolling down Scranton Road aiming toward Clark Avenue and the one and only establishment open to purchase smokes at such an odd hour.
Walking into his world, a land where people get killed for no particular reason. Gunned down, knowing in his self no harm would happen to him here, he continues.
Half a block from personal dwelling he encounters a shoulder length red haired plain clothed cop dressed as a hooker. She so confidently offers herself to him, moving toward he as he walks soundly. No thanks, darling.
“Why not?” Swaying her hips too and fro, giggling breasts about, smile full of shining white, well cared for teeth. “Am I not good enough for you?”
Stopping hard, he critiques her.
First of all, you look way too healthy to be a Pro around here. Y’ got too much meat on your bones. Granted, this looks real good to me. You are exceptionally hot and do-able. Second, you are way too tanned with what you expose. You being a night dweller, worker, you sleep during the day. I cannot picture you sleeping off heroin or crack to awaken at night looking this good with tan lines. You carry a left whitish untanned band around the ring finger on your left hand. Third, you speak far to clearly and educated to be a money-whore.
Pausing momentarily, watching her shift uneasily, wondering perversely where she hides a microphones on so scantily clad form. Awaiting what she might have to say.
Pronouncing her a tried and true member of the Cleveland Police Department, smiling, stepping back. Still waiting.
“Wow! You got this down. You going to write a book?” she asks, taking the very same stance that made her husband fall for her a mere three years ago. Standing proud and tall, her hair and face shadowed by orange glow of streetlights with occasional shots of white and reds from passing cars.
Bowing head to her, smiling, telling her we wanted, needed a smoke.
She reaches into her ample cleavage and pulls a pack of Marlboro out. Offering him one, telling her back-ups this is a ‘four’.
Fourth, you need to tell, and or teach, your make people the art of decaying teeth.
“What?” she asks bewildered, her inner tape recording rolling.
Your teeth are way too white. Far too well maintained for you to be a working girl around here. They don’t hold the crystalline, almost opaque look they need to to make your being a junkie here remotely possible.
Cutting her off with the precision of a Master Butcher, he adds.
You don’t have PIDs.
“What’s pids?” she asks. Muscles loosening in her arms, legs doing same. The ‘Fight or Flight’ response leaving her. Her stance leaning toward knowing. Eager.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
Taking the deepest of inhales with cigarette she’d given to him, he continued. PID’s causes an abnormal lower belly to stand out. Hard to the touch. This is NOT like being pregnant. Exhaling fully, whitish smoke clouding still night. Standing tall before the Cop, giving cocky smile with eyes planting once again into hers.
“Wow,” exasperated, falling from her lips.
\ A CPD black and white Dodge Magnum moving at a steady 5 MPH comes from behind formerly known school as Saint Michaels. Approaching them, hooker/cop thrusts right hand sideways, four fingers stretched: All is okay and covered.
Yet, she calls them over.
“He a pervert?” a police man asks her.
“No, not at all.” Looking at the man, she says: “Let’s do a “Serve’ on him. Take him to the corner. Let him get a pack of smokes and take him home.”
“Okay, sis, we got this.”
Returning home, thinking of the here and now as her writes this. Thinking of the shapes from night time images that the three churches he passed on his quest for LM’s would grant him with long exposure time.
Once again, descending to the Maytag in his basement, opening lid and pulling a different sort of wet out. Clean fragrance meeting nostrils, liking it, placing things in his dryer.
Going to his place of sleep yet again, with hope he puts Sherlock Holmes Voice of Terror black and white with Basil Rathbone into his CD player. Covering himself in a quilt as he lays his head on fresh pillows, he fades to sleep once again.
Only to awaken an hour later.
Drenched in the coldest, sickening of human wetness without urination, he is now awake again.
Going through rotation, over and over again on auto-pilot. Doing without thinking.
Having no reason to leave his home, having cigarettes and plenty of laundry supplies to handle things.
Mark had told his manager what was going on with him.
He told this to her on the Monday of 08062012 via concerned voice mail regarding an email about FMLA. Tuesday and Wednesday passed with no question regarding anything mistakes he may have made. No warnings given, either verbal or written.
The morning of his suspension , he told her about how his meds were affecting things. How he couldn’t bowl due to massive lack of coordination and his fear of passing out. They both shared areas of physical things that affected them both. He asking about her family and a child illness of most serious regard.
He went to her with questions about emails regarding training on new systems he was excited to learn.
He has always been open to learning new things and processes.
She told him about what would happen and how he needed to clear a spot for a second monitor.
Feeling confident, leaving her, telling her he needed to log in, both smiling, he walked away.
He asked her where Monkey Jungle conference room was for “a Discussion” would occur at within 15 minutes after his logging in. She told him where it was.
He logged in, checked the team SAR reports.
He read the updates.
He did what he was told, cleaning a space for a monitor he would never see.
The Meeting in the conference room:
Being there, about 4-5 minutes, sitting alone in silence except for the steady hiss of constant ventilation and the lack of corporate maintenance over the last 3-4 years to change filters. Bad economy and lack of employee concerns as illnesses and flu run amok? Wondering, mind taking him to places he cannot wait to take photos of, his camera bag just in front of him with its ability to record both audio and video, he waits for his team to arrive.
His manager and her manager arrive.
Bidding a great morning. Wondering further, more so with lack of team surrounding him.
Standing in mind while sitting all the same in slightly comfy padded chair.
They told him the reason of this meeting.
He totally botched a timecard. Apparently his manager had adjusted his timecard the previous week. When he arrived at work that Monday morning August 6th 2012, he did what he normally would do. He adjusted his timecard and totally screwed it up.
When questioned about this, he said he had no idea why this occurred.
At no point did he deny this error.
He did state “this explains why my check (directly deposited into accounts in both Dollar Bank and PNC” were way higher than i had anticipated. “
His managers boss, level 2, said how this was serious.
And he said this was very serious. He also said he had no idea why he did this error.
The manager 2 went on to state how he was suspended without pay for further investigation.
Resigning himself to prior events in his company, feeling that the music had stopped and it was his turn without a chair to sit soundly upon.
Being told yet again, his future would be based on further investigation, the meeting ended and he asked if he should log off their system.
Walking back to his cube, he did as he should.
For the next several days, phone-tag would play out. Mark would call and get voice mail and vice verse. At one point, he did reach another manager 2, and she attempted to conference the call. The call was dropped, somehow.
The following morning, this being Tuesday August fourteen, he received a letter via FED EX overnight stating he was terminated.
Mark read this document, scanned it, and does what he does.
He went on.
Bowling ball in hand, a bowling team and many others behind him, camera and full mind that has been writing for months, Mark goes into other areas of life.
Call this Another Life.
In his entire life, Mark never sought the use of a lawyer.
But at fifty years old, being open to all, some things breed hopes anew.
Mark William Darus 08212012