Terrance Bled quit his meaningless job. His boss had asked him, "Why?" And he had answered him that the job was meaningless. His boss had responded with that "a job becomes what you bring to it." He hadn't known what to say to that. It was something his father would say. Every room and hallway in that office building echoed with words and phrases he heard his father say or thought he heard him say. Actually his father's words became a tasteless breakfast that couldn't possibly launch him into his day into the rest of his life. And yet his father's words were as double-edged acupuncture that slowly let his reasons his reasons his defenses his comprehension leak out so slowly and rapidly scab for others to cast disparaging glances and comments and work his way. Their way and the boss's way was very close to practically on the shoulder of the highway. Every update he made to his so-called and recalled recalled back and rejected updates he made and remade remade were buckled with his signature that resembled flattened fauna on the edge of the next county. The next county the next state the next ocean to the next world not of this world. There was no such world. So he quit. He quit and turned and left the office where he felt his boss's words heard his boss's glare or whatever expression tried to get him to settle into his sandtrap and bury himself in the policies and procedures manual. He walked down the hallway and felt the heat in his neck on his neck tightening its tight and vicarious cognitive linguistic adage or the most recently forwarded insult.
Made it to the elevator and pressed the UP button by mistake. To ascend falsely regretting and supposing it was heading for a planned course into the top floor where the upper people were they even people were waiting to offer their observations they had been making and reports they had received from his boss. Or there would be no one up there but empty space and he would have his badge lasered off by a machine that would send him off into orbit and see where he could have lived if only he been good enough or bad enough or sneaky and despicable enough or phony enough or off the wall enough. He was off the wall or would be off the wall and off of everything soon enough and drift to the next world. Forget it. Where did that come from? Who did that come from? He knew and his words would be piped into the suit they would give him as he drifted. The tape the disc the whatever would play and play in his suit in his organs in his body until he would be left with his growing discomfort pain pains and disease and he smashed the DOWN button and the elevator stopped suddenly as it bounced between floors between worlds. He was kidding himself with another world. There was no other world. Only one rotating repeating disaster catastrophe filled world and he was finally going down in it. Just go to the basement and keep taking stairs that go deeper and steeper and wider and narrower into the belly and become an infection to the foundations. He was kidding himself and pressing the ground main the main thing the main floor button who has got it the button for him to press with a finger that pointed accusingly at superior forms of silhouettes and faces the face that spit what you bring to it what you spring and hop to hop to it and find it in yourself to hack it into that tasteless breakfast of the one pretending pretending all these years to be someone who learned something to discern things and can't get off the ground can't get off and the ground floor.
The doors opened hesitantly as the dark faces in it frowned their words of contempt and luring him back up to the floor where he quit where he had quit and felt no weight lift but shift deeper into his chest and clutch at his neck as it sank. He tried to push it under the water's surface of the fouled pool a large dead jellyfish that would not sink and it was coming back to life. It split in half as the doors opened. He looked for the lobby and recalled or thought he recalled the corner where he needed to hang a right to get there and be there and leave there from there to leave. Or be trapped and restricted by the restricting presence of words that surrounded and made the body cave in and get hot and just overheat and manage to keep breathing and keep breathing those words and phrases of toxic apologies for their errors of the times and how things were different in these times where more errors were bound to happen and his counted more because his were so close to the shoulder of the highway headed to the next world that wasn't there so they would just come back to chew off his limbs and then where would he be who would be to see blurry the figures to attempt to make the figures add together add up add down as the elevator went up and down in the world to leave into the lobby that he couldn't to his mind squeeze out where it was.
Listening to the elevator doors slamming shut with that deadening metallic sound that made him think of that story of the lion that did not want anymore to be king and he found himself circled by hyenas laughing at his mane falling out tuft after tuft plucked out by the birds chirping in his ears. Those chirps that went through his skull like a lightning bolt must have gone through the giraffe's brain that made up steps and patterns of steps to give the impression he was onto something onto greater places in the wild that was only irrational as an animal could be irrational and without its instincts for survival that looked like the choreographed kind to the rest of the herd or others not to his herd because they shunned the giraffe for it was only for others. Yes, only for others unfamiliar that didn't matter as much like the rest of his existence making up steps that made smaller and smaller circles in the dirt. Clouds of dirt that plumed like from an arrogant and indifferent blaze. The blaze that took so many from time to time to the times of more errors from those in charge and those that no longer wanted to be in charge like the lion who stood in the center of the circle of hyenas as they laughed and waited for him to put his crown back together that continually came apart and get those tufts back into his skull even if it took all night in these times of errors that were shared mostly by the little ones the lesser ones the talked about ones the laughed about ones.
He turned the corner and thought at least he reached the conclusion or nothing like it at all that brought him to the elevator that would go to the parking garage and entering and stepping out to inside the black box with the doors that split more dark faces laughing contemptuously split in half to reveal a hallway that looked very much like the hallway that was like the hallway that turned around another corner apparently only right straight into his boss's office and he fell into the doorway and stood witness to the witnessing of his boss's expression or lack thereof and words of silent and empty phrases that brought his shoulders slumping and slumping into depostured return to his desk and stared at the calendar that stretched its landscape of a lattice structure skyscraper that blocked his view of any of his future views of the future of the sun sitting at his desk where he had resigned himself.
- Max Stoltenberg