The Fir At Apartment 624

This morning i had my third visit to Human Resources.  Aren’t they supposed to fire me after three visits?  I thought that’s what i read in our Employee Handbook.  Somewhere in those forty pages, i swear that’s what it says.  First time, verbal discipline.  Second time, written warning.  Third time, if no improvement, dismissal.  I wanted to be fired and am so disappointed that i wasn’t.  What else can i do?  I never wanted to be a Collector.  It’s not what i aspired to be when i got my BA in History in 2011.  I wanted to be an Archivist.   But when this job came along, i was desperate to make my car payment, rent, and buy food.  So i took the job.  I have a cubicle, or as it’s called here at Winsome Collections, a pod.  I work in pod #16 on the 2nd floor.  I have to make a minimum of 8 phone calls per hour.  I’ve been trying to get fired for 3 months.  I’ve taken long lunches.  I’ve eaten my lunch at my desk several times.  It’s forbidden according to the company handbook.  One time, i ate a messy pepperoni and mushroom calzone with marinara.  I made a show of cleaning up my spills when i was finished.  My supervisor said nothing.  Just yesterday when i was on a call with a 68 year old woman about her $1525.00 Visa bill, we got into an involved conversation about her propensity to spend lots of money on flatware, pretty bowls and kitchen utensils.  She owes $1,100.00 of her bill to Kitchen Kaboodle.  I don’t care if she pays her bill.  She’s 68 for goodness’ sake!  Let her have all the kitchen stuff she wants!  I can’t be nasty to people who owe money.  This is the worse job in the world for someone like me.  I’m a feeler to the core.

So i was prepared when i went to HR this morning.  My heart pounded in anticipation.  I thought sure my butt would be kicked to the curb.  I had no idea what i’d do when i got fired. But i was sure it’s what i want.  Except that i was disappointed.  I walked back to pod #16.  And here i sit.  I’m staring out the window outside the door to my pod at all the gorgeous fir trees.  I’d like to walk out of the building, get into my car and drive away from here.  After three more seconds of thinking, that’s what i do.  I grab my knapsack, my car keys and my water bottle, and i walk out.  I walk away from pod #16 and out into the beautiful 92 degree July sunshine!  So tempted to speed back to my apartment, but i slow down and take deep breaths.  I’m free!  I pull into my assigned parking space and take the stairs up to #624.  I’m too excited to take the elevator.  Darrell, my tuxedo kitty, greets me at the door.  He senses something is different. Thank goodness Jon isn’t here sitting on the couch, drinking a Bud and watching Boomerang with the volume at 25.  I broke up with him 3 months ago.. at the same time i decided to get fired from my job.  He said, you’ll never find anyone like me.  And i said, no, i’m sure i won’t.  Thank my lucky stars for that.

Since i haven’t been home at this hour in ages, i’m not sure what to do.  I scoop out a big plate full of my leftover homemade mac and cheese.. decide to eat it cold.. and pour myself a nice glass of Chardonnay.  I figure i might have to cut back on the expensive wine i like now that i’ve put myself out of a job.. and i plunk down on the couch for a few episodes of Supernatural on Netflix.  Great show!  Both of the guys are hot, and there’s all that mystery.

I look out the sliding glass doors.  I should sit out there; it’s so sparkly and sunny out.  I’m pretty wound up and trying to relax.  I do a double take out the window.  There are about a hundred tall Douglas Firs out back of our building, behind the split rail fence that forms the border of this property.  One of the trees has moved.  I’ve lived in this apartment for 5 years.  I’ve had chances to move to other apartments, but i’m attached to those lovely firs.  I swear that one of the trees has moved 10 feet closer to the building.  I’m seeing things.  The tree hasn’t moved.  Obviously that can’t be.  I finish my mac and cheese, pour another glass of wine and forward to another episode of my show.  I’m getting sleepy.  I put down my wine glass and empty plate and lean back.  I look out again, and the tree has moved another 10 feet closer.  I close my eyes for a few seconds and look out again.  The tree has jumped over the fence.  I’m losing my mind.  Too much wine.  It’s dark outside.  Why is it dark outside?  It’s only 6 pm, and it’s July.  Now the tree is glowing.  I need a nap.  Sleep long enough for the wine to wear off, then i’ll watch more TV.  Yes, everything will be normal when i wake up.  I lie back and drift away.  I wake up and look at the clock and 4 hours have passed.  I must have been exhausted.  It’s all the excitement of walking off the job.  I feel much better.  I get up and stretch, but then i feel dizzy.  I fall back on the couch, look out the window and see that the tree is right outside the glass door.  About 2 feet away from the terrace.  And it’s shining with bright purple lights.  Like someone has decorated it for Christmas.  I feel a rush of energy and run to the window to see the top of the tree. I open the door and step outside.  There’s a big purple shining star at its top.  I feel warm and glowing inside.  And there’s a tiger sitting on my terrace as if he’s guarding the tree.  And Tiger says.. go ahead, Brandon, climb the tree.  All will be better when you climb the tree…


By M. Raynes


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