I am still standing, with the layoff sword swinging above my head. I can feel it whoosh by and chop a few hairs each time.
Today hundreds were lost. Like baby birds with new wings, they got sent into the unknown. But I'm sure it felt like plummeting, not flying.
They were people who have rent to pay, mortgages, kids to feed, too much debt. Maybe they cried, maybe they swore. Maybe they just sighed and put their stuff in their cardboard box, resigned.
I hate this waiting, the way it makes me feel. Hopeless and helpless with a stomach full of butterflies and a head buzzing with bad thoughts. Can't sleep. I try to meditate and my mind slips away in the space of two breaths.
And yet I love this waiting because it is one more day of doing this job, getting paid, not having to scramble with all of the desperate masses out there.
Like any caveman who doesn't understand the forces that befall him, I look to signs and omens: if we don't hear anything by noon, that means we will make it through the day. I check his eyes to see if the security guard looks nervous, like he knows something. I read and re-read the announcement emails, examining individual words, phrases, for hidden meanings and connections.
I hope it's not me, then I feel bad, for if it isn't me, it will be someone else. Do I deserve to stay? Am I better than my co-workers? Do I work hard enough? Am I smart enough, capable enough, do I care enough?
Or do I not care at all anymore? Maybe that's what this dead, flat feeling is, dull like a smashed penny from the railroad tracks.
I am at a loss. I wear the same clothes day after day. I don't fix my hair. Sometimes I don't comb my hair. I don't know what to eat. I don't want to get up in the morning or to go to bed at night.
Maybe it is time to move on. But please don't let me have to.
I wish things were happy. I wish they were simple. I wish people treated each other better.
In Spanish, to hope and to wait are the same word, esperar. Espero por la futura.