What to keep and what to pitch when cleaning out seventeen (33?) years of accumulated work/office treasure crap, for not quite a hoarder but certainly an excessive saver of all things remotely, possibly, okay only used once on the late afternoon of New Year’s Eve when you find that hole in your pants next to your newtzacker and need that black safety pin to get you through the night shift, necessary.
The stickiest stuff to get rid of were all these rat-holes carved solely in my mind; some pristine, others riddled with droppings. These snipplets and scraplets were all mine, my higher ground. My happy place. What was mine, was mine. But by some crack in the light / mind continuum, it became equally apparent that my mental ether emissions were weighing me down like a regular (non-swimmer) diaper in the deep end. They were dragging me under while daring me to drop a duke. Clearly not something my dukaphobia needed right now. I needed to cough these fur balls out, clearing my trail for serious, ugly fun that was waiting around the corner. Liz suggested getting them on paper, so here goes everything.
Severance agreement in hand, knock me off of the roller coaster I fuckin’ helped build; rat dick bastards that wouldn’t let me be on their corporate kick ball squad. Sniveling assholes.
“Look, we’re the cool kids with Ivanka jackets and tighty whitey boy shorts in your plaid boxer, big ass, hand-me-down Navy pea coat kind of world. This is our playground now, and, and, and, well, and well you’re not in our super secret club anymore. But we’re really, really cool and fun and caring people to hang with; except when we don’t really give a flying fuck about you. Which we don’t. Did I mention that we are totes cools? But don’t let that bother you. A guy like you has so many great abilities, we’re sure you’ll land somewhere; maybe the city mission or the morgue, but somewhere is still somewhere which is better than a lot of those other people that never went anywhere. We like those people to wash our dishes though. Can you teach ‘em before you go?”
After the sale, with the new ownership, it was like dating a really hot girl who had absolutely the worst “I’ve been snacking in the litter box again” breath and a nagging lisp. Back in the day we might’ve casually referred to it as severe, chronic halitosis of the bung hole and would’ve prayed that these flaws could be fixed by less than controlled quantities of whiskey (maybe not my finest hours, but I digress. More on this later.). I pretended to not notice it. Did I mention that she was hot?
I’d made it to first, Phil Rissuto was calling the play-by-play and I just knew, or thought I knew, that the sticky page rhumba was coming next. But alas, like a corporate Sir Lancelot chasing the holy grail of publicly traded poonanny, I was not worthy. It was like Holly McHalitosis up there telling me, “I just want to be friends with you. You’re such a great guy and funny, but I don’t want to really date anyone right now. It’s not you, it’s me.” and then watching her slither off to blow your soon-to-be ex-best friend behind the church Christmas tree. If I seen it once, I seen it a thousand times.
To be honest, I started thinking about an exit strategy a year and a half ago, when it seemed like my train got stuck in the original ownership group’s station. I loved the original guys, still do, but I’d steeled myself for what might occur with these New Kids on the Nob. I was a little punch drunk from the ride we’d been on for fourteen years, but I wasn’t yet Leon Spinx, pissin’-myself-while-ashin’-on-the-carpet-of-your-nightclub goofy. Propped up through the last bunch of years by an unholy quest to reach a perceived promised land, I was stricken with this vision (which inspired this newfound blog-o-rant). I can’t explain why or how these things happen, the ideas and pipedreams, but I’ve long accepted that when they happen, just go with it and be glad.
This time, in order to get there, I had to clear the baggage in my pathway. This seemingly never ending ride afforded nice materiality to my family, great professional growth opportunities for a while, and most important, my best friend and business partner. But I thought about it a lot and secretly secretioned it, and on a twisted cosmic scale, secret-ed my untimely demise. I’d done myself in, I’m convinced, because the real goal has always been to do my own thing.
Two nights before we’d opened this last joint, in a gathering at a local watering hole, I knew that I wasn’t in Kansas anymore when a drunk director of human humiliation stumbled around, mumbling, “Why won’t Blob Lame f**k me?” in front of our owners. My Sonic-The-Hedgehog lookalike co-conspirator from Las Vegas was known to hook up with bound-for-slaughter-house farm animals, but even he had the fortitude to avoid this wombat’s advances. Wanting to avoid any remote chance of being slimed by her pseudopods, I stuck close to Big Boss and sampled just enough brown sauce to know what was good for me, fully affirming that this drooling dolt was certainly not on that list.
The whole scene was quickly taking on a wonton, sybaritic, “I been huffing white out” kind of weirdness. While grossly amusing, it was fouling the air with taint and destroying my innard tranquility. Bolted to my seat for grounding purposes, Big Boss and I talked about the now and future. He knew I was committed (should have been committed maybe?), but I think on some level, he wanted to see if I’d bite the warm, beating heart of the beast we were about to slaughter. This was a project that the state’s forecasting geniuses literally predicted could not financially work. With tremendous pride years later, we got to hold the mirror up to them, warmly wishing them to bite our ass. We would nail it greater than it was ever conceived to have been done.
One of the greatest rabbinics of working for these guys was that they were open with me about both their successes and failures. They were human, humble, happy and huge hearted (headed? J). Over the years, I’d been choked in literal headlocks, been lifted up, dressed down and held in the highest esteem. These weren’t a couple of spoon units who’d been handed businesses and daddy dollars, falsely claiming to be self-made. They earned and built what they had through trial and error, bravado and bullshit, great intelligence and greater guts. The long and short of our ramble was that I ultimately said to him, “If I don’t end up in your chair someday Boss, I f**ckin’ blew it.” In that moment, I put out to the universe that concretely, I would eventually do my own thing.
That time is now.