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Blog Posted in avatar   Ananya Chandra's Blog

Uncertainty Galore

By Ananya Chandra
Posted Apr 4, 2012 in World
One week ago I was fired from my job. It was a lot like an execution,
except I'm still alive. I even wore the formal scarf because I knew it
was coming and wanted to leave with dignity. I worked for an
organization that touted a Christian message, and what I have learned
is that often times, the message is a mask. I worked for a person who
lied to me, humiliated me, took credit for my work, and made a strong
effort to trick me in any way that he could before finally firing me
without a concrete, legitimate cause. For over 6 months, he danced
around the psychological prison he put me in. Imagine knowing it's a
bad economy but also knowing that your own supervisor was working
extra hard behind your back to get your fired.
I don't like the analogy of comparing life to a "ride." When you talk
about life like that, you are implying that someone else is taking you
somewhere. The reality is that you are on your own. Life is more like
being lost alone in a city maze late at night. One wrong turn and the
air gets quieter and the lights get dimmer.
I woke up in an un-air-conditioned lethargy this morning and, as I
have for the past several years, rolled over to open my laptop.
I hovered over the fifteen or so tabs of Facebook I had open from the
night before and, having selected one, eased into inoculating myself
against the day's coming annoyances. Girls' phones, lost, drowned in
so many toilets. Send me your numbers, QTs! A sullen she-bro sharing his low resolution photo of a car. An idiot and his
lone,Tweeting about soccer. What a sweet and noxious cocktail
of Facebook and Twitter statuses makes for-like or Hitler and Mussolini waltzing. That's enough news for this
morning, so-wait.
And there I saw it. Joe had shared something.
What a sad mess of sharing Facebook has made. What sharing once meant,
what virtue it once stood for. Here, I have a piece of apple pie.
Would you like some? I ll share it
Joe had shared an article he wrote. His article. His words. His..
byline. I hadn't seen his name above text since we left school, and I
used to help edit pieces he wrote for our high school paper. They
would be about past-pupil reunions or the last inter school fest. And now they are about high art.
I groaned as the hot wind rattled over my face. I hated my
apartment's stupid crooked floors and I didn't have any socks. "..the august affection... " I read his article and it was very good. I hovered over his name and thought about
clicking "like" and congratulating him , but I didn't want to come across as
depleted and insincere, which I was.
I stepped out of my bedroom and the cooler air felt good. I
dressed quickly, crept past Mr. Bhuiya's s crumpled, corpse-like form
on the mattress to pick up my sneakers-the first rays of the sultry noon slapping at
his scowling face. If anyone pressed me I'd say I was going to go
print out a few copies of my resume. Ha! Poor little sheet. Sometimes
I impulsively check my resume, scouring it for some overlooked
explanation of how often it's ignored. Did I include something like Freemason symbolism? Is "SCREW ALL JOBS & EMPLOYERS" written in tiny type at the bottom? As I
walked past 16 Avenue, I noticed a crowd formed across the street
around a chicly dilapidated theater. I thought maybe it was something
neat like a firing squad or a zany "flash-mob" type thing.
Well, no, it was some sort of red carpet event.
Was I late?
An unendingly tall, grinning, heron-like woman clothed in a matte
black shimmered in the light of the sloppy sun and waved from behind a
barricade. She was standing in front of one of those walls with
patterned logos on it that awful people pose before to be photographed
at momentous occasions like the launching of a handbag line or
something. I closed my eyes and faced the gut-punching
sun and thought about how it's supposed to burn out in a trillion
years or whatever, and how maybe that could come a little sooner and
it wouldn't be so bad.
The crowd craned their heads, a thousand Wayfarers creaked in unison,
and an ecology of LCD devices shot up for a better look-but no phone
was smart enough to identify this glamor-ridden anonymous giantess.
Her very atoms were animated by the recognition of the crowd. Her skin
gleamed and her eyes flashed with a terrible shine. Look on my shins,
ye Mighty, and despair. Did anyone know who she was? The starers
strained further. A small pale man in a cream hat, turning away from
the red carpet colossus, murmured to a young flat-chested woman with
him, "there's an app for that!" and smirked. To have a flamethrower
or something there!!!
I rounded the corner in a hurry because, really, that shit was just
the worst. I thought about foraging for pizza somewhere, and began to
roam. Sometimes my employed friends remark, charitably, how nice it
must be to be without a job and free during the day, and walk wherever
and whenever I want. To be free! A comment analogous to saying how
nice it must be to have no hands, what with saving so much on the cost
of mittens and all. A weeping willow's tentacle brushed against my
face, and I let it, without tilting away. I'm always told that to fit
in here, you ought never look upward-it betrays a delight with one's
surroundings that natives find unsavory. But it was a beautiful,
enormous tree, and I looked it up and down, and smiled at the babies
sitting underneath it in the hazy shade, then immediately stopped
because I didn't want anyone to see this guy with savage hair and a
beard staring at their baby. Walking further, I passed a gaunt couple
walking two healthy looking dogs. They were cheery in spite of their
sickliness, perhaps owing to their fine linen outfits, or having been
freshly exhumed that afternoon.
"Yeah, I know, it's just-"
"Well I'll tell you what it is," the stately heroin wraith replied
with a yawn. "It's just that DOING NOTHING is so TIII-IIIRING. Just
sitting DOWN! It's just so HARD! I'm exhaa-aausted!"
They smiled at each other and one of the dogs chirped a bit and I
wondered whether I had held my face up to the sun for too long
earlier. I walked briskly back home and congratulated Joe.

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