Been in my dome for seventy-two hours. My first beer and conversation just now lending forces to push/pull/strain me into a reality where others' sorrows are involved. And philosophies. And joys. And lies I could only believe if I were staring at my own ceiling. Patiently waiting for one of my friends to say something intriguing. Something to get me to smile at the 7-11 clerk.

Instead, we're passing around pictures from "Q's" last life. A life where he would allow a hornets' nest to not only be built by those violent fucks, but let a hive maintain a semi-permanent residence in the far corner of his living room is highly comical. If a little sad. But, now he is standing. Wrapped up towels for armor. A can of Raid in one glenched fist, the other grasping a spatula with honor. Yep, Looks like he and his boy finally got up off their smacked-out asses and put their war face on.

Despite my friends celluloid memories and a decent buzz, she, of course, draws me back. To a smile and an empty sunset we coulda been, if it were not for all the mistrust reflecting through our best intentions.

"But dude, I swear we were communicating. In the dream, vocally talking like for a moment we were on the same trip. She was whispering of gentle embraces and candy cliche flower type shit."

"Vocally talking? Your lame." His only reply.

"Um," I pause politely to allow his witty banter to linger in the stale air, "Either way, we went to this concert in the desert and it was our "new beginning" and we even took her dad's pick-up truck, which meant her dad liked me. She was about to give me the best roadhead of our relationship but then I woke up.

They're laughing at me now. They're assholes like that.

"Dude," Q again, "Yo you know your dream doesn't make any sense?"

"No, I'm telling you your ex-girlfriend is so far, long gone that there's no way in hell she is dreaming about you."

Gemütlichkeit. Not something that fills my life ordinarily, but almost like Juan Ponce de Leon, I found a font and now see it slipping through my fingers just when I've become sure of its existence. It is she. She carries happiness and good will with her wherever she goes, and its aura without fail envelops any who have the good fortune to be near her. Would that I could reap such fortune for all my days.

Optativity will not make it so, however.

Orisons neither, though I could wish and pray that all those whom Providence places in her path not only benefit from it — and how could they not? — but appreciate the signal gift they are in receipt of.

Decamping a mere eight months after joining the company, she leaves each of us at once in the glow of the joy of having known her, and the sorrowful gloaming of her tenure here. Well I remember a day in her first week, the entire company gathered in one room, she almost as far from me as she could be, and holding hostage most of my contemplation for the duration. I, of course, as I am undesiredly wont, shied away for weeks and weeks before begetting my first word to her. Is there anything worse wasted than time?

Beautiful. Did I mention that she is beautiful? As much so as Helen, without the concomitant commotion. Quietly unassuming, considerate, respectful; and all with a magnetically irresistable smile.

Yonks will pass, and now will be yore, and in time the memory will no doubt fade, but her effect will continue to color my personality beyond then; and if the Universe is capable of caring, may all unknowingly work invisible benefaction on those who are important to me.

Eidolon only of her former presence, she'll leave behind a whisper of her ambiance, as no doubt she has hither and yon, while never even beginning to deplete the substance.

She stands apart from the statistical centroid of the masses of men, and the gravitation that attracts me to her is easily identified as separate from the sum of that propagating from the preponderant population. The sparsity of the space through which we both travel can cause us to take notice one of the other, even though we be at permanent apoapsis.

Alumna of AdECN, I bid you adieu and bon chance in your new home.

Repine at your resignation, though reasonable, must be resisted!

Absit omen, one might mutter, but must follow it with Qué será será if one is to keep his peace with Fate.

Hysteron proteron can be desired when you see through the spectacles of hindsight, that of necessity are only provided you too late, the initiative you coulda shoulda taken; but alas, the cart remains stubbornly behind the horse, or the whole show just doesn't work. So I can only conclude by telling you, it was a pleasure working with you and anticipating coming to know you better.

So I get home from work, play some tennis, and head home. At about 8:30, I get a call from my friend Derrick.

"Hey man, I just got back from class. I got a damn B on this big assignment, lets hang out, have some beers, celebrate". Well, why the hell not? Gather up all the necessities for a brief night out (brief because I had to be up at six in the morning the next day (which is, incidentally, the day I wrote this)).

Derrick rode by and picked me up, since he was in the neighborhood anyway. Into his truck, and off we went.

"Yeah, we can pick up some beers from my place, and a bite to eat. I have to come back down here tonight to do my laundry. Oh, did I tell you that I witnessed a death and had to clean it up?" No, you didn't. "Yeah, the old man's brother had a heart attack, fell down and cracked his head on the toilet". Derreck rents a room from an elderly couple, a 79-year-old alcoholic with illegitimate children all across the world, and his Filipino wife.

"Yeah, there was lots of blood. I wasn't shocked, but it was weird. The old man didn't really seem to care. He just said that it must've been his time, and that's it".

We got to his place, and he gave me a watch that used to belong to the dead guy. Apparently, he had a dozen such watches, and nobody wanted them. It still had that gunk between the links on the metal band. We grabbed a bite to eat, packed a few beers, and drove back down to Mike's house. After cracking a few brews, Mike and I got to talking.

According to Mike, he is an ex-hitman, formerly involved in the international drug trade, he has witnessed the death of many friends, he knows personally the creator of the G13 strain of marijuana, and oh yeah, he also knows people in the "black hole hacking group", whatever that is.

Now, if I had to put money on it, I'd call the man a liar. However, if he is a liar (which, I suspect, is the case), he is one of the most plausible and complete liars I've ever encountered. Most of his stories were believable enough, but as the night progressed, the stories became increasingly ridiculous.

The first story of the night was probably the most believable (not that I believe it, it's just the easiest to imagine). We were sitting outside on his porch, and the subject of conversation jumped over to weed. He casually mentions that he knows the guy who invented G13. Naturally, I immediately called bullshit on that. Who wouldn't?

"You don't believe me? Well let me tell you the story, then we'll see if you believe me. G13 was developed in Toronto by a man named Smitty. Smitty had dual citizenship, and he worked for the US Government with a G33 security clearance. He grew weed for the Government. One day, the Government asked him "how potent can you make this?" He says that it's extremely potent as it is, and that he can prove it if he has two volunteers willing to get blazed.

"He ended up with a terminal cancer patient, and a four-star general. Both smoked the same weed, and both had different reactions. The cancer patient ate and ate, and the General just zoned out. The cancer in the cancer patient actually went into remission."

During the time he was telling the story, I was goading him on. I had already decided that he was so full of shit that he could cough up shoe leather, but I do appreciate a finely composed stream of bullshit as much as anyone else.

"Yeah, Smitty owns three houses around Naples, Holiday, and Ft. Myers. The Government bought the houses for him. That's where he grows. The Government takes what he grows from two houses, and they let him keep what he grows from the third house. That's where he invented blueberry, that's where he gets his money. There's only about seven people he sells to."

Sadly, Mike can't get G13 anymore, due to a monetary dispute with Smitty's unfaithful and larcenous wife.

This, out of all Mike's stories, is the least outlandish. I might transcribe more of his stories sometime.

To quote Ricky Fitts, from the movie American Beauty:

"...This shit is G-13. It's genetically engineered by the U.S. Government. It's extremely potent, but a completely mellow high. No paranoia."

"We're letting you go..."

The polite way of saying "You're fired, now get the fuck out of here."

I've reached the last flimsy thread of a very long rope. And this morning, it was cut. With blunt scissors. I had to stay two hours late at work just so they could tell me to fuck off in person.

Of course, I knew it was coming. I could see it coming two years ago. As I've grown older, my various medical/psychiatric problems have grown bigger and stronger. I have such a hard time paying attention to anything at all that I'm amazed that they took this long to finally cut me loose. I've been in constant physical pain since June, and yet they complain about my reliability being suspect, even though they knew about it, because I told them; I emailed each of my bosses and told them the score of the game between my body and my work. Undeterred, they chose the absolute worst time to fire me, although I know deep down that it really is my fault. Deep down in that genetic, superconscious, unknown to science kind of deep down.

My pronounced lack of physical intimacy with anyone over the past year and change has not improved my frame of mind or anything else, much as I like to think that I'm OK on my own. Clearly that theory needs some revision.

I have no idea what I'm going to do. I have no friends here, really. I've kept myself cloistered away from society for the past two years at least. I suppose my first option would be to file for unemployment, although half of me wants to take ten of every type of pill I have and then go to bed and never wake up¹, at least not in this dimension.

Of course I know that it's completely my fault for the slow spiral down into nearly zero productivity. But for that, I can only blame my body and genetics. Thanks, mom and dad!

Work pays for my cellphone service, and I don't know how long it'll be before they realize this and cancel it. And since I'm now sans health insurance, I can't really persue a second opinion on what exactly is wrong with me (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, brain lesions, or just general incompetence). Over the course of the latter half of this year, I blacked out and broke three teeth, had the muscles from my shoulders to my knees stop functioning at full capacity, and had my psychiatric drug doses doubled and in some cases quadrupled (I don't know which is worse: the need or the quantity). Unless I can get on disability and/or unemployment, the drugs I have now are the last of them.

I still have a paycheck and a half coming, so I can stay where I am until at least late next month. Beyond that, I haven't got a clue.

Despite the enormity of this morning, I have not yet cried, but I strongly suspect that tears are in the post, probably appearing sooner rather than later. I mean, I worked there for over six years, and then one day it's *poof*, out the door, never to return. No severance package. No option to keep my health insurance for a monthly fee. The guy who "let me go" even had the audacity to come down to my office and watch me pack up my shit (Mac Mini, various peripherals, etc) and then walk me to the elevator. The coup de grace came when he asked if everything I was packing up was, in fact, mine. I calmly resisted the urge to take the elevator back up to the eleventh floor, which is the only one in the building that has a balcony, and throw myself off of it. I never really liked the building, though, and I didn't want my final moments to be spent in it or falling from it. So I drove home, carried all my office shit inside, didn't bother to unpack much except the laptop, then lit a cigarette and started writing this. No mass consumption of psychiatric drugs instead. No chugging the half-fifth of chartreuse in my liqour cabinet (the top of the fridge), either.

The first real, actual sign that I was soon to be canned came shortly after I arrived at work last night. I tried sshing into various servers, only to be met with a message which read "This account is no longer active." I inquired of the only person left in the office when I got in, and I could tell by the look in his eyes and the curtness of his response that my days at the job I've held for the longest were numbered. Days, hah. More like the twelve hours in between then and when one of my four bosses arrived at about 7:45am.

I have the number for a national suicide prevention call center on my phone's speed dial.

I don't know what happens now. Broken. Betrayed. Confused. Destroyed.

1: With apologies to TheDeadGuy.

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