About 2 years ago just when I getting ready to slide, ever so undignified, into 40, I suddenly found myself out of a job. After 14 years with the same company I was kicked to the curb like so much recycling. “Thanks for your time. We appreciate your efforts but we’ve decided to change direction. Best of luck to you.” Immediately thereafter began the well meaning annotations of family and friends: “It was meant to be. The right job for you is out there. It will happen for you one day. If you don’t get this job then it wasn’t meant to be.” Bullshit, all of it. Right job my ass. There is no such thing. Not when at any given moment you’re fate is subject to the bone rolls and tarot card readings of Corporate America’s middle management; suddenly finding yourself escorted to the parking lot holding a cardboard box full of family snapshots, a potted plant and the loose change from your drawer as security locks the doors behind you.
I spent a lot of time at home for a few months. Got back in touch with my inner-Merry Maid and reacquainted myself with that hose laden contraption known as the vacuum cleaner and her second cousin the Swiffer Sweeper. Between spit-shining the chrome accent pieces in the bathroom and hunting dust bunnies, I surfed the web and caught up on my movie watching.
And so it was that one darkening February afternoon Netflix delivered American Beauty – academy award winner from 2000, Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning. You remember; Spacey won for best actor and Benning lost out to that horse-faced Hillary Swank? Anyway, Spacey plays a 40 something schlub that gets canned from his job after years of devoted service. Sound like anyone we know? The difference is that Spacey welcomes his new situation and begins to discover that his whole life is one big pile of dog shit and begins a quest to rid himself of the shackles he’s allowed himself to wear for the past twenty years. I was absolutely captivated and just as Ricky Fitts became Lester Burnham’s personal hero, so Lester became mine. I took a vow right there in the BarcaLounger ® that as God as my witness my next job was going to have the least amount of stress and responsibility possible.
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