Sunday, September 14, 2008

Prometheus Whinced (Chapter 3)

Chapter 3

Owning the Streets

(First Chapt. is here. Previous is here.)

How could this have happened?

One moment I am a respected analyst at LG Petroleum, Floor 25, the next I am out here on street level, with desk contents in a box and not a credit to my wallet. How could this have happened?

Gloatson flashes back through the day's events. The early morning encounter with Jack. The telephone brawl with Yakov. Hitting the "submit" button on his quarterly analyst's report. He knew the numbers were not good. But truth is truth. What did he do that was so wrong? Jack was displeased. Then the call came from HR. We need to talk. Now here he stands. Box in hand. Outside the tall granite building. No job. No way to even get home. Behind him, through the glass panels, the security guards are seen swaggering their way back to the elevator banks now that they have escorted yet another uppity to his new after life, the one beyond LG Petroleum.

"Just got hit between the eyes with the big one, aye buddy?" Gloatson stares blindly forward. A street prole is talking at him. "Wha?" That's all that his keen analyst's mind can muster. "All I was saying is that you look like like you just got canned, or desked-out-in-a-box, if you get my drift," the prole continues with a slight grin.

Gloatson looks the man from boots to brim. Muddied shoes. Torn workman's jeans. A ragged overcoat with hood. Topped by a trucker's cap. "Sorry. What'd you say?"

"Look, don't take it wrong bud. I've stood where you stand. Know what's it's like. I feel for you man. You're stunned. One minute up there," he tilts toward the penthouse floors, "and now down here with us street folk. You didn't expectorate it. Don't let it crush you is all I'm saying. Life goes on." The shadowy stranger glides off and around the corner. Gloatson has not yet moved from his entranced street spot. Speechless.

He replays it all through his head again. The first loop was too hard to handle. Desked-out-in-a-box. Yes. That's the current situation. His total worth is packed tight into the banker's box between his clenched fists. What will his wife say? Never mind that. What now? How to get home without even the company transport pass in his pocket? He never expected this. Not today. Not this way.

... to be continued (a work in progress ... or possibly in digress)