Every day, I wish I had more to smile about.
It has been over 10 weeks since I got terminated from my job. Over here in Australia, they call it "retrenched". Somehow that term seems apt, because this feels like getting ditched. Like a 16 year-old in a baby-blue ruffled tuxedo, whose prom date has just inexplicably abdicated the evening after a quick peck on the cheek at the driveway.
I haven't received one interview. I do, however, have a few clinical rejection notices, all via email. Their nature supersedes that of the callousness of the impersonal termination emails I received from my former employer of over 10 years, but, in retrospect, only barely. (I know I worked remotely, but seriously? Not even a phone call? Not one? From my boss, from anyone?)
Every week, I scavenge through the myriad help-wanted classifieds in print and online, dutifully submitting applications in response to announcements to adequate positions for which I am woefully overeducated and tangibly underqualified. And then, after the send button is pressed or the envelope slotted, I pour one.
I am drinking too much. I know I am. At a recent medical check-up, booked partly as a result of the Australian government's cleverly implemented plan to get those of us pushing the mid-century mark to get our aging arses to the doctor in order to try to ward off those pesky illnesses that end up costing said government way too much money, and partly as something that in my sweaty, sleepless pre-dawn hours I recognize as a tiny whimper for assistance, I answered my GP's obligatory intake question about alcohol intake as an amount that I know is above the recommended intake levels. I attribute to my fading charm and otherwise stellar physical health, the fact that he chuckled and said, "Oh, we'll just put down 1 to 2 drinks per day." When I got home, I downed an extra glass of Shiraz to that.
Yes, I read the headlines. I see images of infants born into abject squalor. I read stories of people burned alive in the streets of their hometown, of citizens who gleefully parade the bloody corpse of their murdered dictator before the eyes of children, of people who feel it's appropriate to slit the throats of living animals without first benumbing them to the fact that they are prey. I know that I am privileged to live in the comforts of Westernized civiilization. And yet, somehow and without much merit, that is little consolation. As my beloved partner jokes, I am a pussy.
Things will turn around. I know they will. I hope it comes sooner rather than later. Until then, I will lick my paws, bury my shit in gravel, and meow quietly in my comfy home.