January 9th, 2012
Rants from the Rat-Race: TGIF
As read by Morgan Freeman (If Mr. Freeman is unavailable, feel free to use Gilbert Gottfried):
Last Friday, as my friend Bill was speaking to an associate, he seemed to lose track of where he was on his walk through the foyer of our building. As he turned the corner to proceed down the escalator, Bill failed to realize that the apparatus was moving upward. As he stepped aboard, the unexpected motion threw his balance akilter. He stumbled like the stilted Uncle Sam in movies where children play sports in back alleys without fear and pull summertime hijinks.
The fall seemed to progress in slow motion, an eternity of awkward flips and attempts to regain balance- only for Bill to lose footing again and continue down the upward flow of cold, mechanical steps. Those moving upward were knocked aside as they attempted to clear a path for the calamitous, human boulder tumbling toward them. Papers flew into the air as people screamed. A stream of Jamba Juice and mocha Frappuccino trickled down the steps, the lifeblood of morning routine spilt for all to bear witness.
When Bill reached the bottom, it wasn’t immediately apparent if he was breathing. Yet no one stirred. Uncertainty hung in the air like a thick pudding, full of more questions than could be answered. Should someone call an ambulance? Would a loving God have intervened? Was there even a God to intervene, or was this a sign that humans are truly alone, a false step from a seemingly endless fall into a void too permanent for the human brain to wholly comprehend? Bystanders’ faith in any semblance of universal order was clearly shaken.
After what felt like an eternity, Bill began to stir. He shakily rose to his feet like a newborn calf covered in the life-slobber of a fresh birth into a colder world. Finally, those around Bill moved to ask if he was alright and examine him for signs of concussion. Bill cleared his throat, the crushing grip of shame certainly twisting in his chest. He finally spoke to an audience that hung on every word, as if this balding family-man was an oracle capable of providing deliverance from the wake of confusion.
“Well”, Bill stammered, gathering his thoughts. A single water drop could have been heard amidst the exhausting flood of silent anticipation.
“Thank God it’s Friday”.
A lone tear rolled down my cheek as I tried to come to terms with where things stood. Bill’s tumble no doubt left more questions than answers in the end, but his stoic call to arms assuaged fears and reminded all that gathered of the importance of the journey in light of the potential chill of the destination.
“TGIF, Bill”, I choked, overwhelmed with my newfound perspectives on existence.