Turns out, along the way, I seem to have written a novel. You’d Guess From Their Cries: One Heretic’s Quest for Salvation is a tale told in three parts, and in gratitude and love I’m posting the second of those parts, “Tale of a Lost Worker,” in its entirety, as a serial. This is the mind-blowing conclusion to the tale, but if you missed the first five installments, they can be found here. If you enjoy, information on the book is at the bottom, and I welcome your feedback and reaction.
* * *
I’m not going to lie – I felt a little something swelling up inside me when he said those things. I looked fondly again at Sarah Beth and almost grabbed her hand because of it, but stopped myself in time. Weak and sappy, I know. You don’t have to tell me.
“Shit’s like a car wreck you know about in advance. Gotta admire his spirit, though. Even I got respect for that.”
It’s not hard to imagine what happened next. I was in Marty’s office later that afternoon, and Jackie was there, too. He was shaking his head, standing against the wall. “Like, I don’t even want to see what happens next,” he was saying.
“I know,” Marty said. “Shit’s like a car wreck you know about in advance. Gotta admire his spirit, though. Even I got respect for that. You were right about that much at least, Monaco. You gotta have balls to get up there and say that – and then go back and play the fuckin’ drums after! Like who the fuck is this guy?”
“It’s not just a car wreck,” I said tersely. “It’s the rarest and most powerful sign to pass through this office since before you and I have even been here.”
“You can still be a radical without a prophet, you know.”
“I don’t know about that, but maybe you’re right,” Marty said. “Time will tell. I think time is just gonna erase the guy, personally. That’s what always happens. At first, you think people will remember and eventually you catch yourself forgetting people you worked right beside for years. It’s like a slow erosion of the brain, and you can’t escape it.”
I wasn’t saying much because I was still all swollen up.
“Look, Jay, don’t get all teary-eyed,” Marty turned to me, somehow managing to convey mockery and empathy at the same time. “You know as well as I do that a guy like that can’t survive in this landscape even if he hadn’t pulled that stunt. It was only a matter of time. You yourself said you weren’t a True Believer. You can still be radical without a prophet, you know. Be your own hero. Or anti-hero, whatever it is that someone like you wants to be. But don’t get me wrong – I salute him.” He physically saluted. “He’s a goner, but I wish him well.” He blew a kiss toward his door.
Just then, we saw it going down – no lesser luminaries than Charlie Dahmer and the HR MC were marching behind Noah Abraham, obviously walking him out for the last time. He paused by the door, seeing us standing there. “Don’t worry about these guys,” he said with a smile that seemed sympathetic and oddly unaffected. “They don’t know what they’re doing.”
* * *
Even the wild demon inside my computer seemed to have stood down in almost a collective moment of silence to send off the spirit of the worker we all had lost.
There was the obligatory and expected week of buzz surrounding the incident, followed by silence. It appeared Marty had been right once again. I found I no longer wished to speak with my gods or my plants, and I could no longer sense the movement of the spirits in the air above and around us all. Even the wild demon inside my computer seemed to have stood down in almost a collective moment of silence to send off the spirit of that worker we all had lost.
I had been wondering if we might be lifted up somehow by finding greater harmony with the spirits in everything, and now I couldn’t even perceive them at all.
When the spirits came back and resumed their usual sparkly activity, nobody wanted to talk about Noah Abraham and what had happened to him. Even Fitzy and Ellen would more or less tell me to shut up when I would try.
“I get what you’re saying,” Ellen would protest, “but I hate to see you all broken up like this. You’re always going a mile a minute, and that’s what I love about you, but this thing is going to kill you if you let it. You’ve got to let it go.”
“He’s gotta distract himself is what he’s gotta do,” Fitzy said, looking at Ellen with a knowing grin. “And he’s pretty good at that, isn’t that right, Monaco?”
“Usually, yeah, but I’m having a hard time with that right now.”
“Pussy never fails. Excuse the expression, Ellen, but there’s no other way to say it, and Jay knows it’s true.”
Ellen smiled and waved her hand at him. “Say it all you want – doesn’t bother me. It’s true. Pussy never fails. Is he gonna get the girl, or what?”
“Probably not,” I said again, “but maybe. There’s still hope.”
“Focus on that,” Fitzy said, “and by the time it doesn’t work out, you’ll find another girl to fixate on, or new spirits to talk about, and you’ll do a bunch of drugs.”
“Just like always, eh?” I sighed.
“Never give up,” Ellen said. “Didn’t you say Marty told you that? He’s right. Keep chasing your dreams.”
I opened up a new e-mail and addressed it to Jackie. “Hook up my mood?”
* * *
Okay, want more?
Check out You’d Guess From Their Cries: One Heretic’s Quest for Salvation on Amazon. Salaam.