I need a shot…
As I sit here typing, there are 3 days left in the month and I am at 55% to my sales objective. To non-sales folks, that may seem insignificant. But for those who know, and who live in the fickle cryosphere of professional sales – where organizations fire tenured employees on first infractions, or as part of ‘consolidation’ moves – it’s terrifying. The inability to pay ones mortgage is, of course, a factor as well. Suffice it to say, my internal pressure gauge is buried red, and the only thing shorter than my time is my fuse.
There is a 22 year-old idiot who lives inside my head, despite being due a decade of rent, who occasionally offers such sage advice as “I think GI Joe: Retaliation could be good!” He views any and all problems to be best solved after innumerable fingers of something Irish, or perhaps Kentuckian. He has Mssrs Morgan, Beam, Daniels, Cuervo and Walker on speed dial. The douchebag even plays golf with the most interesting man in the world. Regardless, he’s been talking to me a lot lately. He has a 19 year old clinically depressed coffee addict roommate who politely suggests long winded and detailed self hate as the only appropriate course of action. “You are an utter failure”, he bellows while writing bad poetry, chain smoking Newports. “Your family is about to be destitute, and its all your fault”. Of course, he’s so hopped up on espresso it’s hard to understand the nuance of his prose through the stutter. He may just be giving me diet tips.
Their 35 year old landlord ostensibly ignores such commentary, but at times it’s difficult. He finds himself asking dangerous questions without answers, and looking at the content of top shelves. On these occasions, I find divine intervention often rears and delivers a swift kick in the stones. This is the setting where our hero finds himself, staring at a computer screen, trying to make two plus blue equal strawberry, when his son steps to his side and asks, “Can tonight be a cuddle night?”
Now, this is not an uncommon request. The boy has a predilection toward bad dreams, and thinks falling asleep beside mom or dad keeps them away. We oblige him, knowing times will soon change, and our presence no longer welcome. Bedtime comes, and inevitably the first words from his six year-old lips are these. Yet tonight, it reminded me what he wants. What he REALLY wants. His bedroom is three times the biggest room I ever had growing up…and I lived. He has more toys NOW than I likely ever owned in my entire lifetime. He is healthy, clothed, and loved. He has no concept of real hunger. Of real need. What he sees as the real need at this moment is me, keeping his dreams safe as he passes into sleep.
Numbers hold no emotion. They are cold and constant. Victory could be wrenched from the jaws of defeat over the next 72 hours, and miracles happen. It wouldn’t be the first time. But the stress pressing down on my spirit has noticeably lessened, thanks to a bedtime request.
I watched my son tonight in that narrow bed, surrounded by half built Lego assault vehicles and action figures, his blue-grey eyes gradually falling before the tide of exhaustion, and knew my blessing. The idiot who squats in my brain thought I could use a shot or 12. It turns out I only needed one, in the form of perspective. Its last call. Be sure to tip well…your server lives off them.