“We all have fear;
Those who can rise above it can sour like an eagle;
Those who hide behind it will hide forever”
As the figure gradually morphed from a blur into a person, what I saw was an ambulance officer crouching before me having just waved a beacon of smelling salts in front of my nose. He put a hand on my shoulder and said “relax, relax, you’re alright, relax, relax”. His voice became slower and more soothing as he talked. He asked me if I was hurt anywhere and I just said “head”.
“Yes I can see that” he replied
“Do you hurt anywhere else?”
“No I don’t think so” I replied
With that he helped me get out from under the machine and I noticed there was a police officer and several employees there too. They put me up onto one of those Ambulance beds on wheels and put a blanket over me. The ambulance officer then went through a series of tests, getting me to follow his finger with my eyes, and tell him my name, and what year it was. He then turned to the cop and said to him, “he has a mild concussion, but I think you can ask him some questions”.
The ambulance officer began to attend to the cuts on my head, causing me to flitch constantly as the police offer began to question me.
“What happened here?” asked the police officer. He was a tall well built man, with a “don’t fuck with me” demeanor. As he was asking his first question I couldn’t help to think “now that’s what a police officer or a security guard should look like in their uniform”. Powerful, strong, confident, he wouldn’t have hidden under a cling wrap machine with this all going on.
“What happened here” he repeated “Can you hear me?”
“Yes, sorry, um…..I hit my head” I replied
“Yes I know…that’s ok… just tell me what happened” He had a much more calming voice than I would have expected from such an intimidating man.
“Ummmm, the robbers came in ……..and ummmm I hit my head jumping over there” I pointed at the conveyer belt
“Where were they at this stage?”
“They were over there” I pointed in the opposite direction
“Why were you running in the opposite direction?” he said with the calmness starting to waiver
“To get away from them”
“Did they have weapons?”
“I’m not sure……..I didn’t get that good a look”
“You didn’t get a look?”
“No I only saw them from a distance”
“Hang on (he took a deep breath) why didn’t you try to stop them…..or scare them off?”
“Well……I guess…….because I was afraid”
“You were afraid?” his calmness was all gone now, it was almost like he was mad at me
“Ok ok ok ok, hang on…..now at what point did they confront you?”
“They never did”
“Are you sure”
“Yes I think so….. um…. I don’t know……I think I passed out”
“Well when did you hit your head?”
“When I jumped over the conveyer belt….. I tripped and hit the ground with my face”
“So you don’t remember them coming over to you?”
“No, I mean one of them was close at one point”
“You don’t remember one of them putting your gun in your hands pointing at your chin?”
“No that was me”
“THAT WAS YOU!?” Yep definitely no calmness left
“WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU PUT YOUR GUN TO YOUR OWN CHIN?”
“In case they found me”
“AND THEN WHAT WAS THE PLAN?”
”If they were going to hurt me I could have killed myself to stop it”
“Wouldn’t it have been better to kill them to stop it?”
“Yeah but if I didn’t get him right he would of hurt me even more”
“So your plan was to shoot yourself?
“You’re not even authorized to have live ammunition in your weapon”
“So where did you get it from?”
“Get what from?”
“THE LIVE AMMUNITION?”
“I don’t have any”
“You’re not making sense now….you said you were going to shoot yourself….but you didn’t have live ammunition?”
“I guess I wasn’t thinking right”
I started to hear giggles all around me
“Ok let’s stop this, he is obviously a bit delusional from his concussion” The ambulance office thankfully interrupted with.
“Can I go home?”
“Yes I’ll take you home right now” the police officer said, frustrated
He took me home and helped me into bed, where I passed out again and slept a dead, dead sleep. I don’t think I even dreamed, well I didn’t remember a dream anyway, so that even though I woke up with that familiar morning grogginess you get after a really good sleep, it still seemed like I had only slept for ten minutes. I think I probably would have continued to sleep for long after that, but I was woken by the phone ringing. It took me a little while to register what was going on, and as I picked the receiver up I was surprised to see the sun had set already.
“I want you to come in to work right now” Said my boss on the other end as soon as I answered
“Come in, didn’t you hear what happened?” I replied
“Yes I heard…..that’s what I want to talk to you about. Don’t worry you don’t have to work tonight, but bring your uniform with you”
“Ok when should I come?”
“As soon as you can”
“Ok I’ll come soon”.
I was still wearing my uniform, so I got out of bed; put my jacket on over my crumpled shirt. Put on my shoes and then headed out. As I turned the corner down the street that the factory was on, I was suddenly confronted with a street completely covered in cling wrap. It was everywhere, in the trees and bushes, on houses and over cars. I wondered what had happened. As I walked into the factory I noticed graffiti on the walls outside, and some on the walls inside. It wasn’t very good, just scribbles in black spray paint.
“IS THAT YOU JASON? GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW” I heard my boss yell from the other room.
“SO I HEAR THAT YOU WERE INJURED LAST NIGHT” He yelled as I entered his office
“HIDING FROM SOME VANDLES” He yelled louder
“AND WHY DIDN’T YOU TRY TO STOP THEM, THAT’S YOUR JOB ISNT IT?”
“YOU GUESS, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO GUESS, THAT’S ALL YOUR JOB IS”
“WELL YOU’LL WILL BE PLEASED TO KNOW THE CULPRITS HAVE BEEN APPREHENDED”....
“Yes really, THEIR PARENTS BROUGHT THEM IN”
“YES, YOU SEE WHEN THEY FOUND THIER NINE YEAR OLD CHILDREN WITH MANY ROLLS OF CLING WRAP AND SAW THE MESS IN THE STREET THEY FIGUED OUT WHAT THEY HAD DONE”
“Nine year olds”
“YES NINE YEAR OLDS”
“NOW I UNDERSTAND YOU WERE PLANNING ON KILLING YOURSELF TO AVOID CONFRONTING THESE SCAREY, SCAREY CRIMINALS?”....
“WELL YOU’RE A DISGRACE, NOT JUST TO SECURTIY GUARDS BUT TO MEN, TO MANKIND AND MOSTLY TO YOURSELF”
“Stop being so mean to me, you big meanie” I thought to myself
“Yes sir” I replied as the tears began to flow down my cheeks like a waterfall
“Oh my god, your even a complete dork in your own internal monologue to yourself” I realized
“NOW, I HAVE NEVER LIKED FIRING ANYONE, BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT. YOU ARE SO UNBELIEVABLY FIRED. YOU’RE THE WORST EMPLOYEE I HAVE EVER HAD”....
“NOW JUST TO PROVE YOU’RE A COMPLETE FUCK UP, YOU HAVE WORN YOUR UNIFORM HERE, AFTER I TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NOT WORKING TODAY AND TO BRING YOUR UNIFORM”....
He walked to the back of his office and grabbed what looked like a dirty rag
“TAKE THAT UNIFORM OFF RIGHT NOW. YOU DON’T DESERVE TO WEAR IT ANOTHER SECOND”. He threw the rag at me
“PUT THAT ON. YOU CAN RETURN THE PANTS LATER”....
I took off my jacket, shirt and belt and pulled on the dirtiest grimiest t-shirt I have ever seen. It only came down to around my belly button, so my fat tummy was hanging out the bottom. I tried to pull it down to cover me up but it wouldn’t stay.
“NOW GET THE HELL OUT OF MY OFFICE”
With that I walked out and opened up the door at the entrance of the warhouse. Suddenly I found myself confronted with every employee in the whole company. They were lined up in two long rows for about fifty meters making a tunnel to lead me off the property. Upon seeing me they, to a man, started laughing, some pointed others turned to each other, but they all laughed. It sounded like the laugh track on a B grade sitcom where they play the laughs even when there is clearly nothing funny going on. I tried to push through the first two on my left, but they grabbed me and pushed me down the tunnel. So I walked out all the way slowly with my head down. As soon as I was about a quarter of the way I heard a clap. Then another, then more and more until every single one of them was clapping me off the property like some hero in a sports movie, only this definitely wasn’t in praise of me, I could tell as they were still laughing all the time! I don’t think I have ever laughed as hard as the one laughing the least was laughing. When I got to the end someone yelled out
“THREE CHEERS FOR JASON” followed by
“HIP, HIP HOOREY. HIP, HIP HOOREY. HIP, HIP HOOREY”
As soon as I hit the end I started running and crying my eyes out. I ran about two blocks till I started to hit the shops, and then tried to wipe away my tears and pull my shirt down. I didn’t want to be seen like that. I needn't have worried. I encountered four people on my way home. All women between the ages of 35 and 75. All four crossed the road when they saw me coming. I was both embarrassed and thankful for this. I also nearly froze to death in such an undersized t-shirt on a freezing cold winter’s afternoon. I cursed at my cruel boss the whole way home. “I said I couldn’t be a fucking security guard!”
When I finally got home I walked into my apartment and didn’t know what to do. I paced around for about two or three minutes then walked into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. The site I saw very nearly made me vomit for a third time that day. I had a big long train track of crusty stitches across my forehead. My whole face was caked in blood; all except a few smudged tear lines breaking it up. And worst and most embarrassingly I only just now discovered, that at some point in the past couple of days, someone had drawn a goatee and devil horns on my face.