Out of work! Out of sight! Out of mind!
The unemployed exist in an alternate universe where Oprah lives and offers a world of possibilities, while Monster.com and HotJobs.com only offers virtual promises.
I Love the Smell of Wite-Out in the Morning
Wite-Out is one of those distinctive odors found in an office. I didn’t realize how much I missed the smell until I lost my job. I miss other office stimuli, like the ringing of a phone and the whirring of a copier. Even the banging of the front door in the reception area, when it slams shut, elicits a fond sigh of remembrance from my lips. Now, silence holds my house in a death-grip, with the exception of an occasional bark from one of my dogs. Barking is not a nostalgic sound from my days in the office,though the boss could often be heard spouting off four-letter words in a barking sort of way.
Silence is Deafening
Most of all I miss the murmur of conversation. In my silent domain, conversation only emanates from a television set or a YouTube video when I remember to turn on the speakers. Silence isn’t a bad thing for those who enjoy being alone with their thoughts, which I do. But I never realized that too much silence could be so deafening. These days I don’t mind when outside noises filter through the window screens, like the churning of the compactor in a garbage truck and the subsequent screeching of brakes as the truck slows to its next stop. Out here in the boonies, there aren’t many harsh sounds, other than the rumble of an airplane as it narrowly misses the roof of my house. Okay, so I exaggerated but sometimes the sound of the overhead engine rattles the walls of the house (so does the pounding of my footsteps on bare wood floors).
The Conversational Void
Most socializing I do now takes place at the supermarket with strangers, a quick exchange of words with the cashier at checkout and the inevitable “Credit or debit?” The drive back to my isolation chamber is dreary as I pass by the graveyard (another silent and disturbing place) along the way. Conversations are intermittent there with soft whisperings of sadness and regret. I have regrets, too, but I can still correct mine.
Boo-Hoo! Whenever the Spirit Moves You
Sometimes I feel like a ghost drifting from room-to-room each day I haunt this house, though ghosts don’t drink coffee or eat shredded wheat cereal for breakfast. I can even pinch my arm and it will hurt. The hurt is what is so significant while existing in a state of jobless Purgatory. Out of work! Out of sight! Out of mind! Unemployment isn’t just a transitory state of being. It is an emotional crisis of the soul, yearning for what once was.