Sunday, November 2, 2008

a Casualty of the Economy

BRAD, 25, formerly in finance.
I was fired last week. Not fired technically. ‘Downsized for corporate reconstruction’. Staffing level adjustments. Associates, analysts even VPs, and MD’s essentially too many brokers not enough to trade. Sub-prime market. Job cuts. The market sucks. We all saw it coming, cuts, but you never assume that you’re going to be the cut. It’s my first job- was my first job, straight out of Penn…Wharton. I had offers at Goldman Sachs, Lehman. McLean. Not that it’s worth anything now but I did. Now I might as well be an actor, all those bankers running around jobless. No one really enjoys it, It’s not something you do because you enjoy it, it’s not an enjoyable job. Can it be an enjoyable lifestyle… eventually, yes. Not as this age, it is your life –3 hours of sleep-but-But I was good at it, am good at it. Doctors and lawyers can pretend that they are doing their job out of compassion and for justice. Bankers do it for the money. Consultants say that their pay is comparable but they’re full of shit. Pardon my French, but they are. It’ll be fine. Ironically I own stock in the company which seemed like a sure thing.

Uhm. Some people argue that there is not a finite amount of success in this world, but there has to be. We as a society are outgrowing the idea of trades. We want better, more. I mean to my grandfather’s generation there were professional cab drivers, and bartenders, trashmen and these were respected jobs. Careers. Destinations. I mean without the immigrant population in this city restaurants and the service industry would cease to exist. Why? Success. If I’m at a meeting eating kobe beef there has to be a guy in the kitchen washing my dishes. If I’m investing for a ceo of a fortune 500 company there has to be some little Mexican lady ironing his shirts. We can’t all grow. I mean that’s what this country is built upon the idea that we all can get to a certain level but we can’t. Sacrifices have to be made, cuts. People have to hold up the pyramid. It’s the order of things, and if that doesn’t exist there’s just not enough. If I’m doing well there’s someone out there who isn’t. It’s just the nature of the machine.

Scientifically look at it. We’re outgrowing the earth. Kids are getting bigger. 12 year old girls have breasts. People are living longer. Technology. Churches dying all of it. Our growth will cause our extinction. I mean think about the plague, entire towns abandoned. Entire towns would be quarantined in the hopes that who was supposed to survive would. When it was done they would just come in, clean up the bodies and start over. Survival of the fittest. Natural selection. Without it we use up all our resources. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that AIDS, and cancer are good things, but the plague existed for a reason. With each generation traits get stronger, money begets money, we grow, and that’s fine just as long there’s a balance.

I’m sorry I’ve been drinking. It uh makes me more introspective. But I’m sobering up a bit. You work hard you party hard right?

Man I got wasted last week I mean I think I had a right to, but I did. So I left the office, after the, the- talk, had a few drinks downtown with some guys from work. Met this girl on the Lower Eastside, she went home. And I’m in the subway, and there’s this homeless guy with a sign that says ‘tell me off for a dollar’, and I see this guy every morning, just sitting there. and it’s like three- four am at this point no one’s around. And I see him just sitting there with this sign. Not doing anything, not adding anything, just breathing you know. Just breathing my air. No emotion nothing, dead. No purpose no emotion, nothing. And I look around. And he sees me, his eyes open and he slightly smiles and holds up this sign pushes it towards me. This cardboard sign. And he laughs, he laughs. And I just beat the shit out of him, I don’t make any noise. The whole thing is silent. It’s like were dancing. I hit him hard in the face, my knuckles start to bleed from his teeth. And his nose gives in there’s blood everywhere, and he just takes it, he just lies there and takes it. Like a doll or something. Like he enjoys it. And I just flail away man, I just let him have it. Slam his head against the tile. And he just lays there. Smiling really peacefully, breathing real quiet. Blood all over him.

So I stick a hundred dollar bill in his cup and get on the train.

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