so i cleaned myself up real nice, ironed my shirt and pants, and headed off to our local new jersey one-stop employment center to seek out some information and advice about training and re-tooling and cool words like those.
when i entered the center, the first thought i had was how strikingly bleak the whole operation appeared.
the type of bleak encased by dead white cinder-block walls, trodden speckled linoleum floors, and dank stained ceiling tiles—a labyrinth of hallways, signs, notices, posters, arrows, and scattered steel chairs, some holding up crumpled human spirits.
at long last, a waiting room of sorts with a long, listless line and a welcome window, manned by one well meaning, underpaid, one-stop greeter.
so i took my place at the end of the line, wondering about the sad, silent stories surrounding me, assuming all along that as bad as things seemed to me, i was actually pretty fortunate given the vacant vibes of this crowd and place.
that is, until i looked down and saw the blue tail of my button-down oxford poking out my khakis.
do not underestimate the immediate humility attained by the abrupt awareness of a zipper fully disengaged.
i instantly was certain that my thoughts of good fortune were a fleeting and self-absorbed lapse into fantasy.
that those around me were more likely feeling much better about their own lives once i entered the unemployed fray, trumpeting my lowliness for all to see.
and as i pulled and tugged at the traffic jam in my groin to the humoring delight of those nearby, of those receiving cell phone pictures of the same and soon of those watching on youtube, i wondered if possibly this was the abyss.
that this was the bottom of the sink hole in the bottom of my deepest valley.
that there was only one way to go from here and it would be up.
an end to this depressing descent.
alas, i had every right to the promise of ascent, that is, until i saw my socks—one black, one green.