I think it’s time to start telling my co-workers what I really think about them. I’ve coasted through my day job for ten years now, keeping my head down, trying to fade into the crowd and just muddle through the day.

The day job isn’t about challenge, advancement, or success. It’s an idiot’s job. On the rare occasions I feel like applying myself, I find that all the possible work to do each day – even when I ask for more and do more than I’m expected to – takes about 45 minutes. Of course, I rarely apply myself. Why should I? The job’s a constant heartache filled with crazed, abusive customers and ignorant, small-minded co-workers. Some days, I have trouble deciding who is more abusive. The customers who shout an endless stream of abuse at me, or the co-workers who all move through their tiny, meaningless, sad worlds in a cycle of sub-psychotic, passive-aggressive mania.

We actually have an office pool for which one of us will snap first and stalk the cubicles with a rifle. Most of the lifers, of which I am one, cringe from any rapid movements and clear out if there’s ever a spark of fury in one of the leaders of the pool.

I have the job because an idiot can do it. For seven of the last ten years, I was crippled by pain. I was high on the medication that was used to try and control the pain. Seven years spent completely out of my mind, numb or twisted by agony, and constantly feeling like I was observing my tortured body from a few feet above. A spirit looking down on a very small, broken man. Even then, the job was simple. The only job that someone almost completely mentally and physically disabled could perform with flying colors.

After the pain was cured, the job became a place where I could maintain a steady income while also spending most of the day running a publishing company, and consulting for other companies. Four of my six jobs are conducted during the hours of my day job. Perfect. I’m getting paid to work my other jobs. It feels like stolen time.

Every year, whether in the grips of pain, or up against the wall with publishing deadlines, or even, as I have been this last year, somewhat humbled and aware that I have a good thing going, I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. For my bosses to get wise and fire me. But even after going public in a major national newspaper with the fact that I’ve abused the system to such an extreme extent for so long resulted in hardly a blip on the radar. My co-workers are so absorbed in their own personal hells that there’s no room for them to stop and think. Or, perhaps, the disgruntled self-loathing is so severe that nobody is taking their job seriously, from the bottom up to the directorial level.

Don’t know. Don’t really care. In the end, I’ve tried to keep my nose clean. One thing I’ve learned from my weekend job, which I’ve maintained for 20 years, is that you need to know when to break the law and when to pretend that you’re a keeper of the law. We all do that to a certain degree but, when it comes to stealing crates of booze and bags of money, or abusing the system by watching movies all day and keeping up a steady drunk at your desk, it’s important to know when your actions are bordering on hubris.

We all have limits.

So, in the end, I do try to appease my superiors. I smile, I indulge their whims, I respect their rank. I deny everything. When caught, I assure them that I will do better. I talk the talk even while running far away from the walk. And, most of the time, that’s acceptable. Even a criminal as confirmed as I am must acknowledge and respect the system. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Rendering unto Caesar and what have you. Without the day job and the weekend job, I wouldn’t be able to pay my rent. Nor would I be in a position to fill my trunk with whatever fringe benefits I can lay my hands on. The cycle must continue.

But I am constantly appalled by the insanity, abusiveness, and downright evil back channeling on the part of my co-workers. This is something that is omnipresent, I know, but it feels beneath me. Here, I do suffer from a bit of hubris. Maybe. I feel superior to many people because I have endured more than they. I have known the face of true suffering and loss that eclipses the pale chattering of a child of abuse or the woes of the terminally ill. I have been taken to the edge and shown what lies beyond this comfortable bubble we loosely call humanity. I have been given cause to be suspicious of everything that is good – friendship, love, beauty, life. All have been used as an avenue to hurt me, to flay my soul, to pare me down to a raw, shocked nerve.

At 37, I’m simply in a state of constant surprise and despair. Surprised that I’m still here, and suddenly functional and alive, and despaired that I have to deal with terrible people. You would think that, maybe, I’ve earned the right to take a break from all my worries. More so than others. I know that’s foolish, but I think I’m just, simply, tired of everything. I’m exhausted. I feel 80 years old. And curing the pain has made everything worse.

I’d be dead right now if the pain was incurable. I promise you that. In the three years since I’ve been healed, I’ve talked to countless people in my situation who did not qualify for the invasive brain surgery I underwent. Many of them are dead. A 12 year old whose mother called me two years ago did not qualify. Her mother called again four months ago and told me that the child had opened her wrists and died in the bath.

They call what I had the “suicide disease.” The pain is so great, so constant, so resistant to treatment that it’s just not tolerable.

For me, I now realize, the pain was my greatest escape. The inhumanity of man, the specter of my parents and my family’s past throughout my adult life, the coming and going of friends, and the horrible deaths of my parents were all a sideshow. Some ridiculous subplot that you fast forward through. Nothing was important except staving off my increasing desire to throw myself from the roof of my day job.

Now my brain is carefree. My life has been returned to me. And now I can think about everything that’s happened, and observe what goes on around me. Now I care that I’m forced to spend nine hours of each day in close quarters with simpletons and sociopaths. That I have to battle the insane sea of commuters to and from an apartment I can’t afford for a few, short hours of qualified freedom where I have just enough time to stuff my face and pass out before the alarm screams me back into the work day.

Yes, again, that’s all of us. But I can’t help but think that everyone else has chosen that fate. Either, like many of my co-workers, they’re evil…or they’ve simply surrendered to the machine. You people haven’t had a fortune stolen from you, or your life, or your hope. You have no excuse to be stuck in the system except your own, stupid, clear-minded decisions.

I acknowledge that many are trapped – wage slaves and salary serfs. That’s a very large problem in America. We dig our own graves with mortgages and excess. We’re told to do so from childhood, and it’s hard to fight against it.

Therefore, I respect not only those who have fought against it, but those who understand that they should try to do so. That they should try and live responsibly for themselves and others, even if they’ve consigned themselves to a golden cage.

The fighters – the good people – make up my very small network of friends. As we get older and windows close, we all flail somewhat hopelessly against the tide of dull stagnation and debt. We’re doomed, if only by the knowledge that we’re doomed. But that’s fine. It’s good to be doomed. At least, then, you know how it’s going to end.

My co-workers, though. They have no awareness. Only this animal-like instinct to preserve their own sad lives. All operating on some manic-depressive reptilian cortex that drives them slowly to oblivion and tells them to take everyone with them. After all I’ve been through, I have no tolerance for the small minded. And no desire to learn tolerance, or to be charitable in any way. These people are poison. They should be wiped out. Any right-thinking world would have seen then dashed against the rocks in their infancy.

Yet, here they stand. To make my days worse. To draw out the last vestiges of my own personal hell and to pave the road ahead of me with sharp rocks.

There’s no reason to be polite. There’s no reason to mend fences, extend olive branches, or meet in the middle. These are bad people and they should not be tolerated. Since they can’t be thrown to their deaths, the only solution is to put them in their place. Cathartic for me, and, maybe, a benefit for the world.

So, Monday… No more games. No more false smiles. If a co-worker’s being a cunt, I’m going to call them a cunt. If they’re going to try and ruin my day, I’ll reduce them to dust. I have nothing to lose. I’ve already lost everything a dozen times over.