On Tuesday the boss gave me a substantial raise, a promotion to an entirely new pay-scale. Plus a $1000 bonus to boot.
“For one thing, you were instrumental in the office move,” Bill said in his forthright, even-handed way. “Overall, I believe it’s fair and I think you earned it.”
His voice reminds me of someone named Kermit, but his six-foot-three frame, square jaw, and salt-and-pepper goatee reminds me only of someone named Bill.
He is our Senior Research Scientist and Center Director and now my new supervisor, having handed Carol a pink slip. Whether he believes this boon was earned or deserved, and whether even the whims of the Great Magnet himself holds this to be true or not, it brought to me not a moment of pride, nor a smile to my face. I sit in my swanky new corner office, twenty-one stories above the belvedere, the muddy, swollen river, peering north over Clarksville, Sellersburg… wondering how this came to be.
It occurs to me that I am not comfortable with feeling content. What would bring pride, bliss, joy? Publication maybe. Fornication—only under distinct circumstances. A meaningless fuck for the sake of fucking is only a fuck, after all. Anyone can find a lay if they take the time to lift a stone or two, and then feast on the carrion.
What will bring bliss? Integration inward, to the Self, surely. But I, like most Americans—steeped in my general retardation, in my cultural nascence and soaring hubris—do not know where to begin.