I was in the meeting room of the New York head office of the accounting firm I used to work at when I finally revealed to my wife that I had been fired from my photocopy guy job over a month ago and had kept my unemployment a secret from her, all the while (so that she wouldn't suspect anything) encouraging her to max out all our credit cards, quit her job and get pregnant. The full meeting room, and six uniformed security guards who apprehended us, watched on as my wife, wearing a newly purchased Christian Dior gown, tried to murder me with a squinty-eyed look.
I blushed, as I smartly sported a brand new Savile Row suit.
ME (shy-like): Were you about to say something?
MY WIFE: We're broke! We're completely broke!
ME: What would make you say that?
SECURITY GUARD #1: Let's go.
The guards led us toward the elevators.
MY WIFE: You pledged six hundred million dollars for a hospital to be built.
ME: I don't actually have to give it. I don't even know what the word "pledged" means anyway.
All six guards escorted us onto the elevator.
MY WIFE: It means you said you would give somebody six hundred million dollars.
The elevator doors closed behind us.
ME: You said you were going to join Kitty LaRue's knitting club and you never did.
MY WIFE: Knitting club? How's that the same? Sick children won't have to do without.
ME: What about your bouncy demeanor and your sparkling conversation? Kitty LaRue and the knitting club now have to do without!
MY WIFE: I quit my job. I maxed out all our credit. I got pregnant. All because you told me to. Eric, I don't even know where to begin. Our lives... they're completely ruined...
ME: Well, you said you'd join the knitting club and you didn't. You lied to me! To my face!
MY WIFE: Don't try to turn this around.
ME: You don't try to turn this around! I am really mad at you!
SECURITY GUARD #2: Sir, calm down.
ME: I was looking forward to all that stuff you were going to knit!
MY WIFE: Eric, what are we going to do. We owe thousands and thousands of dollars, not to mention the six hundred million. We have nothing. Nothing... Oh God...
ME: What am I going to do? I thought I was getting knitted goods for Christmas, and my birthday, and our anniversary. Oh God! Our anniversary!
MY WIFE: Eric! Listen to me! You don't understand what you've--
I shouted then, stepping all over my wife's angry words.
ME: Our anniversary won't have any sockettes! Or a shaker knit sweater with a big snowflake around the neck! What am I supposed to do now! Oh God! Oh God! Please listen to my prayers!
SECURITY GUARD #1: Sir! Calm down!
My wife looked into my eyes.
MY WIFE: I'll deal with you when we get home.
ME (hesitantly): We don't have a home, honey. Not anymore.
The elevator doors opened onto the lobby.
And I made a break for it.
I flew out the giant glass doors onto the sidewalk, and never slowed down. Or looked back. My shoulders collided into a few pedestrians as I loosened my tie. I threw off my suit jacket. I thought of how my wife was angry and hated me. I thought of everyone who ever hated me. I ran from all my debt, my responsibilities, and soon, my consciousness. When I came to, I was covered in sweat, down to my boxers, and lying on a dirt road in the woods, miles and miles from that meeting in New York City.
As the hot sun beat down on my glistening body, I put my head in my arms and cried. I really cried. All the disappointment, all the failures, all the times I almost had my first success at something, however small, but didn't. I bawled. I let it all out.
And that was when a transport truck screeched on all eighteen of its wheels as it came to a stop a fraction of an inch from my head. I looked up, wiping the tears from my face.
A skinny young man with a mop-top haircut jumped down from the passenger side and soon stood over me.
SKINNY YOUNG MAN: Dude, your body's glistening.