another one bites the dust…


On Friday, July 19th I walked into work at my usual time, sat my things down, and looked around. I was on time that day because it was the least I could do after calling out the day prior. It had been getting progressively harder to walk into that place day after day for months. I was miserable.

I made myself a cup of coffee, tied up all of my work related loose ends, and then typed up a resignation email to my two immediate supervisors. After a few edits and a final proofread, I put my aviators on, clicked ‘send’ and walked out the door.

The email is pasted below:


From: **************
Date: July 19, 2013, 10:30:42 AM EDT

Subject: Another one bites the dust…

Hello. I’m sorry to report that I am ending my employment with ******** effective immediately. I gave it a shot, but this type of work and atmosphere just isn’t for me. After years of science/technical job hopping, I’ve finally been forced to admit that this isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life. So I guess I’m off to carpe diem or some shit. Of course I could very well end up destitute, drunk, and face down in a gutter but… I’m an optimist. We’ll see.

Anywho, I’ve closed all of my calls except for an HbA1c PMDR that R*** and I co-filed on 7/12/13 (notification 400*********). The keys to my cabinets, laptop security lock, and my ******* ID card are in the top drawer in my cubicle.

Feel free to contact me at this address or call at ********** if you have any questions or other issues. I wish you all the best.

Headed to the Beach,


night shift



For the hours I worked the streets, I always felt safer lurking in those in-between places alongside a building or behind a row of houses than out in the open. My neighborhood had an entire network of alleys and fire lanes that crisscrossed like a nameless, shadow street grid that grew busier as the night went on. Activity increased in the alleys as the streets cleared out because those who were still outside in the wee hours of the night became easy targets for police, would-be robbers, or someone looking to settle a score.

The funny thing about a dark alley is that it’s never scary when you’re the one on the inside looking out. You may be afraid of whatever drove you to seek shelter there in the first place or some unwelcome alleymate, but never the alley itself. Fear of an alley essentially a fear of the dark. And fear of the dark is fear of the unknown. What happens to those fears once your pupils dilate and in a matter of seconds, what had previously been invisible to you begins to take shape?

You adapt, that’s what. Your senses become heightened. The usual nighttime sounds of barking dogs and blaring televisions get filtered out. You notice the slightest rustle or snap of a twig. If this isn’t your first rodeo, the nose has long ago become desensitized to the smell of urine and can now be trained on scents that may require your attention. Do you smell anything dead? Is anyone smoking weed nearby? Or crack? Each footstep is carefully placed—not only to avoid giving away your position, but to maintain solid footing as you creep through. Twisting an ankle is one thing, but nobody wants to take a spill on an alley floor.


“Whenever you walk past an alley, look into it.” is what I tell my daughter when we’re walking at night. It’s advice that I hope my readers (especially the women) take heed to also, because while the majority of the activities taking place just out of sight won’t concern you at all, it only takes one time for the wrong person to step out of the shadows and forever change the life of a passer-by. That second or two of recognition can easily be the difference between having a chance to fight and flee or “she never saw it coming.” I couldn’t tell you how many people passed by me completely unaware of the fact that someone was silently standing less than five feet away from them.





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…because my daughter’s body wash is called Passionate Spell.