Let Me Sober Up

Shaka is sitting in his office chair thoughtlessly scrolling through the resumes displayed on his monitor. His breathing steady. Heart beat slow. Eyes slowly blinking as when someone is relaxed and dosing off to sleep. Had Shaka known who was simultaneously walking down the hall and towards his office – relaxation would not be the right word for Shaka’s current mood.

Jenn notices the shiny badges on the two people who entered the office lobby. Jenn and Melissa had expected this moment to come sooner or later.

“Hello, Officers, good afternoon – How can I help you?”

“We are here for a Mister Shahrukh Khan. Is he here today?”

“Um yeah… let me ping him real quick – (dials number). Hey, Melissa – there are people here to see here to see Shaka,” Jenn nervously speaks into the phone.

Melissa looks over her shoulder towards Shaka’s desk after hanging up on Jenn, “Shaka, it’s time.”

Shaka sighs deeply while continuing to scroll through resumes. He pauses and turns towards Melissa and nods. He looks one more at his desk calendar – just three more days til the New Year. Here he has been at this desk for more than a year, working with this group of ragtag misfits that he had come to cherish. I never thought I’d say this, but I am going to miss these people so much while I’m gone – oh no, is that my throat tightening? Dammit, I am going to cry aren’t I? Shaka turns off his monitor and slowly pushes his chair out from underneath his desk. He’s ready to stand up and walk up to the front, but he wants to take in these last few moments. He pulls out the top drawer to his left and as he reaches in to grab his cellphone he notices a post-it note he had written to himself a few months ago. I will until. That’s what it read. I will until. He would until. Shaka had a history of being hard-headed. This post-it note was a reminder to use that quality as a gift. A talent. He sees the notification light blinking on his cellphone as he picks it up. A voicemail from my lawyer.

“Shaka – this is Tom Walsh. I wanted to see if you were able to gather the $10,000 for your cash bond? Please, give me a call as soon as your able too – I can help you out while you are out of jail, but once they arrest you, there won’t be much I can do.”

Seeing the voicemail notification brings back the memory of when Shaka first heard the news that Scott wanted to hire him and bring him onboard with the team. At the time when Scott made him an offer for the position, Shaka was selling Oreck Vacuums. Shaka was in the repair center checking on a vacuum for a customer when he saw the voicemail notification blinking.

“Hey Shaka, this is Scott Clary. I wanted to give you a call real quick – I’ve had the chance to sit down with everybody you met with: Ello, Melissa, and Brian. And uh, yeah, I think we all agree and would like to bring you onboard with us. We feel that you can make an impact to the team – it’s going to be very tough in the beginning because you’re going to have a lot to learn. But if you keep that tenacity and determination – we believe that you could have a very successful career with us. As far as salary goes, I believe we came up with $33,800 for you as an entry-level recruiter. So that puts you just under $35k. Give me a call back and let me know what you think and if this is still a decision you want to make. Alright Shaka, well I’ll talk to you soon and we’ll go from there.”

Shaka had a feeling of success after listening to Scott’s voicemail. He had been selling vacuums for about two years – honing his salesmanship and attitude before interview. Taking this position with Scott’s company meant that Shaka would no longer have to submerge his feeling of embarrassment anytime he had to answer the question as to what he did for work. Oh, I sell vacuums. Try picking up a girl at a bar using that line. Especially for a 25 year old guy working in Dallas, Texas. These girls here want a banker, accountant, or a doctor. You sell vacuums? They would ask before having a good laugh and walk off.

The idea of working in an office in Dallas gave Shaka a feeling of accomplishment. He now had a semi-white-collar job. He made it out of the retail sales industry and was now working in the Information Technology field. He no longer was talking features and benefits. Now he was pitching candidates to project managers and building out development teams. There was a joy to be found in learning new technologies to help companies find the right candidate. Shaka found pride in the idea of being labeled a Headhunter. This pride more than likely stemmed from his obsession with the Military. From a young age Shaka had always fantasized being a soldier of fortune turned private investigator tasked with finding Dr. Evil and stopping Armageddon.

Interestingly enough is the Idea that Armageddon is inevitable. Is that an intrinsic thought? Or extrinsic? Like the Phoenix Bird who rises through its ashes – is that the destiny of our world? Our galaxy? Rebirth. Is that what we are headed towards? Trees, plants, and marine life of yesterday are today’s natural gas and oil. Not only is there a silver lining of rebirth echoed through the ages, but also the idea of duality. The Yin and the Yang. Opposites attract? Not only do they attract but they compliment. How would you know cold if you had no perception of heat, or temperature? Would you know what dark was if there was no light? The best places to find diamonds are near extinct volcanoes. Only after time and immense pressure do carbon atoms rearrange themselves into crystalline structures.

Shaka deleted the voicemail from his lawyer and began to call his mother.

(This story is still under construction, please check back over the next couple of days as the story unfolds)

And as always, thank you for reading.

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