The following is an email I got last night from someone I don't know:
I just discovered and finished reading your graphic novel, "Business
Casual Stag Devil Death Boy." I don't know whether or not it was your
intention, but I found it to be absolutely haunting and disturbing. I
don't really know what more to say of it. There are parts of it that,
actually, I'd rather "un-read" because now there are points in my
daily life that have been somewhat infected by it. Maybe I can
eventually work through this, to go back to seeing my daily routines
exactly the way I have for many years, rather than from this new
terrifying alternate vantage point.
The story is ostensibly about office life - though it *isn't* really, is it?
I started reading the story on Saturday. I was interrupted by a phone
call from a former co-worker. We had worked together in a small
corporate cafe several years ago. We met up for the first time since
2005 in a different small corporate cafe from the one we had worked
in. I told her I liked her new hair color. She told me I made her
feel as if her life wasn't so bad, after all. After two hours of this
sort of thing, I still didn't catch what she had been doing over that
time frame. We basically exchanged thinly-veiled insults and
unrealized unspoken fantasies. We promised to do this more often. We
were both lying, though. We'll probably never reconnect with each
other again - not unless one of us gets a negative prognosis or
something else "life-changing."
Anyway, I went back to reading the story yesterday (Sunday). Life
kicked me in the teeth, though (figuratively speaking, obviously), and
I wound up consoling myself by walking through the closest mall. I
didn't buy anything. No, actually, I did buy something - a fruit
smoothie (I wanted to know what all the fuss was about regarding those
things). It wasn't very good.
This evening, I finished reading the last half of the story.
Actually, before I finished reading it, I should tell you that I fired
an email off to my boss. My supervisor, my manager, my department
head (she goes by all three interchangable titles, plus a few others
that aren't coming to me right now)... Anyway, late this afternoon, I
emailed her my desire to leave my position at the office. I was vague
in my explanation - quite frankly because I had no real explanation.
I told her I felt as if I had a "different calling," not really
knowing what that calling is precisely (but of course I didn't share
this detail with her). Clicked on the SEND button, then clocked out
for the day. I made a beeline for my vehicle and drove home. I live
ten minutes away from work by car. I've been wondering whether or not
she received that email yet. I wish I had been brave enough to tell
her to her face that I can't tolerate working there anymore. It's not
such a bad place, but after five years of such work and finding that
I'm still treading the same waters that were there when I began...
I guess it's not all that important, really. I'll continue living.
Just because I have no idea of what tomorrow will bring doesn't
preclude some vast personal deterioration, right?
And then I came home, took a nap, and then finished reading your
story. I think it had a greater impact upon me because I suddenly
have this surreal feeling surrounding me, having quit my job in so
cowardly a fashion and all. But I also think that I did what was
right for me, at least what was right for me at that specific time.
Thank you for creating such a brilliant work. I should probably go
back and reread it in a few years. I really should. Right now,
though, I don't think I will. I'm going to have enough trouble
sleeping as it is, what with having taken that nap earlier and all...
- [name redacted]