20 years ago to the day, I was fired from my fifth real job. It had been a hard day for me already. And looking back, the series of events is troubling, and might be read best as a timeline.

  • 7:30 am: On my walk into work that morning I struck my cheek on a business man’s knee while bending over to pick up a nickel. When I rose up to apologize, the gentleman shuddered almost violently as though he didn’t see me there, but saw a fearful ghost from his childhood. That was the first thing.
  • 7:35 am: After that, I stopped at a phone booth to call my primary care physician to ask if I needed to clean my cheek. I said I didn’t know what was on his knee but it was close enough to other parts of his body that I felt I should be concerned. This is the day I started noticing that when I would sneeze, my teeth would feel loose for a day or two after. This was the case for about three months. My doctor would not see me about it, though.
  • (Flashback) The night before was a big night! I had turned 26 recently and I finally wrangled up all my friends together for a very big birthday shindig. We drank so much. It was like heaven. I have a bladder like a high quality canteen that soldiers are probably given now days. It will not leak if you don’t want it to. But at a certain point it is healthy to urinate. And so when I finally got to work, I decided it was time to go pee. Not peeing up that point had saved me quite a bit of time. Enough time so that after the altercation with the knee and my phone call, I was still on time for work!
  • Went pee.
  • Went pee again.
  • And again.
  • And again.
  • And again.
  • And again.
  • And again.
  • 11:55 am: And again. (I have no way of knowing exactly what time I went pee all those previous times but I always take a restroom break 5 minutes before I eat anything.)
  • 12:00 pm: Took a lunch break.
  • Went #2 to shake things up a little.
  • Peed again.
  • This is too often for some people. My supervisor stopped me and did something I knew he’d always wanted to do to me. Walked me to a private room and asked me “how I was doing” and “if he could help” because he noticed I was “spending a lot of time in the restroom” and that it was “concerning to him and others” because “we look out for each other here.” What I said was, “Are you reprimanding me for not peeing in my slacks? Because that’s real good management.” And I began to cry and cry until I blacked out.

As I’m telling this story, I’m realizing that I have no memory of the moment I was fired. Absolutely no recollection. Did I quit? Maybe I quit! Oh, no. I think that I just never went back! What do I do? I’m so in trouble. I’m having trouble breathing.

My name is Terry Cloff and I am a 44 year old graphics designer! New to the field but learning fast! For example: "Simplicity". I also get down to good music, long walks and spending quality time with my designs.

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