Monday, April 14, 2008

Still Alive at Christmastime?

As you can probably imagine, the events I've detailed over the last two posts have made enjoying office life a tad bit more difficult, but I'm trudging forward.

Sometime after the move, I received the promotion to President's Writer. Despite everything I've described so far, I did feel like I was on a good path at the institution.

You might wonder, Why didn't you talk to anyone about this stuff? Well, I did finally at one point, and we'll get to that soon.

After all, it's Christmastime right now. Lights and presents and cookies and Jesus' birthday. A fantastic time to forget about death, hell, the grave and all the other garbage and focus on the good stuff.

Then, I ran into Susan Coulter in the hallway one day. Susan was the vice president for university advancement, which included both public affairs and development for UTMB.

Possibly Susan would have been someone good for me to talk to about my problems in the office? A vice president in one of the institutions of the UT system would surely be a great place to run for help in your time of need. They probably only hire and promote the very best to upper-management positions.

I was actually about to run into the restroom, when Susan came around the corner.

We greeted each other and briefly exchanged small talk about the holidays. I think she asked me what my plans for Christmas and New Year's were, that kind of thing.

Everything seemed pretty normal until the very end of the conversation.

"Hope you have a good holiday," she said, or words to that effect.

"You too," I responded, turning toward the restroom.

Then her tone changed. I wouldn't call it angry, but it was certainly more stern, as the final remark came out of her mouth:

"If we're all still alive then."

I think this was the moment I truly started wondering if my life hadn't become a bad episode of The Outer Limits.

I turned back toward her and looked her straight in face. She stared right back at me, expressionless.

After a moment, I turned and went in the bathroom to potty.

It turned out to be a quite stressful holiday season. Over that holiday time (sometime around Christmas and New Year's) was when I first encountered gunfire at night outside my condo. Multiple incidents of gunfire, late at night, marked the remainder of my time in Galveston -- including the very last night I stayed on the island.

These incidents of gunfire followed me to my next residence.

I will talk about all that in more detail in my next blog entry, entitled "BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!"

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