Mr. Updike’s Sacred State

I spent my morning preparing a claim to file in my old law firm’s bankruptcy.  Well, that’s not wholly accurate.  I had trouble getting myself out of bed, because really, what’s the point, anyway, and then I sat in the office coffee lounge for an hour or so trying to work up the nerve to check my voicemail.  And then I started on the claim form. 

It is interesting to see your whole career and everything it stood for, your chances of success and happiness, your friendships, all reduced to one page with little boxes to be typed in.  The sum of all my efforts, all the pain and heartache I devoted to keeping the damn place alive, is worth less than what many people earn in a year.   I won’t get it, but I feel that I am entitled to some compensation for all the hours I spent sitting in my old partner’s office, listening to her bitch and complain about how badly everyone was treating her, including, apparently me.  Listening to her insult me for not being politically sophisticated enough (although, with all due respect, it wasn’t me at the helm when the place went under).  Then she cobbled together for herself the deal she wanted and screwed me over.  Yay friendship.  Nobody wants to foreclose on her house, I bet.

People ask me why I don’t just file bankruptcy myself and be done with all of this.  I’m not ready to do that yet, I guess for many reasons that I’m not prepared to tell you.  But the main reason, which is probably not a good one but I cling to it nonetheless, is that I am so fucking mad.  When I take a shower in the morning I think about what those assholes did.  I think about it while I drive to work.  I can’t stop crying.  I can’t stop wanting to stand in their front yards and scream at them to make fucking eye contact with me.  See me.  See what your greed and stupidity and incompetence and laziness has done.  And if I file for bankruptcy there won’t really be a chance to hold any of them accountable.  I’ll list my contingent claim as an “asset”, although I can’t imagine some Chapter 7 trustee is going to want to pursue it, and it’ll go away when the discharge comes.  I’m not ready to let go of my claim yet.  I feel like it’s the only thing that makes me visible.  It’s the only thing about me that they have to acknowledge.

I recognize that I have to start putting this behind me and get on with my life, but that’s hard when every other day I get some new piece of horrible information about the firm’s bankruptcy.  Two days ago my managing partner wanted to sit down and discuss my productivity, so that’s a good sign.  (Wink wink).  I am convinced that I have no prospects, no future, and I am so tired.

I just wish to God people would stop behaving as though none of this is happening.

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