I’d had it. Enough of the petty squabbling about minutiae. Enough of the stupidity that had become commonplace. Enough of the “celebrity” buzz that was considered news. Enough of the backstabbing, throw-your-coworkers-under-the-bus-to-get-ahead mentality.
I’d railed against it. Held myself above it. Tried to set an example of how to succeed without floating along with the pond scum. In both my personal and work lives, I’d championed virtue and goodness. I’d been Superman without the tights and cape…and the super powers…which likely wouldn’t have made any difference in this day and age. I finally realized even Superman would have been beaten down. Not physically, but mentally and emotionally. Drained, until all the virtue had been sucked out.
So I packed the clothes I could fit into my gym bag, the book I was currently reading, and my phone -after deleting all my contacts, but uploading as much music as I could store on it, borrowed a kayak from some unsuspecting collaborator in my escape, and paddled off for the distant shore.
I know what you’re thinking, “What did he think he was going to find different there?” Oddly enough, in our day of Internet and satellites and spying on everyone around the earth, no one knew what was on the other side of the water. I mean, we knew there was at least one city, but as far as we knew, that was it. The official government story was that none of our technology was able to pierce some weird barrier around this “lost realm” and no party sent to investigate had returned. So, I really had no idea what I was going to find, other than different.
About halfway across, my arms were just about dead and my back was killing me, and I was having doubts. Regardless of how loudly I played my music, I couldn’t drown out the nagging thoughts. What about my friends who’d miss me? What about my family? What would I do for money? How would I find a job? If the government stories were true, would they kill me or throw me in some sort of prison?
The question I overlooked turned out to be the one I thought of before starting out on this journey: What if nothing is different there? Well, obviously, some things are different…names, faces, the GPS coordinates, you get the idea, but society is the same. People knee-capping each other to leap frog over them.
One other thing I did find different, though. I am the king of the cut throat workplace. Where once I was Superman, I’m now Lex Luthor. Turns out, I’m a genius when it comes to setting others up for failure and capitalizing on their misfortune.
When the grass turns out to be the same color, a new perspective changes everything.