When The Shit Hammer Falls
Once upon a time I had a friend: A great big, boisterous puppy-dog of a fellow.
Maybe a little rowdy, but always a kind heart. More of a kid than a full grown adult.
He struck off to find his fortune elsewhere, and while we stayed in touch it was always at phone’s length or the opposite end of computer screens.
Events change, circumstances change, and the day arrived when he was in a position to hire me to help him out on a new project.
He sent me info on what the new project would entail, what he wanted me to do on it, made an offer I found wholly acceptable, and off I went to join him in his new endeavor.
Three months later I was back home, shaking like a leaf at what I realized was a very narrow escape.
Two weeks after that, my friend was dead.
In that period of time when we lost close personal touch, my friend transformed.
The great big, boisterous puppy-dog had become a rabid, ravenous mastiff, and what had been merely mildly annoying when he was a happy-go-lucky sort of fellow became genuinely dangerous and destructive as he let his demons do the driving.
I wasn’t the only person he recruited to his new project, and towards the end we fell into one of two camps: Those who willingly helped our friend carry out his literal self-destruction because they benefited from it regardless of what it did to him or the company, and those of us who recognized it was all going to come crashing down, that it wouldn’t last, couldn’t last.
I was in that second group, but even there I was an outlier.
While they were worrying “What can we do?” I was seeing quite clearly that our friend’s behavior was going to get somebody sent to the morgue, the hospital, or prison.
And it wasn’t going to be me…
So I quit.
I came back home, explained the situation to my wife, tried to get my nerves calmed down, and planned to call my friend and tell him it was over.
Instead, I got a call from the second camp.
The situation was deteriorating far faster than any of us ever anticipated, and God help us, for whatever reason I was the only person our friend might possibly listen to.
Long story short: I went back, tried to convince him to get help, failed, left, and told my friends there that they’d better get out while the getting was good.
They did, and ten days later our friend was dead.
Now, I post this story not as a brag on my common sense and / or instinct for self-preservation, but to say there are times when you know IT is coming and you know what IT will bring and even though you try to warn people, they won’t listen and all you can do is get yourself and your loved ones to safety and wait for the inevitable to happen.
Anything else is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
We know what’s coming, we know how it will end, and there’s no sense pretending it won’t.
© Buzz Dixon