Knight : 01 July 2010

There are dates
I can never forget.
They are burned
Into my memories
Forever.
They are the days
When I made the choices
That I made.
And paid dearly for them.
They are the days
When I was not understood.
Because of who I am.
And how I am.
They were the days
When I found
That every friend
I thought I’d had
Abandoned me.
They were the days
When everyone
Became afraid of me.

And I will never understand,
So long as I may live
The reasons why
All these things happened
In my life.

The first date
I can never forget
Is the 1st of July
In 2010.

This was the day
That she went to the hospital
For her first round
Of surgery.

She had breast cancer.

And on that day
When I got up
To go to work
I found that I could not.
I found I had no reason
To go to work at all.

That was the day
That I could no longer deny
That the work I did
Had no meaning to me
Any more.
No value
Of any kind.

That was the day
When I couldn’t go to work.
I tried.
I even went to work
For a little while.
Right after lunch.

On that day,
For the first time in my life,
I saw something
That absolutely terrified me.
I had never been
So very much afraid
In my entire life
Until that day.

As I walked
Through the land of work
On that day,
I noticed,
Much to my dismay,
That everyone behaved
As if nothing
Was happening
That day.

Someone that they worked with.
Someone they all knew.
Someone they all claimed
That they cared for
Very much.
Was in surgery.
And fighting
For her very life.

And everyone kept going.
And behaving.
As if she was on
A scheduled vacation day.

The work that they were doing
Never missed a beat.
It was to me as if
The whole place
Was a heartless,
Soulless
Machine.

And no one there
Really cared
For her.
Or anyone.

It was to me as if
The only thing that mattered
To everyone
That I worked with
In that place
Was the work itself.

And the people.
The human beings.
That they saw
Every day.
That they worked with
Every day.
That they laughed with.
That they talked with.
That they shared stories with.
That they went to lunch with.
That were such a part
Of their daily lives.

Those people
Didn’t matter at all.
Not one little bit.

It was as if
Every single person
In that place
Cared only for the work.
And only for their job.

As if
I could have walked
In through the front door
Of the building one day,
And taken out a gun.
And shot myself
In the head.
And crumpled
To the floor
Stone dead.

And no one would have cared.
No one would have paused.
No one would have shed
A single tear
At all.

Because the work
Would still be there.
And it would get done.
Because in that place,
The only thing
That anyone
Cared about at all
Was the work.

As I walked through the place
On the first day of July
In 2010,
I found I had to leave.
I had to get out.
I had to run.
That I couldn’t stay there
Any more.

My friend
Was in the hospital.
Fighting for her life.
And there I was
In a place
Where that reality
Didn’t matter
At all.
And didn’t change
A single thing.

And I could not stay there
Any more that day.
I could not be
In that place.
Where no one cared
About anyone.
At all.

On the 1st day of July
Of 2010
That is what I saw.
That is what I learned.
About the place
I worked.
And the people
I worked with.

That is why I had to leave,
To get out of that place
On that day.

I went home.
And I did
What I’d promised her
That I would do.
I wrote something
Just for her.

It was something
That I knew
I could do.
Something that my heart
Told me
I had to do.

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