Charlie began his job search, interviewing with people half his age whose unbridled enthusiasm and corporate sloganeering seemed akin to a liturgy that he no longer believed in.
It was on his way home from one such interview that he though back to Rick's comment, 'COMPLETE' wondering if there was more validity to it than he dared admit.
Finding a job was difficult for a man in his 50's, concluding that this 'FILL IN' was little more than a euphemism for excommunication.
So, as the long minutes turned to hours and hours to days and days to weeks, Charlie emailed Rick.
They met over coffee at a local Starbucks, whose young, energetic employees only served to embarrass Charlie, having to admit that he once was, where they were: Having faith in something, an idea....a promise, that was not trustworthy.
When Rick arrived, he greeted Charlie, ordered his designer cup of coffee and sat down. 'How are you?' Charlie, thought to himself, 'How AM I? How do ya thing I AM?!'
'S^&!#ty' Charlie replied. Rick just nodded. Charlie went on, telling Rick just how 'F*%#ing' betrayed he felt....working himself into a full blown lather, laced with the profanity and vitriol of a disillusioned soul.
Rick had little to offer except an occasional nod, adding from time to time, 'I get it.'
Charlie sat back, finished his coffee, and stared out the window, hands behind his head, exhausted.
'What did you mean when to said to me that I was 'suffering from some something religious?'
Rick replied, 'I meant that you were experiencing a crisis of faith. Something you trusted in, something you organized much of your life around,....'
'Abandoned me?' Said Charlie.
'Worse. It turned on you. It used you...and tossed you aside.' replied Rick.
[to be continued]