I get Readers Digest and stacks of other magazines at the house like most people do. I am not sure, really, if I pay for these subscriptions. They show up each month and find there way to the vanity in the main floor loo for the daily 6:30 AM reading. It could be I am on some form of birthday subscription thing that my in-laws fund, thoughtfully maintaining my less than half full cup of conservative cultural opinionated rhetoric. Or maybe I just made that up. Fact is, my in-laws are pretty moderate with minor exceptions. They have no idea what really matters in this world as far as I am concerned. I seem to be able to get through political conversations without storming off quite nicely.
Anyway, occasionally the magazines (and I will include the St. Louis Business Journal) have articles on how to handle yourself in corporate culture, rising up through the ranks, tips on dealing with your boss, what to do or not to do in your cubicle, jealousy, competition for promotion, styles of management, most things that have to do with climbing the ladder to middle management and beyond. There are industries set up to defend the framework, the culture, the manual to the corporate world. Think about it, clothing stores, office furniture suppliers, communication companies, builders, all conforming to the framework set forth and guarded by those with skin in the game--those who support the industry of big business culture,those with the yellow ties, dark suits, the conformists.
If I see anyone wearing a bow tie who is younger than I, I have to admit that it is a challenge to restrain myself from launching across the room and Dr. Strange-loving them in the face. It is not that I don't like paisley bow ties. Rather, I think it represents a self indulgent and separative demeanor--that which isn't very humble and/or willing to adjust--that which is not tolorent, approachable or fortheright in their ablility to see the world from the underbelly.
They (not all) are the elitist and there are many who subscribe to a lifestyle of this culture, the fabricated framework of corporate conformity that, if you choose to participate, has strict rules. In order to justify your belonging to the system, they must control you, thereby keeping things just out of reach, a social stratification within the corporate culture for you and...the lay people. C'mon, the odds are very small that anyone will start in the mail room and work your way to CEO of a fortune 1000 company. Even if you buy a closet full of bow ties and vote straight republican for decades.
Now, of course I might think a little differently if I were to have grown up amidst a fleet of Mercedes, a fortune in private school tuition and multiple weekend get-aways to Europe using the Lear. I might find myself being a little more indulgent in my own way. But that won't be the case; waking up tomorrow morning having 500 million dollars, the CEO of a big company. Yet what if I retained all of my memories of bullshit that got me to my meager existence today?
What would it be like? My fear is that I would wake up in next to some woman whom I've never seen before, her face stretched back behind her ears, her lips puffy from Friday afternoons injection of hip fat. An exhale of Merlot leaving a damp stain on her pillow and around her mouth, the additional Xanax needed to "take the edge off" and to insure enough sleep to roll through the dryness of 3 AM hangover. The room is so big I can't find my jeans and tie died shirt, nor my dog, whom I am accustomed to peeing each morning.
Disgusted I get up and look for my guitar and business journal and head for the main floor loo. While there, I make a call and set up the days mountain bike ride and review Tuesdays taxes due. And I pray right there like I usually do, head down while sitting there on the comode, for my life back--my wife back--for the woman who has put up with more shit than God from me--for reasons of all things remaining the same, the woman who needs to make the friggin coffee.