by Chris R. Morgan


TO: the Assholes
FROM: Marcus
RE: Not inviting me to Trivia Night
CC: other Shitheads

Dear Madams and Sir,

I hope you will pardon, or at least understand, my formal mode of address in this memorandum. I believe we all remember a time, one not so distant from now, in which we were on more casual terms; perhaps even friendly terms. A time in which we were free people, free and peaceable, free but equal, all the same, in our collective position as masters of the Dominion of Accounts Receivable. I remember it as a time of sweet harmony and iron indissolubility. It seemed then to be perpetual, an unending spring of camaraderie and efficiency. I would go so far as to say that we were the pride of our betters and the envy of our peers.

And yet, the feeling is altogether absent as I type this. To wit, I detect a chill coming over, around, and even through me. Perhaps you, too, have felt it at some point. A great frosty darkness has descended upon this company in general and our department in particular. One that can no longer be ignored, one that I must get out from under or perish in a flailing and torrid madness. Gnashing my teeth, tearing out my hair, fat-frying it, and swirling it into my sweet and sour pork.

Why the fuck didn’t you invite me to Trivia Night at O’Shaunnasey’s? What unholy, tempestuous, insidious, perverse demon from the bowels of Hell collectively possessed you to flagrantly overlook my willingness and my ability to partake in this extracurricular activity? What invisible hand so scooped you into its palm and whisked you asunder from my cubicle, therefore preventing the appropriate knowledge of this event from coming even close to my periphery?

My first instinct is to assume negligence. Could it be that it had simply slipped your minds—all of your minds—to notify me of your plans? Perchance, did you forget at the last possible minute, and feared the awkwardness that might ensue if you asked and I could not go? I can assure you that no awkwardness would manifest itself; at least none compared to the utter betrayal of not being made aware full stop. Regardless of that, I cannot in good conscience assume your sloppiness, flimsiness, flakiness, or stupidity. I know these are all as far from your characters as can possibly be. So the only logical explanation is your explicit intention to not notify me.

What, then, was the nature of my transgression? What was the depth of my offense? Is it to be measured in inches or in meters? My head spins, my mouth dries, my eyes crust over in parsing the many instances of wrongs possible for me to commit. They seem endless. Was it my faux pas, Shitheel, in commenting on your newest nail pattern? Did I, for instance, misidentify your Mickey Mouses as Ms. Pac-Mans? Was I wrong, Fuckface, in defending your honor when Greg from Accounts Payable tried to swipe your red delicious for his slightly browner jonagold? Or Pusbather, when your DVR glitched and didn’t record This Is Us that one week, did it secretly agonize you when I honored your insistence that I not spoil it for you despite how good I kept telling you it was? I feel no amount of apology can reverse these misdeeds. All is awash in hopelessness.

Or perhaps it is something else. Not quite an offense on my part, but a mislaid assumption on yours. I wonder if you somehow got it into your heads that I was not up to snuff for you. That I would drag your team all quiz long. That I would slump in the corner of the booth, like a porcine monument of turds, inhaling two-dollar hot wings and siphoning half-off light beer by the piss pail? Have I not proven a willing conspirator in even our endeavors of mandatory fun? Did it not occur to you that I might be a positive contributor? That I might even have a team name? (It’s the Quiztopians, by the way.) Or, by contrast, did you assume I would be all too willing to participate? That I would seek to dominate the quiz by sheer force of intellect? That I was brazenly over-argue the point, split hairs, and, though doubtless victorious, kamikaze the fun square into the depths? I can only suggest that you take my word that I am as moderate as they come in these matters.

No matter, alas. For I see no possible route of return to the status quo after this. The spirit of our once jovial department has changed inexorably. Who are these bodies that are my coworkers? Not people, certainly; but neither animals nor even imps or other spritely forest tricksters for that matter. For all intents and purposes, for the sake of my productivity going forward, you are little more than man-size globules—perspiring, undulating masses of cosmic gelatin in cardigans and tortoise shell glasses.

I am a simple man at heart, and I am not one to bare my soul willy-nilly, but you leave me in a spot of unprecedented vulnerability. Ever since the events of the other day I’ve hourly had to take stock in just who I am and in what precisely I believe. When my bearings are gotten I believe in beauty. I believe in the primacy of military might. I believe that the power of love is just enough on a contingent basis. Paramount of all, though, I believe in forgiveness. I forgive you, Shitheel, Fuckface, and Pusbather, for failing to ask me for forgiveness.

I shall leave it to the shartographers in the appropriate departments to propose the best course of mediation or reassignment as needed.