The jacaranda protruding into his yard was infested with fire ants. He let his neighbor know but the dickhead would not hear of it. “Not my problem,” he said, holding up his hands as if he didn’t have a nickel to his name. Oh yeah? Not your problem? He was going to burn the fucking tree down. He’d pour gasoline around the base and toss in a match and Voila! Burn, fucker. Now what’s not your problem?

He felt like he was falling. The shame made him wince.

The people on the conference call had voices. That was for sure. One of them had a good voice. One of the women was tinny coming through her speaker phone. Almost like she was faking it.

It was stuffy in this room and dead mice rotted behind the walls. Telecommuting had been a bad choice.

He needed.

Soon, it would storm.

Lightening and thunder and rain.

He thought of birds in a tornado. Their rapture. They are carried up only to be thrown back down. Rejected.

He felt bad for the one guy on the line who was useless. They were all speaking to him like he was useless. Letting him know. He might be, but maybe not.

Outside, the jacaranda swayed in the wind. This was the storm.




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