Metamorphosis by Ron Kolm

I’d been going through a terrible time, 
separating from my wife, 
and everything I touched, broke.
I was working in a bookstore 
on 8th Street in New York City,
the only person on the night shift, 
barely hanging on to the job.
Among the tasks I had to do 
every evening after closing 
was clean the bathroom.
Late one night I accidentally 
knocked an empty vase 
off the back of the toilet 
sending it crashing 
into the porcelain bowl
creating a constellation 
of tiny glass slivers.
“Fuck this shit! I’m out of here,” 
I muttered to myself, knowing
I’d probably be fired
but at that moment I didn’t care
as I was broken, too. 
The next day I got to work
and the manager said to me:
“Ron, we have to talk!” 
I froze. He was taller than me,
and I’m pretty tall, 
but he was staring down at me
waiting for my response.
Suddenly my mind started
racing like a cockroach
when you turn on the lights 
as I tried to figure out 
how to save my life.
The boss had a huge ego
and felt superior to everyone 
so it hit me I should try 
to use it against him.
“I know I did a bad thing last night,”
I said, looking up at him, 
“And you can take the easy way out 
and fire me or the much more difficult 
and rewarding path of bearing with me
as I try to work through my problems.”
He stood there quietly for a moment
glaring down at me, then relented.
“Sure,” he replied. “We can do this.
Best of luck.” After saying that, 
he turned and walked away.
I clocked in and took my position
behind the cash register. 

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