Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ye Olde Grudge

Once upon a time, when I was just a wee grudgeling, I had a kitten named Amy. She was a lithe, frisky, dainty lass, and I loved her with all my heart. She was just a little grey, striped tiger, but she was sweetness itself.

Now in this olde tyme, I also worked in the land of civil servitude, specifically the fiefdom of the evil petty despot tyrant, Mr. Billy Crowe, otherwise known as the municipal probation office. Now Mr. Billy Crowe was in wont of a receptionist/secretary, and in my 19th year, I typed 90 words a minute and was in wont of a job. And so I came to the fiefdom in good faith, and in a good mood.

Alas! This was not to last.

For the wicked Mr. Billy Crowe despised instantly anyone who was not a despoiled, bitter old hag or withered, impotent old curmudgeon. But he most especially loathed intelligent, cheerful, efficient, merry, youthful lasses, who would clearly go on to a life more meaningful and expansive than that he lived in his puny, dark fiefdom. Ridiculous, hateful little martinet.

Daily, unaware of the depths of Mr. Billy Crowe's hatred of my youth and promise, I speedily typed up all assignments, greeting clients and answering phones in the friendliest of manners, and gradually caused all the bitter, withered old employees of ye olde probation department to re-learn how to smile and joke.

And lo, Mr. Billy Crowe's abhorrence of me grew.

But, because I was the best of employees, there was nothing about which he could legitimately complain. He resorted to waiting for me to go to the water fountain in the hall, or to the restroom, and he would follow me into the hall to chastise me for deserting my post.

I was a merry lass, however, and, unaware of the wretched Mr. Billy Crowe's seething desire to squash the life out of me, I merely laughed off this silliness, and secretly drew little hilarious cartoons on the back of pink message sheets of this cranky personage, engaged in various ludicrous chastisements of all the employees. Which I then circulated amongst the other employees, much to their amusement. And yea, they loved me more, thereby causing Mr. Billy Crowe's hatred to balloon astronomically.

And then it happened. One morning after letting her outside for a romp, I discovered my precious kitten Amy broken and crumpled, but alive, on the back porch. Knowing that I couldn't be late to work, my significant other at the time agreed to ferry my darling girl to the vet, and to report to me of her condition. I later received a phone call that nothing could be done, and she was suffering greatly, and must be relieved of her pain and put to sleep.

Overcome by sorrow, I went to Mr. Crowe's office and begged to be allowed to leave, so that I could go be with my baby kitten as she drifted off to peace.

And such were the depths of the terrible Mr. Billy Crowe's inexplicable hatred of me, and desire to exact revenge upon me for being younger, smarter, happier, and more lovable than him that he decreed that if I left to bid goodbye to my darling Amy, I should be out of a job.

I should have walked out on that dark and sinister man. But I was young and, as always, unable to express outrage and stand up for myself. So I stayed at my desk and wept all day long. While Amy died without me.

This is one of my longest held grudges. The memory of it cuts me still.

Over the years I was transferred to other kingdoms in the land of civil servitude, but once I came back to the petty fiefdom for a visit to cheer the withered and the bitter, and Mr. Billy Crowe emerged from his cave-like office to berate me for visiting his desmesnes, threatening to call my new master to give me trouble for leaving those premises. I let Mr. Crowe know that my genteel new master knew I was visiting, and had bestowed upon me his blessing. Mr. Crowe was so enraged by this that he could do nothing but quiver and turn on his heel and hie back unto his cave. Something in me snapped and I followed him with great haste, and as he tried to slam his door in my face, I shoved my foot in the way so the door would not close. HA!

But I was so inexperienced with righteous rants in my youth, that I could say nothing except that I was very sorry he was such a wretched, bitter man, but he wouldn't infect me with his misery or intimidate me with his blustering any more.

A minor step towards the victorious revenge I have imagined almost every day in the 16 years since. Much have I thought on him, and much have I wished for him to suffer agonies untold. DIE, MR. CROWE, DIE! KITTEN HATER!!!

The end of the story has yet to be written. Perhaps writing the story will facilitate its end. Perhaps the writing of the story IS the end. We shall see. We shall see.


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