We Fall, We Rise

I paused at the entrance as I often did, to admire how chic the lounge was. The designer had played around with brown wood and dark leather to give the place a sophisticated timeless yet vintage look. The lighting was bright enough to ease visibility and soft so that it felt mysterious. The patrons were mature and the staff was highly professional. It was the perfect place to unwind, whether alone or while entertaining.
My pal Alex was sitting in the middle of the bar looking unusually desolate and gloom. His tie was missing which was quite uncharacteristic. He was puffing on a cigarette and sipping whiskey old enough to be his date. He had bought the whole bottle too. Something was clearly very wrong. Alex was rarely at the bar without the company of a thick-thighed heavily breasted bimbo. I took the seat next to him and beckoned Veronica, our favourite and overly friendly bartender, to bring me a glass and ice cubes. These arrived pronto. She even poured my drink and stood smiling, waiting for me to take my first sip like a puppy awaiting acknowledgement.
“Hakuna salamu leo?” She asked me in her usual playful manner. I chuckled and extended my hand for a fist bump. She reciprocated and I requested her to get me nuts. I take my whisky with nuts or else when it takes effect I go, well, nuts. Veronica ducked under the counter and sprung back up with them. I noticed a few more buttons had been undone on her blouse, further exposing her ample bosom and revealing her red lace brassiere. It matched her lipstick. She was a predator, this woman. I blew her a kiss and she walked away smiling, to attend to other patrons.
Alex spoke for the first time since I got there. “She really likes you. You shouldn’t toy with her that much.” “I know, Alex. She told me thrice last night and again this morning,” I said with a nasty grin. He laughed slightly and gave me several reasons why it was a terrible idea. The most prominent was that I’d have to find a different bar to charm girls in. He also told me that I faced the risk of being poisoned when we fell out. He was starting to lecture me, projecting his own troubles on me. I had to put an end to it. I was certain he didn’t summon me from the comfort of my home to lecture me about whom I chose to spend my evenings with.
“Who died, Alex?” Silence. “Me, today,” he replied. Alex was a finance executive at the company he worked for, or with, as he liked to put it. A few months prior he had gotten the well coveted responsibility to prepare a sales pitch for a prospective investor. The deal, if it went through, was the company’s saving grace. Needless to say it was quite lucrative. Alex was to handle the specific financial implications of the potential partnership. For weeks he dove into a world of figures that would confuse many. Unfortunately, they confused him too at some point and he made a mistake representing the final figures. The investors were presented with false information, a presentation he made himself. Everything blew up in his face when the investor’s financial team uncovered a few things that did not add up and these were called out.
Initially, the assumption was that this was a plan to swindle and defraud. Words were exchanged and the investor stormed off, threatening legal action. Alex was crushed. The entire finance department went into full panic mode trying to undo Alex’s mistake. His only contribution this time as his boss put it, would be to get the hell out and stay away. Of course this was done in a significantly less polite manner. This is why he was here, trying to numb the pain of looming unemployment.
What I saw at the bar that day was a man who was letting mistakes define him. When we mess up, everything looks much worse in our own eyes. Nobody judges harsher than the self. We know everything there is to know about ourselves. Other people may help correct the messes we make but consequences are borne by no one else but us, the makers of the mistakes. This is a terrible realization, one that is not so easy to handle. I’ve been there before and somebody told me a few things that I will now share with you.
Whenever you screw up monumentally, it is hard to come to terms with the situation. Psychological denial may kick in or you may just refuse to accept responsibility, but this does not alter reality in any way. It helps to swallow the bitter pill. Appreciating the situation as it is paves the way for solutions to be found. Naturally, what comes next is finding out exactly what mistake was made, how it occurred and your contribution(s) to the situation. Doing this helps create acceptance.
It is very important to understand that nothing lasts forever. Feelings of guilt, sadness, impotence and irresponsibility do fade away eventually. There is always a chance to move on. We may not always see it, but situations generated by our mistakes eventually get better. A lot of the things done by humans are reversible. Ask the former American Embassy. Granted, the situation may be overwhelming at the moment, but nothing is permanent. That’s the truth, not what your mind is telling you.
Now that things are real and vivid and we feel positive, the real work begins. This involves diving into the deep of the problem to generate solutions. There’s always a temptation to jump right onto the first opportunity at redemption that presents itself but that is not very wise. This almost always worsens the situation. The smart thing to do is identify several alternatives then carefully the select the best one.
For Alex, most of this was done without his participation, which is why his mind went wild. He actually sent out CVs from the bar because he was certain that he had just sparked Armageddon at his office. He went to a deep and dark place over the next couple of days, punishing his body with substances and self loathing. Fortunately, he was called back to work and asked to make the presentation again. The deal went through and the investor was impressed by acceptance of fault and pointing it out. Alex’s pity party did not accomplish anything except putting a dent in his finances. His mistake did not kill him, and neither will yours.

8 thoughts on “We Fall, We Rise

Add yours

  1. Once again @sau20 has beaten me to it… Who’s this person?? 😅

    “I loved the I take my whisky with nuts or else when it takes effect I go, well, nuts.”

    Am a whiskey kind if girl myself… Though I have never tried it with nuts…maybe I should

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ”sipping whiskey old enough to be his date”….interesting
    ”thick-thighed heavily breasted bimbo”….waaah,okay
    ”I take my whiskey with nuts or else when it takes effect I go, well, nuts”….aaaai, another one, hehe
    I came here to be entertained and be marveled by your writing but I have gotten something more than that. Thinking of it… I do punish myself for mistakes and take the easy way out but now I know better

    Liked by 2 people

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