The world from up there is very different.
I took one last look at the high-rise and my former penthouse condo at almost its very top. And then I turned my back on it.
I’d had my finger on the pulse of high-finance. I’d been master of profitable shenanigans that grew more outrageous with each year. Unexpectedly, at the height of my mastery, the financial houses all came crashing down. Many of them were saved, but mine was given the death sentence. We were all forced out onto the street. At least I was able to sell my condo before the bottom fell out of the real estate market.
I moved into a three-story walkup to conserve my cash while I searched for another position. I was high-priced executive talent. It should have been easy. That was four years ago. Contacts, acquaintances, and even those whom I had thought of as friends didn’t return my calls; they ignored me just as I had ignored many others when I was master of the ring.
Doors were closed. I was too qualified for most positions, and as the effects of the crash reverberated through the economy, the need for executive suite, financial talent wasted away. Executives at the remaining companies did not want to hire someone who was sure to be their competition for the next higher slot.
After two years, my savings had dwindled significantly. If I’d still had access to insider financial reports, I may have been able to grow it back through the stock market. But I couldn’t afford to play the fool’s game of investing blind.
I moved in to one of those daily rent hotels and took day labor jobs. Even advancement through those was closed to me. I was a former ‘suit’ trying to hone in on their territory.
Today I’m homeless; dragging my last, well-worn piece of designer leather luggage, with barely enough in the patched pocket of my moth-eaten cashmere coat for for the one-way ticket out. I’ve no choice left but to go back to the town I turned my back on twenty-five years ago.
I had conquered this city; enjoyed its pleasures to the utmost in my arrogance and greed. Now the soleless shoe is on the other foot – mine.