The AnglerThe Angler
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by Anastasia Bernikova

He stepped back, put his arms over his head, took a deep breath, and off he dived; into a stream of friendly-looking faces, welcoming him to be there with them, into a stream of cold and ignorance, into a stream of noble honesty and sly lies, a stream of lights and sweet fra-grance of opportunity. He could finally write, and play music, and make a profession out of it. finally he had places to go and people to be with….Oh, how long had he waited, had longed, for this!

A sudden phone call interrupted his euphoria forever. - We have a position for you, a friendly, frighteningly professional voice said. - I am sorry it took so long after you had applied. Your resume somehow ended up in the wrong folder, but we retrieved it this morning. You are the right candidate for the job.

The right candidate for the job? But what about…He will not have time for writing...Nor for playing music… Was it at all possible to follow your dreams? What about his newly made friends? He had finally started to fit in, he thought; although, there was this disappointing drop of uncertainty somewhere in him, telling him that he will only truly fit in if he says “yes” to this job offer.

He will become a slave of a system created by sociopaths again. He just started developing his own system, but it will take a while until it becomes fully sustainable, and the stream he found himself in now might not be there tomorrow. There, is where all the people were, and they were part of the mainstream, and that’s where he could access them easier. He would put on his white shirt, go to the office, and talk to his co-workers about how misera-ble they felt doing their jobs. He would find allies and have a stable income along with a good chunk of bore-dom. Yet, he would also have the comfort of order.

He had quit his job because he was looking for something meaningful. He wanted to become a writer, but soon enough he figured he could not write without experiences, which he did not have. Yes, he had regretted quitting his job a thousand times. He felt miserable and alone, so alone and left out! His state of mind was be-coming so scary at times that he decided to look for a job again, but nobody wanted him. He became even more desperate, and when he thought he was going crazy, he had an insight that changed his world. He had to make it his goal to look for experiences! Before he knew it, he had all that he wanted, he started to write and people liked his stories, only he couldn’t make any money with them. And sooner or later his savings would be all used up.

Are you still interested in the job?, the voice asked.

He did not know. He just did not know what he was looking for anymore. He had started out looking for happiness, gradually transferred to looking for a job, and then, having enough courage to shut out all his socially-related fears, started looking for experiences. However, his old instinct for employment and stability had already begun to outweigh this need for experiences, and perhaps it always had. Even when he stopped looking for a job, deep down he still was. He did not know how to look for experiences, and even when he finally found them, he could not be sure they would last, which made it twice as hard to resist a life of steady employment, since that, at least, was something easy and concrete.

He was confused. He was not raised as a self-confident person, and despite feeling so different and craving meaningfulness he would grab every buoy of stability as though he were drowning. It was not rational, and he knew that, but he did not always know how to be rational and strong. He did not even know if he was strong at all. He was doomed.

Yes, I am interested.

Seek and you shall find, he thought to himself.