Overqualified: My father was a great man


To: Spherion Recruiting
Re: Warehouse Assistant

I am writing to apply for the position as a Warehouse Assistant because "Warehouse Assistant" sounds so innocuous, so unassuming. I am writing to apply for the position of Warehouse assistant because this morning was the first time I ever thought seriously about killing myself, and if I'm going to do it, I want to do it right. I'm not going to do this half assed. I have a plan.

I want the newspaper listing of my death to start off with "Joey Comeau, a hard working family man, who, in addition to his office job, worked weekends as a warehouse assistant in the suburbs to make ends meet, killed himself today." I'll leave a note for the police, with a list of names, some of them underlined in red. At the top of the list it will say "I couldn't keep quiet any longer. The public is in danger." When they investigate, they'll find that these are people from my past, but they won't remember me.

After time the police will realize that these men and women all work for companies that have at one time used the warehouse I'm working in. This second connection will be the clincher. When they can find nothing there, they'll look deeper, they'll start finding connections of their own, connections that are nothing more than coincidence. The human brain is a pattern recognition machine.

If suicide is all I have left, it has to be something more than just spectacular or horrifying. This morning, staring at myself in the mirror, I almost decided to just write my wife a letter. "I never loved you. My disposable income went to prostitutes. I wasn't happy. I've gambled away our money." But how many men reach middle age and kill themselves because they feel trapped in a loveless marriage? How many kill themselves over debt? No, my suicide has to be everything my life should have been. My suicide has to be my legacy. It has to be a mystery, a quest, a story. It has to be a legacy.

When they talk to my wife, she'll say I've been distant for the past few years. She'll say that our money is gone, and she doesn't know where. And these will just be clues. These will just be infuriating pieces to a puzzle that will hang over everyone's head. My children will grow up in a world that has a sense of the hidden, of the wondrous. In five years, when my son turns sixteen, a law firm halfway across the world will mail him a letter.

As each of my children reach sixteen, they'll get a letter in the mail.

"I did what I did," it will say. "For you, for my God, and for my country. Please forgive me."

I took a picture of myself in a suit, and the letter will have a copy of that picture attached to it with a paperclip. I look very serious in that photograph.

Their father was more than just a screw up. This is all I have left. Please help me. Please hire me to work in your warehouse. I have no trouble working machinery, lifting boxes, filling out forms. I am a dedicated worker.

Joey Comeau