|THROWN UNDER THE BUS
The imagery alone is either humiliating, tragic or hysterically funny.
One day, you're minding your own business, when out of the blue, someone or something lifts you up, spins you around with your arms and legs flailing all about, and throws your ass under the bus.
What? How did this happen? Why did this happen? "What did I do?" you ask yourself. "I'm a good person!" At this point, you're a disheveled mess.
Maybe you're not as good as you think you are. Perhaps you're not as smart as you think you are. Otherwise, this wouldn't have happened. What did you do wrong? Maybe you deserved to get thrown under the bus.
We could go on and on with the questions, but there's no denying it. You're a heaping pool of sweat, blood and guts splattered all over the pavement. This is not your finest moment. First thing you do is look around to see who saw you get thrown under the bus.
Don't worry. Everybody and I mean everybody saw it. Even the mange-ridden, stray dog hobbling by at the time saw it and thought to himself, "Dude, that sucks!"
The actual scenario doesn't matter. It might have been a romance gone bad, a job firing, a cancer diagnosis, a house fire or an investment swindle. There you are, all alone in the depths of that empty pit long ago abandoned by even the black tar and human waste that got out while the getting was good.
It's not a good gig. Yet maybe it's not the worst.
Once you get over the fear, the abandonment, the despair, the anger, the self pity, the hopelessness, the rage, the tears, the loneliness, the rejection, the hallucinating, the frustration and the do-it-yourself therapy, you realize that years have gone by and you're the only one who can climb out from beneath the bus ... fractured legs and all.
Few people are going to help you. Why, you're the very thing they're trying to avoid. Like the plague. No one wants to get thrown under the bus. You know ... wretchedness by association. You're too toxic to associate with.
And so, you're also ostracized. Great. Did you piss in someone's Cornflakes or what? You ask yourself, "When people look at me, do they see Godzilla? What's the deal?"
And yet somehow, amid the discomfort, humiliation and flat out pain comes ... LIBERATION. The so-called friends have fled and what seemed like top priorities in your life have simply melted into trifles that aren't even a blip on the radar of your life anymore.
Finally, you're free. You take a shower, put on your leg and arm braces because after all, you did get thrown under the bus, and you move on. It's a sometimes lonely and yes, painful walk into that sunny horizon, but there you are.
Suddenly, you're yourself again. You have become your authentic self. You will no longer tolerate foolishness or shadiness in your life. You simply don't have time. You've risen, as they say, to the next level. When you got thrown, something inexplicable actually clicked.
It was quite a trip ... and while the answers continue to play hide and seek with you, you do realize that had you not gotten thrown under the bus ....
You wouldn't be HERE.
"Here" means that you survived. No small feat. What you learn is you don't need to fire back. There's no need to be vengeful. Survival is the best revenge.
And with that, one day, after some time has passed, you look in the mirror and realize you have totally moved on. It's not the picture-perfect, Hollywood ending, but at least it's not the outcome THEY had planned for you.
Okay. I'll drop the Pollyanna routine. The people who threw you under the bus are ... BASTARDS. They did it for no other reason than their own amusement and because they thought they could get away with it. In a way, maybe they did.
They're horrible. They're tone deaf. They've been blinded and deafened by their own hubris. And yet, you know that one day, they're gonna get theirs. Not because you're wishing it on them, but because that's just how it works.
One day, you'll be out running errands and you'll get a text from a friend that reads ...
"Hey, Did you hear about that asshole Bob? He got arrested for selling coke to an undercover federal agent in some seedy, convenience store men's room down on Route 40. It was on Channel 4 News! He also just got fired!"
It's all happening so very perfectly. I hate to say Karma, but it's Karma, for lack of a more recognizable word.
"Wow," you think to yourself. And then you realize that you're not as happy about what happened to Bob as you imagined you might be. You feel nothing. You're numb. That's because nothing compares to the betrayal of being thrown under the bus.
It is what it is. And with that, you go home, have dinner, turn on the TV and watch a "Shark Tank" marathon.
Lost On The Way To The Mint