Dear James,

It’s official; they’ve fired me. I’m not sure I handled things correctly. Sometimes what I’m supposed to do and say gets mixed up in my head and I act without thinking. Before the gossip mill makes its round to you, please read this letter first.

I’d been on site for four full days before I started leaking on day number five. Each day had gotten progressively worse, and the pain on day five was unbearable. On the morning of my dismissal, I’d expelled as much as possible, but my breasts had turned to Colorado Rocky boulders. My options for relief included; standing in the shower massaging myself for hours, buying a pump at the local Target, engaging in wet nurse activities without a background check or flying back home to attach my baby’s mouth to my nipples.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime, the job that is, and while Target seemed the smartest option, going home seemed the most correct. We were sitting around at a conference table, my colleague and I in front and leading discussions in a room of about twenty executives. I was wearing a black suit with a white blouse under my jacket. My nipples were no longer human and could be seen protruding from beneath the thin cotton fabric. Every time someone with a high-pitched voice spoke, I could feel milk pour out until it looked like someone was trying to qualify me for a wet t-shirt contest.

Yes, I let it get that bad, because I was in another zone, contemplating my next move and trying not to cry from the pain. I’m aware that my ‘state’ likely made everyone uncomfortable, so in the end, I excused myself and headed to the hotel. From there, I sent my colleague an e-mail to let him know I was going home and then left for the airport to catch the next flight out.

He was left to face the brunt of my sudden mid-project departure, and in addition to being fired from the job, he says he’ll never work with me again. It doesn’t go over my head that business is business, but sometimes it’s bullshit. It’s not realistic to exclude the fact that for some people, their daily lives are business too.

Of course, this doesn’t mean babies are sucking anyone’s nipples 24/7, well, maybe. It does mean people are often faced with deciding whether to negotiate a corporate merger or negotiate a deal with a mom and pops establishment. A choice must be made, and whether we realize it or not, it always comes down to how we want to be fed, by the flesh or by the spirit.

So please don’t be angry that I’m out pounding the pavement again cause everyone is in the act of balancing a meal while simultaneously starving, whether appearing fed or not. My baby wasn’t the only person hungry as I sat at that conference table.

I was just a billboard.

All billboards do is allow us to selectively feign non-attachment to mass marketing by suggesting we have a choice in the environment that created the advertisement. We don’t need to buy. We don’t need to sell. We can hide it, but our nature is always discovered beneath everything we do.

Our lives are moving advertisements made still only by our chosen landscapes, because we all need to suck on something to be nourished.

See you at the reunion. I’m bringing ice cream and hot chocolate.

Love,
Helen