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Tuesday, October 25, 2005 

Burning bridges on a Tuesday

I would never have thought myself capable of blackmailing someone into doing what I want them to do. Let me rephrase that, blackmail is not something I would normally resort to in order to get someone to do what I want. I will threaten, manipulate, play political games and may even throw the odd tantrum. I have also been known to beg and plead like there is no tomorrow, but never have I used blackmail in order to get what I want. Until today. I am walking down the corridor at work today and I notice a whole group of people standing at the departmental secretary’s work station. They are all giggles and smiles. Not one for being left on the outside, I decide to join in and get to the bottom what is going on. It appears the official photographs of the conference have arrived and everyone was having a good laugh, reliving the 3 days we spent out there in the bush. There are lots of laughter and squeals of delight and exclamations of, “do you remember that?”, and, “oh, look at so-and-so”, and then there are the other “look at so-and-so”, if you know what I mean. The boss pulls me one side and hands me a photograph telling me, “It would be a shame if this one should fall into the wrong hands” With a puzzled look I take the photograph from him and lo and behold there is a close-up of the stewardess and I kissing. I think I went weak in the knees just looking at it. Hundreds of little rabid monkeys start running around in my head, trying to put together what my next move should be and what would happen if this photograph should ever come into the wrong hands. What is the fucking intention with calling me aside? Guilt is a hard currency and I do deal well in financial matters of the heart. Now I have told the gf about the kiss, but I have played it down for the innocent gesture it was. This photograph however paints a different story and it does not look good for me. It looks extremely intimate. I know they say the camera never lies, but whoever said that had no idea what camera angles, lighting and a close-up can do. It takes things out of perspective and I do not like it when things are out of perspective. I thank him for the picture and point out that if it is not too much to ask, I would like to have the digital master destroyed as well. He looks puzzled and laughs. He says he does not think it is necessary. It will stay between the two of us. I tell him that I think perhaps he misunderstands what I am trying to say. I want the picture destroyed. At this point the rabid monkeys in my head stop running around and things come to a screeching halt. For all I know he may have been joking with me. My gut tells me never trust a man who cheats on his own wife and I decide that the time has come to play hard-ball. I am not in the mood to kiss anyone’s ass nor am I going to explain my motives. At which point I take a deep breath and become extremely calm. I play my ace and say to him, “Look, we all have skeletons in the closet. To me it is this picture and to you it is JN and your early morning get-togethers. Let's just be grown up about all this and agree to not to do anything harsh, shall we?” The boss went white and for a moment there I thought he was going to have a heart attack. He: “I see. How long have you known?” Me: “Long enough to have ruined your life months ago if I had wanted to” He: “What guarantees do I have you won’t use this against me in the future” Me: “None…. But if you honestly think that once I leave here, I am going to look back over my shoulder wondering what you are up to, you have a seriously overestimated your usefulness in my life”. He: "Ok... so it's agreed" Me: "Yes, it is" And just like that, there goes my reputation as a good guy and I become a sleaze-ball. I honestly thought I had reached a point in my life where nothing I do now could possibly top some of the antics I got up to in my younger days.

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