Michigan. With his blood pressure and type 2 diabetes raging completely out of control, 47-year-old Jonathan Yates was warned last Wednesday by Jennifer Kline, 52, that the muscle relaxation massage she had just given him would only temporarily relieve the mind-boggling sadness and soul-draining pressure that he feels on a daily basis.
The 'burned-out' gas station manager (and former chain-smoking alcoholic) was advised by the professional masseuse that he would feel "really great" for 45 minutes before the horrifying reality of his job and his 'ever-tormenting' and 'deeply-conflicting' circumstances in life would come crashing back in to wreak continual havoc on his 'already-exhausted' spirit.
Finding himself in between two different forms of Hell with young and unstable employees nagging at him for vacation time (so they can fill out applications for better jobs) and upper managers ready to terminate him without advanced notice if he fails to meet the increasing demands of his position, Mr. Yates desperately tried to hold himself together and forget about the sales, merchandising, and inventory requirements that he needs to fulfill on time as Ms. Kline (a recent divorcee) comforted him with the fact that many people get hopelessly derailed and completely shattered within the "fast-paced and competitive culture" of the business world.
After listening to heavenly music for "what seemed like an eternity" with a warm towel on his back, Jonathan paid 35 dollars for the highly-advanced stress reduction techniques that were used to ease his existentially-troubled mind, cautiously drove past taverns and tobacco outlets while trying to maintain self-control in his quest for health and balance, and arrived home just in time to see apples, oranges, and bananas bouncing off the kitchen table as his narcissistic and demanding wife was being pounded silly by the "first love" she had met in college.
Upon hearing that Jill, his spouse of 22 years, had never really loved him and that she wanted to "expand her horizons," Mr. Yates then found a message on his land-line phone from his corporate boss, Mr. Aaron Craig, telling him that he was fired.
In a desperate attempt to find companionship, solace, comfort, and warmth, Jonathan went back to Jennifer (his masseuse), asked her if his failed life and presently-crumbling circumstances were a sign meaning that they were meant to be together, and was rejected based on the fact that she needed someone who was more successful and sexually experienced.