The Bends pt.3 — A Job That Slowly Kills You

Note: This is part 3 of a series in which someone gets too successful. The stories are fictitious, but possibly prophetic. Proceed with caution. 

Note 2: Diane is perfectly fine, but she does get a little sad sometimes. When she grows up, she will be extremely successful in whatever she pursues. Her parents love her very much. 


In high school, Diane was always different. 

She wore things 15 years too late, chopped her hair off, acted awkward on purpose, and smiled when she was sad. After her high school graduation (in a stained blue gown , stained by the chocolate milk she tried to drink earlier to rekindle some of her early childhood she just realized she was losing),  Diane walked to her 2010 Honda Civic. After stumbling on her $3 heels from Savers, she managed to get in and drive away from the only place where anyone noticed that she was different.

See, the difference between Johnny, Cathy, and Diane is that Diane didn’t really want anything. No motivation, no inspiration. All Diane wanted to be when she grew up was different.


Diane sat down in her room for 3 months over the summer and looked at her wall and cried remembering high school and how different she was. She liked looking at pictures of dogs, frustrated that she didn’t know how to actively be different and do something worthwhile.

Well none of that mattered now because her parents were threatening to kick her out of the house if she didn’t get a damn job. So Diane drove down Magnolia street, and ate a slice of pizza at Joey’s where her and her high school friends (who were also really, really different) used to eat pizza. Then she walked a few doors down to Savers where she bought those piece of crap high heels for graduation. And got a damn job.

At first Diane was like anyone else that works at Savers; depressed and pretending not to notice the idiot teenagers stealing CD’s. Then she realized that here at Savers, a piece of garbage on the edge of suburbia, a haven for people too cheap to buy sanitary things, a lonely and pathetic embodiment of everything wrong with hipster culture, here was where she would become different and it would finally matter. For the first time in awhile, Diane would be different and it would matter.

By now, a year had passed since Diane spilled chocolate milk on her blue graduation gown and stumbled on those worn out heels she thought were “SUCH a steal” and even prompted her to remark “anyone who pays over $3 for shoes is stupid!”. 2 years later, and Diane was still insistent on being different. That’s all that mattered to her. Being different. 2 years later, and Diane’s only ambition was to be different.

So Diane started to come to work with her shirt inside out, her hair dyed different colors, her shoes on the wrong feet, her glasses missing half the frame, her face painted half pink, her pants torn to shreds, her voice sounding all funny, wearing skunk perfume, and all that funny different stuff. Although no one really cared, or noticed, Diane was so freaking happy. And for Diane, this was success. She succeeded. Diane always wanted to be different, and now she was.

Unlike Cathy and Johnny, her success wasn’t simultaneous with money or fame or anyone caring. Diane’s success was purely personal. She got to keep it to herself, and not even her dumb parents that wanted her out of their lives could take it from her or share it with her. Just like when Diane bought those $3 heels from the hell hole she now works at, she is happy and different. 

Now Diane walks around with supreme confidence because she’s achieved her personal nirvana. Diane has The Bends. Unlike others with The Bends, no one noticed Diane or particularly cared about her. But in her mind, she was finally  different. By feeling different, Diane is tricked into feeling important. This is an unprecedented sin in Diane’s life, as never in her life has she felt important. The Bends is in full force. 

No one notices, but Diane is at an all-time high in her life, finally feeling different and significant despite walking the beaten path every person desperate to be different has walked. Everyone around her pays no attention to Diane except for herself.

But as is always with The Bends, Diane will fall. After months of being different, Diane wakes up (after her mom yelling at her for the 4th time to get her worthless ass out of bed) and stands up, feeling more normal than she usually does.

She slowly walks over to the opposite side of the room and stares into her broken mirror she never wants to fix because it’s different. With pure terror in her almost hazel eyes, Diane stares at a broken women that every other person that’s laid their eyes of judgement upon her has seen all this time. Diane falls to the floor, blood steadily streaming out of her nostrils and tear ducts, and viciously slams her head into the mirror. Over and over the crown of her head slams into the spot where she saw broken woman.

Her mom stares in horror at her daughter becoming another brick in the wall, asking herself what she did to deserve such a different daughter.

Just like the $3 Savers high heels that cracked as she was getting into her Civic, Diane is broken. Pieces of her lay all over her bedroom floor and the endless clothes’ racks of Savers.

Diane is in heaven now, but for some reason she’s in a hospital gown. Everything is padded, and the fairy in a nurse costume flies in 3 times a day to feed Diane some mushy stuff. Her arms are taped across each other and rarely let out, which is a pretty neat thing here in heaven. Diane doesn’t mind all the weird stuff heaven has though.

Here, everyone is different. Just like Diane.


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