Colonized Mike, Ch. 11: 'PLEASE FORGIVE ME'

by McGrouchpants

            Colonized Mike felt awkward — awkward as he'd ever felt, which was pretty awkward. 
            New hires. 
            (What was he supposed to do . . . console them? The likelihood of their making it in the world was about that of accidentally drawing, as a Ph.D. candidate, an advisor whose work would get published in Nature, Science, or The New England Journal of Medicine — with or without showing up at John Hopkins or M.I.T. or CalTech in the first place — propelling you into a world where, once you had your mitts in the emergent bleeding edge, worked on the first iPod as it were, people'd want to work with you, giving you a second and third step and ad infinitum as though . . . what? You could predict or demand that? It's like a fucking lottery ticket. Dream on, Princeton and Duke Ph.D.s — you still gotta get published! Absent even that first boost . . . keep trying . . . keep trying and trying . . . wonder about how fair or unfair it was, both simultaneously true, 'cause, sure, but what are you gonna do? Bottle lightning?) 
            Not these schmoes, either. 
            “Hi!” he said with that patented Colonized Mike eyes-lit and grin, so subsumed into the fabric of his being, his psyche, it was second nature. They roared approval. His Daddy had taught him well. And Tony Robbins. 
            Good-natured applause overwhelmed him, from the tables where the suits and skirts (one was a redhead — my my!) who were fresh out of the top 20 MBA programs (even #21 and down was whimsically vetted — Colonized Mike had a taste for offhand, who's-gonna-catch-me caprice . . . what a joker!) caught the wave of instant validation and swept it back to him. 
            “That was . . . Colonized Mike up there!” 
            The man himself felt pleased. He had a fleeting impulse to smack himself upside the head, once and for all and for good, but he squelched it. 
            “Please forgive me . . . ” (they started to laugh, at the very notion) “ . . . if I don't know all your names just yet, but I'm sure — ” (uproarious, self-indulgent laughter) “ . . . if you give me time . . . ” (one finger upraised, turned slightly sideways behind the podium.
            That sort of thing!