Corners are creations of geometric amplitudes; we point and direct that some person, object or place is “just around the corner”, deferred from a reference point of equilibrium. Furniture pieces fail to fit in them, unless they are specifically designed for that purpose; people congregate towards them, especially those at parties who desire a semblance of anonymity or quiet discretion; and we used to send bratty kids to sit and stare at the geometric arrowhead of oblivion, hoping that the boredom of such a consecrated space would straighten out their demented characters.
Thoughts, likewise, remain sweetly anonymous, unless of course one blurts out what previously existed in the quietude of consciousness, and even then, we remark that such declarations emitted from the hollow of one’s mouth were mere “thoughtlessness”, thus negating that very expression which just a short while ago remained unknown and unknowable, but in a flash of an instant, articulated in the shattered world of calm and noiseless space.
When space and conceptual expression combine to coalesce, we refer to it as “the corner thought”. The corner thought is that conceptual construct which is relegated to a later time, pushed aside and reserved for a future date of uncertain pinpoints of time. We often never get back to it.
Like the child scolded and told to “sit in the corner until you straighten up” (a self-contradiction, to be sure, when the geometric fold of the corner is the very place where one is expected to defy a character of misgivings), the corner thought is left like mold on a damp and forgotten shelf of books and backdoor alleys, where the trash is never picked up and the stench of leftovers become a natural compost of hidden regrets. It is always that “corner thought” which one day must come back to haunt.
For the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who suffers silently in the angst of the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, relegated to perennial “light duty” assignments, “modified” work duties, sudden and unexpected demands to appear for a “fitness for duty” examination, then never to be heard from again until some irritant of polluted thoughtlessness tramples in from the misery of unknown lives but to whom one must submit and be subservient because of a title imparted as “supervisor”, “manager” or just plain “boss”; that corner thought was always the one entitled, “Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management”.
When the medical condition first began to impact the Federal or Postal employee’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s positional duties, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the thought of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM was at first nothing more than that “corner thought” which was pushed aside and asunder. But as time went on, it became clear that the miscreant of unexpressed conceptual construct needed to be dusted off, brought back, and repositioned to take a more prominent placement in the covey of ideas to be considered.
Corners cannot, of themselves, instill character into wayward children; and thoughts cannot, left alone, compel purposive action without a corresponding will to act; and it is when the corner thought takes its proper role of relevant existence, that the directionless pointing to a reference “just around the corner” will one day become solidified into a concrete plan for some time hence, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to combine the separateness of the corner with the delay of thought, in order to embrace that corner thought for a secure future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire