In all my Greek mythology classes, I never heard mention of what was one of the most powerful gods of all. How was this? How did they miss this giant, this breathing force, with all his power? He terminates with the point of a finger, his very breath blows acidic doubt, and his tongue is a quick, flashing sword right to the heart.
He is Applicus, god of the job applications. And he rules many, friend.
His mountain is not Olympus. Instead, it is the rumination of discarded resumes, with all the life crumpled out of them. He sits atop this with his legs spread wide, an elbow resting casually on his knee, his wrist at rest. He chews on his cigar until the leaves begin to sog and sit around the corners of his laughing mouth.
When Applicus is bored, which is rare (there is always fresh meat to be dealt with), he turns to his mountain for entertainment. He leans down, his power suit pulling across his broad shoulders as he plucks a discarded resume from the throne. “Ohhhhh yes.” Today it is a good one. A rare gem of not bullet points, but color, true beauty, design, wit, and professionalism. The kind of resume the seeker poured their beating heart into, held the work of art up to the gods with weary arms and said, “This is the sum of me!” with the only energy they had left.
With one bellowing laugh, Applicus sends the paper flying from their tired fingers, leans down off his mountain, and snatches it between his gnarled claws. “It is your sacrifice,” he replies.
Unlike some gods, Applicus requires sleep. His is the work of constant attention, and therefore he requires rest. This is when the few survive, pushing through the front lines, with hot ink still dripping down their swords.
When Applicus wakes in the morning to see the successes of his enemies, he thunders in a colossal rage. This is when the rest of us suffer most. His bellow is the wind that blows a resume from your hands to the mud two steps before the office door. When your computer crashes in the middle of the most brilliant cover letter you’d ever written, it is Applicus beating on his chest. The pressure on your heart as you skim through an empty inbox is the clenching of his massive jaws.
And yet, in spite of all this, a sword can still be found in the job seeker’s hand every dawn. He is the most resilient soldier of them all. Each morning he says, “This is who I am,” and every evening, someone replies, “It is not enough.”
He doesn’t loosen his grip on the hilt. He lifts his chin and presses his nose hard against the iron bridge of his helmet. He drives his feet into the ground, ankles bracing and toes gripping. All his muscles fire, and he takes off in a blazing sprint for the front lines. He will do this again, and again, and again, and again.
Until it is done.