Sketches – 60

How long will you be at work?

Pretty much until tonight.
It will probably be this way
Through February.
How will you spend your Saturday?

Helping my sister move.
I’ll go ahead and have dinner with them,
I guess

Sorry.

No, it’s good, actually.
She needs the support.
And you need to work.
Who all is in this weekend?

Everybody. The whole team.

What will you eat?

We have Greek food being delivered.
How is your sister? The kids?

The kids are okay, but,
I don’t think they’ve really grasped
What’s happening.
To them, it’s like, a cool new place to live
And explore.
And, it’s not like their dad was around that much.
But it will hit them, at some point.
And she — well, she’s very sad.

I can understand why.

Yeah, grieving for a relationship is like
Any other kind of grieving.
It pretty much sucks.

Well said.
When are you headed over there?

In a few minutes.
I’m dressed like it’s summer, so I’ll need to change.
I like to pretend it’s summer when
It is this cold

I like to pretend its already daylight
When I’m leaving for work on weekends, so
I get that

Are you okay?

Not really, no, but,
You know what’s been going on here.
I’m focused on helping the people who
Are even more shaken up by the firing.

You aren’t sleeping

No, that’s always the first thing to go with me.
But I’ll be fine, I just
Have to keep moving, for now.
I also need to go.

Alright, love.
I’ll see you tonight.

Give your sister and the kids
A big hug from me.

I’ll give the kids a big hug.
I’ll shake my sister’s hand for you.

You are a mess

Welcome, Love

A Sojourn

Welcome, love, it’s time to see
The price of our mortality
The fare we pay to take this ride
Where every comfort is supplied
To lead us to believe a lie
We’ll live this life, and never die

From birth to life, and life to death
We breathe but just a single breath
In time unsullied, lost in space
To run continually in place
And sometimes see a glimpse above
And say, in pausing – “Welcome, love.”

A Dating Memory

I wanted to seduce her with my wit;
She started laughing at my clumsiness.
I thought, “I’ll let my style do the bit” –
Then knocked over the wine, and made a mess

She came towards me with a yellow towel,
And I no more my laughter could abate:
Then her eyes shone when I laughed at myself
And I had done enough
For a first
Date


 

(“A Dating Memory” – 7-5-2015)

Common Thoughts #7 – Meat Loaf & Brussels Sprouts

What exactly’s in a meat loaf?
I am sure that I don’t know.
Maybe some ingredients?
Still, it seems quite apropos

To serve it with brussels sprouts –
Those two things both mysteries –
One: I’m not sure what it is;
Two: I don’t know who likes these

The Grove

I woke. My people turned to trees.
Then wondered, if I had the chance
Could I, too, with the cold winds learn
  to dance?
 
It is the grove that gives us life.
The sun, the soil that we share,
The tears of those who watch o’erhead,
  their left-by mulch, subconsciously aware —
 
I sleep; my people growing tall.
Now am I just too fast to feel
The slower dance that’s only dreamed,
  but far more
 
  real?

It Feels Like Grief

“Jobs are merely leased, and leases get called.

But it feels like grief.”

— From my Instagram feed


She messaged me at work early Monday:

I am very likely getting fired today. I want you to know it was a true pleasure working with you, and thank you for all your support through the years.

She did get fired, later that day, although with some kind of financial package to aid with transition.

I heard from her later that night, having reached out to her through Facebook. She said she thought this meant she had a better future ahead of her somewhere else.

I told her I would miss her.

She messaged me at work the next morning, asking if I would help her replacement, a guy she had only recently hired. I said “of course.”


I first met her eight years ago. We had an immediate affinity. She changed jobs several times, all promotions. I changed jobs once and bosses multiple times. During all that time, we either worked together or stayed in touch.

Her last promotion had been to a very high position. One with a lot of responsibility and a lot of employees. One where a lot could go wrong.

It did.

She has a family, a husband and three kids. She has been the primary earner.

She just last month became a U.S. citizen. She’s been in this country since the mid 00’s.


As of this March, I will have worked for the same company for twenty-four years. I have seen a lot of people come and go. Some few of those who left did so involuntarily. I have come very close to being fired myself on two occasions.

The longer you live, the more grief you accumulate. It makes me rethink how wonderfully brave the old people of my youth were, although I was uncognizant of it at the time.

The respiration of life involves the inhalation of hope and the exhalation of grief, and like breathing, we do both automatically.


I wake up worrying about various issues to do with this company. Those are not concerns for her anymore.

Later, I walk up to a door and scan a badge. The door opens. She can’t do that anymore.

I walk to a desk and see pictures of my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Her desk now lies empty.

My friend will be fine. She’s smart, she’s capable, and she’s no longer tied to this particular corporate millstone. I’m happy that she is finally free.

But it feels like grief.

One Paradox Too Few

Unsettled thoughts upon a fair horizon,
A world made local and made better (far) —
A brave Demeter to some shy Poseidon,
With trembling measured by the millibar —

A shadow world that’s colorful, and brilliant,
A morning filled with frosted air and dew,
Two contradictions interlaced; resilient
But barred by just one paradox too few