I wish I could paint a picture of those last moments for you. But I am not sure I even know the colors of what I saw. It was a day sped up by anxiety, years of memories, and a self exploration of trying to figure out what to say to myself let alone others. Yet on top of it all was an odd sense of calm.
But when I opened the door to my office one last time, the colors shifted. It was dark in the artists room, the sun hidden behind thick undefined rain clouds outside, the kind of clouds that bring the chill with them but do not allow the rain to pass. The kind of day you would not expect for the spring, summer, fall, or even winter, a mixture of temperatures and moods. As if the sky at that very moment watched what was happening and reacted.
“This is it”
Even with the long lead up to that moment, the sounds of surprise and the bustling of feet to meet me at the door was intense in my mind, each sound was magnified. The divider between the one desk and the doors leading to the other offices felt like a claustrophobic encapsulating place, even though 2 minutes before hand it felt open and empty. I could hear the ticking of a clock inside my head as if I only had seconds to move, the second hand skipping beats, forcing me to just stand in the middle of all the offices unable to just walk to mine and be comforted.
I had a plan in my head as to how I would move but it all became muddy when I said those words. My feet didn’t know where to plant themselves first. I was stumbling in a single step, in place, moving nowhere, yet I was everywhere, trying to navigate the moment.
The days had been wearing on my boss with some very intense deadlines, so our encounter was first as he came up for air not realizing what time it was. I hope to see him again because it felt rushed. Even trying to move to him, there was my escort, unintentionally in the path between he and I. So it was a sloppy goodbye.
I then was able to plant my feet and move into the artists room, at this point I left that middle ground between offices where the outside emotional sky mixed with the fluorescent lighting flickering that slight nuance to my left and the dark hallway behind me that seems to consume the energy a light gives off.
The color shift into this room felt so intense, and the sounds of the other room gathering behind me made me feel even more shielded from just running to my desk and being at my desk, the place I called home, the bubble of comfort of the years past. But regardless I moved forward and started my goodbyes. The people were the same people I had just had a smoke break with a few minutes before but this time, their faces seemed different. But that was not what made me really feel the moment. The moment finally came to a real breaking point when I felt their arms around me one by one. They lasted for the uncomfortable amount of time that you give to a loved one or significant other, and then lasted for more, perhaps like that of a breakup before parting ways, and then more, until finally you feel your eyes begin to water and the already estranged colors of this familiar room become blurred and like that of a de-saturated war movie.
People were talking to me from behind but at this point my ears had become wind tunnels and were already in the car it seemed. Because all I could hear was perhaps the “wah wah” of the teacher from peanuts but with a reverberation and dull tone to it. I was stuck in my second embrace and remember looking through her glasses before I got into it and knew this was going to be a different moment for me and her, I could see her eyes change dilation, direction, and the seriousness of the moment. Her face even before we touched pushed every emotion to the surface and I immediately felt the chest hiccup, knee jerk, tear swell and release from my eyes.
All the while the room surrounding me with colors I was not familiar with.
I turned around and wasn’t sure where I was anymore, my mind unable to really process the moment. The guys behind me, now infront of me, even right there I had the sense to walk to my desk but it was further away than ever. I guess my body even began to move in that direction even though my hand reached out toward Brandan to say goodbye, which was meant to be a hug, but my brain, split in half, was trying to do it all at once. I heard “Hey you get a hug!” and I didn’t even realize I had put my hand out without ever intending not to hug him, hand shakes are for suckers 😛
But I turned toward him and we met and my emotions had no time to develop, they just raced faster. I remember feeling him holding me and I him as if it was a bear hug that wouldn’t ever stop, I heard him talk into my ear but can’t remember anything anyone said, just the feeling that they would always be my friends and there for me. I then turned and met Jonny and felt the difference in body shapes as my arms made it to his back and I felt my hands start to dig into him, as I moved to Ryan, my hands almost seemed as though they wanted to dig into the backs of these people I felt this huge emotion towards. I wanted to dig my nails in and never let go. The harder I could squeeze them, the more I felt like I could cope. And the harder I pushed the more they allowed me to, as I passed my energy back they seemed to absorb it as well giving me the same reactions. Ryan being a tall mother fucker, I remember reaching up high to hug him but still having this grip. I even remember thinking, jeeze he is tall, haha. Kinda felt like a girl would in a relationship where the guy is taller. But I felt him leaning down to make sure I was able to hold him and him me. And I could feel the energy of everyone through their bodies passed to me, and my eyes just continued to tear as if I were fighting in the war on the Pacific and was trying to produce water for the cut off soldiers, knowing it wouldn’t actually help due to salt, and it caused them to weep more. I was in the doorway at this point, between the artists’ office and my own, still blocked by the divider which shadowed the ever so constant flickering light from above. So it was a half lit half clouded, half dark color scheme with everyone wearing their black jackets and the colors of their shirts seeming darker than they were as we were in a tight area, me in the middle, feeling as though I didn’t need to take a step, as they were all in arms reach. Even as i write this I can feel the progression of my emotions as they went from person to person.
When I finally got to Terran and we hugged, I knew this was the last before I would have to go, and his tight hold and my emotionally tighter hold grew for the seconds that it lasted. I could hear him and feel the heat of his body change. It reminded me of my first hug and I knew he understood and he too became emotional. I dunno why but when I see Terran get like that it intensifies my moment. I always seem to be in touch with his emotions when he gets them strongly.
Finally I was free to walk to my desk to grab my things. I felt the lights on my face as if they were the sun, or a warm mood light from my lamps I had taken home earlier that week, but knowing they were manufactured light. I could see through the far window the sky was still watching and shifting to darker greys. The savior of all of this was when Terran said; let’s take a picture all together. This forced me to suck back my tears because I wanted to look ok for the photo. So I fought for a minute to get the tears that just feel from my face so freely, which are usually guarded, to stop.
After the picture we went to look for Jenny, because she was missing from her office, but I remember looking back and seeing the guys walking back into the office hesitantly as if they weren’t sure if they should follow me and continue to give support or not. The escort made them uneasy, it was apparent, even though she was wonderful and it was in no way a “get the hell out” kind of escort. She actually led me toward the cafeteria where we thought Jenny would be. But it added that tiny level of un-comfortableness that wrapped up our last moment together with more haste than allows it to process.
The walk from the inside, through the parking lot, to the cafeteria, the darker clouds seemed to shine a brighter light for a moment still a constant shade of color though, covering the vast sky. Composure allowed itself to meet my emotions for a moment.
When I walked into the cafeteria I saw Jenny and made my way past the many chairs that seemed like a strange obstacle instead of the place where I spent many days having breakfast with everyone.
When I got to Jenny we hugged once, she said something to me, but my mind was immediately back to where it had been even with the moment of calm walking to her, and it became hard to process noises other than feet or chairs being moved to get to one another. But my brain could process the emotion attached to it and without words processing I could make out what it was meant to be. We then backed up from one another, the distance between us seemed to be like that of a panic attack tunnel visioned, wide angled push in while zooming distance. I saw her eyes go red and she came back in for another hug. I remember her saying, “I will see you tonight” and then I turned and was able to walk away. That little semblance of it not being finality gave me strength inside. But it was an awkward strength, perhaps like that of an energy drink that falsifies being alert, versus your body actually being healthily alert.
I walked outside and hugged my escort, she was really wonderful and nice. And then I walked to my car. It was strange, being alone outside caused all tears to stop and I was unable to produce more. I stood there for a little, smoked a cigarette, got in my car, thought about the weird email that would be sent out saying I was no longer an employee, and felt the emotions peak one more time as the gates to the building opened, me realizing I would not be able to enter them as freely as I once could. The grey metal gates of the company, the mechanical slowness in which they open, the jittering pistons making them wide. They looked different, the sky made it so.
And then it all went kinda blank until we met up for some drinks afterwards, even then, my body felt exhausted, my mind felt empty, and I didn’t know what to expect.
And I will end it here because these 5 minutes of my life seem to be best described with as many adjectives I can throw per sentence as possible. But like a TV series you never really know the end of the story unless you are the writer. And this is only one episode in a mini series of my life that I wanted to share. I feel as though it needs to be written about for some sort of finality. Even if finality is the wrong word as I have a feeling this world is too small to say this is the end but rather the start of the beginning as we all continue to live our own series out, only ourselves knowing the outcome and even then we are onlookers most the time, just knowing the episodes as they play out. Hoping the series doesn’t get canceled quite yet. Or at least if it does it has an ending that answers the questions we have been waiting for throughout the series. I feel like I got those answers mostly leading up to this moment and it gave me the strength to move on. And those answers and the moments leading up to this moment in my life, in terms of time tiny moment, but in terms of painting it’s picture grandiose, should be here, they should be remembered.
I will write more as I feel I can or need to. But if I were to give a snippet into the next episode, or perhaps I will say this is like watching the last episode of a season first and going back to watch the characters we have grown attached to, to see how they got there in the first place, then this is what this is. And even while we will watch the older episodes still, more episodes will be coming out. 🙂