Wednesday, March 31, 2010


So I got fired today. The fact that many others did as well doesn't actually lighten the weight, once it falls. For most, that weight falls instantly - the moment of realization might not, but the shock is immediate, the weight comes with it.

I am able to hold weight off fairly effectively, at least for the interminable period of a single day's span. It isn't hard. It isn't painful. It is often necessary. With the shock of layoff, there is much business to attend to. The telling of people, the reassuring of them, the making sure you aren't seen to be wigging the heck out. There's no time to indulge onself, there's too much to do.

In my case today: to demonstrate to a prospective new employer my ability to cope, to demonstrate simple grace. To give this news to my family, my mother. To endure and to immerse my consciousness in their attempts to be kind, to distract. To behave appropriately, and to behave completely INappropriately too - to deny what shock does.

To hold the weight off, if only for the day.

I lost my job somewhere between 8:15 and 8:30 this morning. I guess close to 8:15, maybe even earlier than that. Because there was the sitting through HR's dearly-held need to make speeches, to display their processes. To humor them, the first task of all the long list for the day.

I listened to them. Fifteen minutes, maybe? I've heard these things before. Once, my boss let me have a holiday weekend because he hated to ruin it for me - and he wasn't there that Monday morning. There was a note. There were guards.

The guard in my annex side of the main office, the office my boss and I shared on our own, attached to a regional facility, had its own guard. I remember him apologizing.

It was after September 11. He had had to do this duty depressigly much, I remember.

I remember apologizing to him. Well, saying I was sorry for him, in the sense of commisseration, anyway. I felt horrible for him. I still do, all these years later. I was okay. I never lost my home, after that happened. I went eight months without work. But I worked again. I was okay. His work had to be so much harder than job hunting, in some ways. I can't imagine. Never could.

Today, a young mother I work with lost her livelihood. And another, a single mom, whose own ex husband lost half his own income a year ago.

I at least was already trying. I have a prospect. I am fortunate; could be even more so. I have a lot of blessings to be grateful for. I wanted out. That I was given that end by a means removed from my control is likely not something to cry about.

Certainly not today. Not today. Today was my mom. Today was my brother's kindness. Today was my friend A, my friend T, beautiful Zuba. The sound of E's heart choking his throat, on the phone, helpless to put his hands across my back, as he did when my father died. Helpless to feel my hands on his in return. To be here for me.

Today was everyone around me, and feeling them showing that they *are* around me. Today was the day to receive kindness. And hope. Hope even from E, who has such a little store of that of his own. He had some for me. That was generous.

Today was gloriously beautiful, and I was off work.

Today wasn't time.

Tonight. Is time.

The weight has fallen, and I am profoundly tired. I am angry, sick, beaten, offended, tired. I'm afraid of my bed. Bereft of the reassurance of the presence of someone who loves me - of mere human companionship; presence - to make sure the shadows of this house, this night, would not be empty. I fear trying to sleep. And yet can hardly bear to remain upright, to come up with anything further to do with myself.

The weight has fallen.

Surely ... I must follow soon.

Surely, I was underneath it. And am even crushed.

If only for one night.

One more thing to do. To be under the rubble. The last thing to be done, on the day's list. You have to find yourself buried. You have to feel the toppling.

Before you dig out.

*Aching sigh*

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