The day I turned purple

It was a dark, moody sunrise from the top of our office building that day, No Roof Access. The kind of morning you can’t tell if the sun is really there, it’s just a band of white below the cloud deck. And the clouds take on the quality of muscle, of brain matter with pinks and purples. And I was there too, knowing I would soon be gone.

I took more time in the sauna than I ever did, my last day at work. It had been about 18 years and the sauna hadn’t changed. It had a kind of smell saunas have that’s not good or bad, but unique, the smell of men. I went in and out of the sauna and thought about the frog that boils slowly in the pot. And I admired the outline of my body made in the sweat I left behind on the cedar planks.

Some things I gave away but most things I shredded, recycled, or put in landfill. I had a fitted shirt from the early 2000s that started to smell and when I got home, I balled it up and put it in the trash.

There were people at work I said goodbye to and also said I love you, which I didn’t expect, sometimes they said it first. And my hair stylist says he’s experimenting more with fourth dimension portal jumping, which I also didn’t expect, but believe he is right.

And a friend said I shouldn’t have to walk out of the building alone, someone should be there with me, which made me sad why she said that. But I walked out alone anyhow, and drove to a bar to meet my colleagues.

It’s a part of town where you can find the homeless wedged in between cars and potholes on the side streets, the railroad tracks and cranes. And the rain was coming on just as a guy was getting back to his tent and got inside, and I took a nap in my car across the way, set the timer on my smartphone.

People get nervous at events like this if the drinks aren’t put out right away. Everyone’s offering to buy something for everyone else because they need something for themselves. So we settle in to our pockets of small talk and our drinks and toasts. And I walk out hugging them all with their eyes on my back going down the steps, turning purple in Outlook, which means I’m out of the office now, not available.

The cats play the tambourine with the bells they wear around their necks, and the song says feed me, it’s time to get up, Monday morning.

Categories: death

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

13 replies

  1. I wish all goodbyes could be like this.
    Not to be morbid, but all the interaction in this post could just as well be people dealing with a death.


    • Hi Ross – yes, it was a good goodbye, thanks. I hadn’t thought about the death thing but it is like that alright; you can probably relate to times you left a job that was sad and it felt like a kind of loss. I had to just be done with that so now I can write all the good stuff, you know! I think we’re near sunrise now at 7:45 and I’m taking numb-nuts dog for a walk to the lake now.


  2. Congrats/Sorry/Good Luck, Bill. I enjoyed reading this, but felt chagrined that I have rarely felt sad leaving a job and have often engineered an ending that helps me avoid good-byes. As now boss of one employee, I’m sure I’m going to be a real pain in the ass to deal with. Serves me right. Wishing you those yee-haa moments when the lightness of unemployment hits you (this is shortly before a long phase of anxiety, so embrace it!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The lightness of unemployment…yes, that sounds divine. Thank you Michelle. I told several colleagues before I left why I was leaving and each time the story was different, but each time true. Which is funny to think on…and more anxiety yes, I’m prepared for that too. Hope your week is warm and comfy. Thanks for being an inspiration. – Bill


  3. You know Bill, I never like to hear when folks are not working, but for some reason I feel like those times can be gifts if we look at them with the right colored glasses on. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thank you also for dropping by my blog once in awhile. I have not written much this year. I hope next year will be better for me in that category.


  4. and to you, a happy new year out of the office –

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats/Sorry/Prayers for a new day for you. Don’t give up.


    • Hi Valarie – thanks! Great to hear from you and thanks for reading my blog. I wish you and yours a happy New Year. I love the photo of Seattle on your blog. Best, – Bill


  6. It’s just another chapter, it’s all. You are fucking wicked smart. So be that.

    Liked by 1 person


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