I sat down with my boss in an alcove off to the side in an area intended for casual conversation. Everything was done at that point, I’d signed the paperwork and decided I was leaving. Both of us were relieved, it was now a matter of time. He said his family was praying for me, and mine. There on the table was a book focused on the area of Germany where my mom lived, where we’d be moving the following summer: Baden Württemberg. It seemed terrifically strange, right there in front of me, a book. It had been a hard week, knowing they wanted to manage me out. It had something to do with my ego, Donnie (my hair stylist) said. It was hard to get over, took a couple years, probably couldn’t get over it until I rebuilt it, my ego. I paused the day it happened in the garage before I scanned my badge, my reflection, said to myself maybe this will be a good day — and at the end of it, they said I had another option, I could leave and they’d compensate me to do so, make it worth my while. I wanted nothing more than to be let go, and it was December, my mom was here, I liked the idea of leaving work at Christmastime with no plans to return ever, nothing concrete, but rather a long trip to Europe instead, as much time with the kids as I could stand. We came towards the end of our time there, the winter: I ran out of pens. I ordered a box from Amazon and they cost about $50 for just 12 (Pilot Precise). I had to have that kind of pen though, I tried others. It’s now about two years later, a bit more, and I’m down to the last one. We’re going back in a couple weeks. I plan to leave the last pen there, dry.