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.

Categories: Memoir, prose, travel

Tags: , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. enjoy your time and your words there, empty those pilots!


  2. A nice image — twelve pens’ worth of ink, scrolling out in a long path “pilot” and “precise”. (I guess this weekend I’ll look on Amazon for a “Murky Rollerball” to leak onto my scraps of paper.)
    When someone leaves a job, so many of the euphemisms employed seem unpleasant – – dismissal, discharged, excessed, right-sized, etc. But when you wrote “I wanted nothing more than to be let go” that idea of release seems pretty clearly positive. Looking forward to reading of your time abroad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, “let go,” “passed away.” Much better than rationalized or terminated or “RIF-d” (you know that one? Reduction In Force). Ah, well there you go. Thanks for reading Robert, now I’m popping over to your post from yesterday to check in.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen my friend. That damn ego always making a mess of things. But really, paid to to leave because of your ego, from the Merman people. A powerful logos casting you on odyssesian journey, how appropriate!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are too funny Austin. There’s a lot more to that ego conversation, probably have enough ego still I could go on for evermore on it. Thanks for reading and the nice note. What’s your weather like? How’s the look of the land there?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh beautiful, sort of like yourself, feel full circle out here. The hills are browned and tilled out. Frosty, black dirt can be seen in the morning. This is how we saw the place when we bought it a year ago. Shades of brown and grey. Getting these amazing technicolor sunsets lately, those neon pinks and blues. My land remains green, long prairie grass left as is. Spent a lot of the morning staring out the window meditating on the land. Can’t wait for snow and then spring. Planting twenty fruit trees, and hundreds of berry plants.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ah, thanks for the little landscape painting there Austin, lovely. You are in the right place. Bill


  4. Cool that you still have one from that batch of pens. I wonder if it’s weird that I don’t use pens that much anymore, and the ones I do have last a long time — Pilot Varsity. They’re fountain pens.

    Use your ink wisely!


  5. How strange did it feel to have them want to let you go? Was that because you’d made it clear the place wasn;t for you anymore? Yes, a true ego battering, but we all have one of those to a greater or lesser degree, or we wouldn’t bother to get out of bed or wash – or scribble miles of writing with Pilot Precise pens.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Picking up my “Inconsistent Scratchnib” I salute your memories (and your pens).


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