July 1, 2009

I’m sitting in a patio chair sipping a cold Caguama and looking at the lightning flashes to our southeast. Supposedly there are dust storms in the forecast for tonight; this might be the leading edge of one of them.

Yesterday I got an e-mail from one of my fellow project managers asking for answers to some questions being asked by one of our newest clients – one whom, ironically enough, I used to work for many moons ago, for the better part of twenty years. When I asked her who she happened to be working with there, the names she dropped created a tsunami of memories flooding through my mind. They were all former co-workers of mine, people I considered close friends, even family, for a good many years. Hearing those once-familiar names in such a different context, the distance and difference between who and where I am now, and who and where I was then, seemed so vast as to be almost unrecognizable. I suddenly felt old, washed up and burned out, and feeling as if I was living on the moon, looking back at my former home on earth.

You see, between 1979 and 1998, and then from 2002 through half of 2003, I was an integral part of that employer family. We were a tight-knit group: together we went through all sorts of corporate battles and upheavals, and personal changes together, and some of the people my co-worker mentioned used to actually work for me. Of course, like any relationship – professional or otherwise – over such a length of time we would have our ups and downs, but through it all we were more than just co-workers, we were family. It was a time and a place you rarely – if ever – see anymore.

I’ll admit the whole episode freaked me out. It took a good twenty minutes in the quite darkness of the pool surrounded by now-familiar sights, scents, and sounds just to regain some semblence of who and where I was, to regain some sense of presence I could grasp on to because I know if I didn’t it could mean a forever fall into some abyss I might never be able to crawl out from.

In that transcendent moment, my brain seemed lost somewhere back in the mid-’90s, my body was splashing around in 2009, and all I could think of is who I am and where I am now, and how little I feel a part of anything. I have a home, a wife, a bunch of funky rabbits, a job that demands 70+ hours a week, and some surf and tropical MP3s to keep me company and fill my days. But there seems no real end game here, no ultimate and underlying purpose to it all.

Recalling those Massachusetts days and my old job, surrounded by familiar surroundings, family, co-workers, and friends, everything then seemed to have substance, where it was meaningful or not. Out here, I’m just a stranger living amongst strangers, my connection to work, family, and friends dependent on electricity passing through a phone cord or Internet cable. Whether or not this is what and how it’s all supposed to be and end up, who knows? And maybe it’s better that way.

But for now it still feels like life lived in exile.

A hot breeze has suddenly kicked up, the palm trees are stirring, and the wind chimes are tinkling away happily. It appears that lightning is sliding to our east and north – too bad. Me, I’m grabbing myself another Caguama, and the pool awaits.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 22:24 | Comments (2)
2 Comments »
  1. You and Tracey are practically like family to me and I miss you every day, especially around cocktail time. In my fantasy, I’d have you both in the condo next door…it has a huge concrete basement that rabbits cannot chew up..a gourmet kitchen where you can cook and a wonderful sun porch where Tracey can sip a martini and wait for you finish dinner.

    Comment by Jana — July 2, 2009 @ 3:39 pm


  2. Wow! That’s quite a fantasy. Well, maybe we’ll have to work out a visit your way or you out our way. One of these days…

    Comment by The Great White Shank — July 6, 2009 @ 11:35 pm


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