This band got me through the weekend. If this show was tonight and not November 27th, I would feel a lot better.
Eight years ago, someone close to me was killed. Not close as in we were good friends, but close in that our jobs required us to see each other’s faces for 8 hours a day. His death has always bothered me because mere days before it happened, I had found myself in a screaming match with his dad – my boss. A screaming match about him, which ultimately led to me and my co-worker Carol storming out and never looking back.
I walked into that job in 2000 with all the naïve confidence and self-esteem of a 20-year-old girl and all I took with me 4 years later was a trauma-derived stutter and a crippling fear of offices which would leave me unemployed for nearly 3 years—the beginning of an avalanche of financial duress which we are still trying to clean up.
(And Henry. I got Henry out of the deal.)
I know his death wasn’t my fault, that’s not really what this is about. And I kind of feel too mixed up and sad and tired to try and explain, because explaining means going into the whole story. And the whole story is a saga, really, which I’m technically not permitted to share, a stipulation of the settlement I was awarded after a mediation with the EEOC.
But, maybe someday.
Eight years later, I still have nightmares about what happened. The flashbacks to the phone call. He’s still alive in my dreams. I still think I see him sometimes when I’m out. (This just happened on Saturday. That “Oh shit, it’s—-wait. No, he’s dead” heart-clutching moment.) And that is how I ended up standing awkwardly in a Jewish cemetery yesterday morning, looking for a closure which may or may not exist.
I had wanted to do this back in 2004, but I just wasn’t ready. But I needed to see it yesterday. Chooch—had he been born a day earlier, would have shared his birthday with this man’s death day—helped me lay down wildflowers along the gravestone. Chooch kept asking me questions that I wasn’t ready to answer.
I couldn’t stop staring at his picture etched into the marble.
We went to see Speck and Don at the pet cemetery after that, and that’s where I really cried, which is what I have needed to do for weeks now. Smiling (and laughing like a crazy person) through the sadness only gets us so far before we eventually have to deal with it.