Friday, 30 April 2010

One last day with sock boy

Back at my desk for one last work day before the long writing & birthday weekend.

This place starts to feel really alien - most productive and competent colleague is leaving today, leaving behind me and two "old hands" who'll leave in one week and then the next. Apart from disenchanted me, who's dreaming of better days, there's the New Girl who's still awfully shy and getting trained - it took me about a month before I had any kind of confidence/understanding of my job, and "sock boy", as I call the new "team leader".

I call him sock boy because he has all the manners, refinement and personal charm of a wet pair of socks left to moulder for a few weeks behind the washing machine. The general sentiment in the team with regards to him can be read by the fact that when he sneezes, nobody says "bless you", but the collective thought bubble over our heads it "hope it's something serious." Clearly destined to be a Leader of Men, that guy.

Me, I have three leads for new jobs, one interview already lined up for Wednesday, and the job agents are putting me forward to jobs at other places - one is a rating agency, the other's our direct competitor and the top dogs' favourite enemy, judging by the constant jibes against them during our pointless, self-indulgent "general assembly" exercises. A bit like Hate Week. After how things went here, I'm looking forward to join the competition and compete the hell out of this place.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Back from the funeral

Just returned from the funeral of my friend Chris and now emotionally somewhat exhausted. The reality really hit when they played "Forever Autumn" from the War of the Worlds soundtrack. Always been one of my favourite songs on there, but now it'll be forever tied to Chris and the view of the coffin ready to go into the crematorium. The fact that it's behind the curtains doesn't help much.

My own mortality is certainly back at the forefront of my mind, too. Every time I face death - and I've faced too much of it, too early - I completely re-evaluate my life. There are many "open issues" that I'd have to tackle before I go. The ones that are open I'm ok to tackle in the next life. It'll be OK to see some people around next time and deal with them again. If that's how the universe works. I strangely think it does.

The Christian sermon and service is so bleak when you don't actually believe in God or the Resurrection or God's "mercy". I can see through a pagan Roman's eyes and be flabbergasted at what those Christians believe. I much preferred the "social part", where people would exchange memories, rather than implore the Flying Spaghetti Monster to "accept our brother Chris" and "dry our tears." While my heart kept saying "no, that's not how it works. That's not the truth." Moving my lips and going through the motions without feeling it is getting impossible.

Chris was a good guy, bright as a spark, fun, generous, kind. He needs no mercy from anyone, Flying Spaghetti Monsters or anybody else, fictional or real. His goodness, kindness and caring will stand him in good stead, whereever he's now. Maybe he'll move on, maybe he's coming back, and even if our soul/mind/character is just a function of the material brain - and as I said, I don't actually believe that, even though I'm OK with it, it's just that I've had experiences that point to a different model - even then his memory lives with us. And it really only matters for as long as we are around, anyway.

I'll set up provisions for my own death, my creative will, provisions covering the rights to my stories and everything else. In many ways, the duty now is to live in a way that people will remember me for the good rather than the bad, to make a difference in people's lives, and go out with a bow, a smile, and having given everything I have to give.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Having to make sense of it

At the moment, I'm just stunned and don't find the hole that leads into the story. The rabbit hole is still there, but it's very small. I struggle finding more than maybe 200 or 300 words.

One of my friends died. I heard the news yesterday. He died last Saturday, and today we're off to meet the parents.

I have no idea what happened, only that he's gone. My partner is taking it pretty hard - they were much closer, regular gaming buddies, while I connected with Chris mostly over us both being war and thriller geeks and early technological adopters. He'd get the iPod/iPhone first, then I'd follow once my budget allowed.

I'm mostly looking after my partner. I've only seen him cry maybe three times in the last seven years, and he's stunned worse than me, filling the time with mindless games and otherwise not an awful lot. The wound must heal by itself, we just have to endure that, that helpless loss, the emptiness. 39 is too young to die, by far.

Rest in peace, Chris.