two weeks notice.

the three women were talking about stuff. we were in room 435, the fishbowl it's called, and i was just sitting there, listening to all of it. none of it had anything to do with me. there was nothing for me to say, no reason for me to be there at all, as i never even took notes at these meetings. they talked about the upcoming pilf auction, supreme court judges, lawyer stuff. i excused myself to go to the bathroom, even though i didn't even have to go. sometimes, i'll do this on a long flight. i go into the bathroom, and i just make faces in the mirror. it reminds me of who i am, that i am just this terribly lonesome person who constantly has to find ways to entertain myself, reinvent myself, remember that i matter, even though i don't.

once the meeting ended, i chased down my boss. she held a box of office supplies, and we trekked across the gallery to the elevator. she asked if i needed to get into the office, and i told her no, that i had actually come down to see her. and then i told her that this was going to be my last semester at the law school. my voice faltered as i told her. i was scared, and i wasn't exactly sure why. maybe because my future plans still weren't official, maybe because i imagined another long stretch of unemployment and lack of health care, of feeling inadequate and doomed. but then i remembered the long meeting we had just gotten out of, and i felt good about my decision.

i thought of all the lovely young women at the law school who were working to get their careers started. i thought of my sad and empty apartment and the awful winter ahead. i thought about coach taylor always going for two, refusing to accept the tie. i thought about wanting to be well traveled and my parents getting older and how a year can go by just like that. i convinced myself that if i didn't do something, if i didn't take a risk, well, then i was just going to have another year or lifetime of looking at the computer and pretending to be interested in meetings and what was happening around me.

i'm going to miss them. mostly, i'll miss emily and how her hair color changes with the seasons. i'll miss the way she brings her face so close to the screen, like she wants to swim in her monitor. or how she keeps three pairs of shoes underneath her desk. how she wears a giant black hoodie and loves molly moon and genki sushi and can't kick a soccer ball very well. how i could quote movies, and she'd know exactly what i was talking about. i'll miss how she writes like a five year-old and slumps in her chair around 3 o'clock.

before my flight, i wondered about that moment in the airport. the one where i am coming down the escalator, and i see my parents in the waiting area. how many times have i seen this? how many flights have i taken from seattle to sacramento and back? why do i do this, keep wanting to be away? there's my mom asking me how the flight was, and there's my dad giving me an awkward one-armed hug. and then there's that moment where i step into our house, the one i grew up in, and i can smell it.

my aunt was trying to make plans to see the newest harry potter. there were a lot of phone calls, a lot of compromising. my cousin kept saying certain times and days wouldn't work for him. it took twenty minutes to half an hour to figure something out. i just sat there and watched them madly flop around. we went to the movie, and it was raining hard. seven of us were there, sitting in the dark, and i couldn't remember the last time i had been to a movie with all of these people.

so much time passes, and i don't know what to make of any of it.


Lizzie said...

what's it like to be back in NorCal? I think about it from time to time.

Lizzie said...

I've been well. Just soul searching. Not sure if I'll find it on the east coast or west. Congrats on the Peace Corps! It'll be great for you. And wherever you end up - lucky them!