9/22/2017

How I know I'm an asshole...

He stands at the front of the room. His face is red from a mixture of anger and hurt. The words coming out of his mouth are passionate. They are heartfelt. They are emotional. And I can focus on none of that because he keeps saying 'yous.'

"We do it all for yous," he repeats, again and again.

'The plural of you is not yous,' I think to myself. 'Unless... Wait, does he mean ewes?'

7/15/2017

All in a day's work

"Do you want to go on an adventure?" he asked. Only there had been more to his question, as I would soon find out, but I had stopped listening after the word 'adventure.' 

"Yes," I replied, cutting off at least part of his sentence. 

He went back to his office for a few minutes to find some papers, and then, before I knew it, I was following him out the set of double glass doors and down a bright hallway. As we walked, he chatted away excitedly. Though I found the subject matter fascinating, I was only half listening. My brain was preoccupied, finally processing his earlier words and slowly realizing where we were headed. 

"They prepare some really neat stuff for us," he finished, as we made our way down a set of stairs and that opened up to another longer, slightly more ominous hall. And that's when I saw the sign and everything finally clicked. 

The anatomy lab. That's where the adventure was. My formal education, when it came to anatomy, had ended when I finished high school. When I thought of anatomy, diagrams and small plastic models of the reproductive system came to mind. But this wasn't a high school; this was a teaching hospital. They don't have plastic models; they have plasticized models. We walked through another set of doors and greeted a pair of receptionists. "At the back and hang a right," they said, also listing off a room number. 

"Hmm," he paused, "I wonder if that's the fridge."

'Oh, no,' I thought to myself. "They prepare some really neat stuff for us," his words from minutes before echoed in my head.

Neat stuff. Oh, god.

My stomach was rumbling and I regretted not ingesting some sort of snack before we left on our "adventure." I had a feeling that I wouldn't feel like eating for a while afterwards, and, as it turned out, I was right. 

He was right too though. What they'd prepared was neat. But I felt like 'stuff' wasn't quite as fitting of a word choice. The "neat stuff," in this instance, was the lower half of what had quite recently been a living man. As my boss peered over it and spoke to the people he had come to see, I looked around the room and tried to keep a non-creepy smile on my face. I was in no risk of becoming ill, but I did still feel faint. My gaze shifted, every so often, back to the metal table. My gaze made its way up a skinny set of shins to his knobby knees, and then I looked away again. 

'This had been a man once,' I thought to myself. Had I ever crossed his path in life? Was there someone out there, at that moment, mourning his death and trying to figure out how it was that the world just kept on spinning as if nothing had happened?

We couldn't have been in that room more than five minutes, and then we were off down another hall and into another series of rooms. My boss's excitement was contagious as he showed me the different tools they used to train the next generation of doctors. 

Later, I recounted the experience to my mother and told her how he had taken me from room to room, showing me everything he could think of. She simply smiled.

"He was probably so eager to show you around because it isn't often that anyone from the administrative staff wants to go take a look at that sort of thing," she said. 

"You're probably right," I sighed. "But I'm still going to tell him I am working on something very important and can't leave my desk if he asks me to go on another adventure... Probably." 

6/20/2017

Retirement

I am writing you a letter, though I have no envelopes to send it in. But for you, friend, I would buy 100 envelopes. Thankfully, Staples offers them in boxes of 45, so I don't actually have to.

You left without saying goodbye, which wasn't terribly surprising. Hinting at the end of an era, as we sat on the dock. But all good things must come to an end, and, as I technically left first, I can't really blame you. I have become adept at saying goodbye to people and places, but some things are still harder to part with than others. I have spent the last four years slowly unweaving myself from this place, but it's more of a challenge to separate myself from the people.

It's time now though, for both of us, to make our way out those doors one last time. I've said goodbye to the last of the people I care about. Or, rather, they've said goodbye to me.

So you will head your way, and I will finally head mine. But our paths will cross again, and often - if I have anything to say about it.

I want you to know that my admiration for you will never waiver, but there's still no fucking way I'm ever running a marathon. 

5/24/2017

Too many sharks

"You aren't allowed to go swimming in the ocean. You can get arrested," I said casually. "But that isn't really a problem for us, most of the time, because the ocean isn't very close by."
"Why can't you go in the ocean?" she asked.
"Because.. the blood will attract too many sharks," I replied, as if the answer should be obvious.

It occurs to me, at times, that the things I tell her may end up scarring her for life. However, I prefer to think that she will look back fondly on the time she spent with me. Hopefully, she will also laugh. It is okay if she doesn't because I laugh in the mean time.

Is it nice to tell my niece untruths about what to expect once she starts menstruating? No. Probably not. But I am almost positive that it is entirely harmless.