Monday, December 8, 2008

so long, farewell

yesterday as i cleaned the kitchen i knocked into something which of course knocked into something else which of course knocked the very last of my set of beautiful and beloved candy cane tumblers from the dish strainer to the floor. the glass was suspended in air long enough for me to take stock of its value and panic, but not long enough (nor would i be lucky or dexterous enough) to catch. while my clumsiness has schooled me very well in the art of catching myself, i haven't yet worked out the object-recovery side of things.

as i stood surveying the lovely, vivid red shards of glass i lamented the final of the four of this set broken one by one. this was the first one i actually finished off myself (breakage of the other three was handled by a couple of turkish men in my life, both going by the name of fish, ahem).

so why did i pull out the camera? why am i telling you about a broken glass? because i'm superstitious. i could not keep myself from infusing the situation with significance.

the reason these tumblers were so beloved is that they were fancy with a capital F. they were nicer than anything i'd ever buy. they were a gift from a former dear friend of mine who has impeccable taste and always gave me ridiculously beautiful and thoughtful things. these glasses he brought to my annual christmas tree trimming party three or four years ago. said friend and i were co-workers for a solid decade! we were peers for eight or nine of those years, and then, in the end he was promoted. i mention this promotion not because i coveted it. indeed, by that time i was moving in the other direction, becoming serious about removing myself from the comfort and stability of that job that nonetheless sucked me in and consumed the pursuit of all other goals.

no, i did not envy his promotion, yet it clearly changed a power dynamic between us. he stopped making it to all of my events he'd formerly never missed, and the invitations to his suddenly went to those with an eye more trained on our mutual work. our friendship had formerly been about laughing and poking fun at our jobs, and now that i was moving on, i seemed to become invisible.

i didn't get angry. i didn't get sad or mad. i merely chalked it up to life changes. he was too busy now at work to connect. i felt like i understood. but then....but then as i took a season off to do an internship and when i say "off" i'm talking about a FREELANCE job. naturally i hoped that the jobs i was finding in the art world would pan out and i could ween myself off of my old job. but that old job (catering) was a safety net. its foundation is flexibility. you come and go, and it's nice to know that it's there. in new york city, that's what it's used for. it's not about commitment!

unfortunately, the company i busted my butt for in so many different management capacities, helping out in so many different scrapes, became so corporate that they decided they needed to weed people out who weren't 'commited'. this from the number one new york city source for temp work. and although i'd talked to said friend and his boss about even the possibility of coming back after graduation to accept a full time position to aid in paying off my school i'm going on too long about this, i realize, as you can tell, it's an emotional subject. the point is not that i got a letter in the mail from the company telling me i'd been removed from 'the system' and would need to reapply if i'd like to work for them again--essentially, "you're fired". the point is not that i didn't even want to come back. but to bring it back to the glass...the point is: that letter was signed by said decade long friend, without so much as a warning phone call or a follow up to say, "hey, this corporate bullshit is necessary, just wanted to give you a heads up because you're my friend."

and while i really didn't want to turn this entry into a rant or a pity party, clearly i couldn't avoid it. i stood over those shards of broken red glass and thought, well kitty joe, this glass is telling you this friendship is over. let go.


kim said...

Ohhh, I love the metaphor of the broken glass. Excellent story telling.

Amy said...

Kim's right, the metaphor is perfect. I know who you're talking about and it's his loss and for that matter, their loss.