This morning at 7:30 am, my boss, (the one I spoke with a couple of weeks ago and psychically saw his cancer returning) got into his car to go to work like usual. Two miles from home, he crossed over the median and hit a dump truck head on. The two vehicles hit so hard that my boss' truck door popped off, and since he wasn't wearing a seat belt, he flew from the truck, and was killed, they say, instantly.
Since my Hilarious Coworker and I are outstationed in Hiveworld, the big boss called me to let me know what had happened. His words punched a hole in my heart. And then he utterly broke down and wept, then caught himself, and we spoke a few more words, then hung up. I called my Hilarious Coworker who was at a half-day training at an upstate facility, got her voicemail, then preceded to blow up her phone for a while but finally gave up. She called about an hour later when the messages finally beeped through.
It isn't that I was friends with him, or he with me. He was my coworker, and then with his last promotion, became my boss. He's been supportive with the possible promotions I'm applying for. I brought him books and some research when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He interviewed me and hired me. I saw him nearly everyday for a year, then at least once or twice a week for another year. We made attempts at jokes with one another, and at least attempted to smile at the effort the other made. He was ex-military. I was an ex-card carrying member of the granola nation. He's worked in the office for decades, was one year away from retirement. I was fresh blood brought into the office on the wave of federal stimulus money meant to assist in this current economic meltdown.
For two weeks, there's been death all around. Another spider sister made a home in the exact place that her other sister did last summer. Within a week, another smaller spider joined her, and then an even smaller spider hung up a web, creating an enormous network of webs all over the entrance to my door, but still leaving me enough room for passage. It was magical. But within a day, the smallest spider was dead. The two sisters spread out, one on either side of the door, but then, one morning, both spiders were gone, only a husk of one of them, curled up in on itself by a bench.
The beta fish that my Hilarious Coworker brought in a year ago and I took over its care sometime in the new year, swam sluggishly for a couple of days last week, then went belly up.
The fierce little dog that lives with my landlords, the one I've called The Grey Worm because of his fiery hate of me, how for three years has barked and snapped, growled and lunged whenever I'm near, has lymphoma. It's advanced and cancer treatment won't really do anything other than buy him a few sickly months, so they are letting him go naturally. Now he just lays by the window and watches me come home and walk back to my apartment in silence, his huge black eyes tracking my every move.
As of last night, I'm now officially heading into menopause. No, definitely no babies for this mommychula.
All day long I've been thinking about The Hoon, about how I still don't know where he's gone. I've been feeling that about my boss. Where did he go? After The Hoon died, almost two years ago now, I walked around the apartment for days, days and days, saying over and over: where is he? where did he go? where is The Hoon? There was a hole in my mind but also a hole in reality, where his squishy, fuzzy body and sparkly eyes used to be. And so all day long today I've been asking: where did my boss go? where is he?
I know that the body is still around. But if I were to go and see it, I'd quickly see that he's not there. So where did he go?
Maybe this seems like a simplistic question, but it seems very very important to me. Where?
My Hilarious Coworker tried to talk to me about faith, how faith is when you don't have practical proof of something, but you trust that it's there, trust that God has it taken care of. I just wanted to know where the boss and The Hoon had gone. She said faith made you stop wondering and simply trust that they were taken care of. It didn't ring true to me, but then again, I'm someone for whom faith, whatever remnants remain, doesn't see it as a strong enough coat for heavy storms like the ones we had today filling the sky with lightning and the roads with flooding. Invoking "faith" looks to me like invoking voodooo or the sky god or the ghost of George Carlin.
A week ago, I had a nightmare. I was walking through a town I didn't know very well. A small town. At dusk, the light quickly fading. No streetlamps, no cars on the roads. Just me, walking. Where to? I don't know. Just walking, trying to get somewhere. And then night began falling quickly and as hard as I strained my eyes, I could only see shadows, and then in an instant, I saw nothing, only pitch black, darkest night. I stood there, somewhere in this town I didn't know, alone, in total darkness. Utter darkness. No more light. I struggled and fought to see, trying to will visual purple to kick in more deeply. Nothing. And then, in a flash of a second, I got, let there be light, and in a whoosh of a moment, the world was filled with daylight and I could see every single thing. Everything.
And now with all the death around again, the night time lover has returned, that ever changing Man who visits me while I sleep, is kind, tries to explain things to me (I can't ever remember what, just that he's trying to get me out of the crumbling building, help me navigate the winding woods and streams we're climbing over, the miles of trekking we need to do to get There. Where? I don't know). I know him, he's one of my soulmates, though I don't recall him from this life. He always smells so good, his muscley forearms make me feel joyful and secure. I like his face, and how he smiles at me, gently, with sweet humor. I'm just always so happy to see him, to lean into him, know that he knows what he's doing, but that he also knows me enough to give me some shit, gently, about how I need to put a hitch in my giddyup.
Who knows what any of this means? If anything at all?
I just know that my eyes feel ancient tonight. So utterly full of the grief of the world, of holding this state of No so much of the day. I could have just dropped it, gone into cheerful, or blank, but would that have been true? I watched as my Hilarious Coworker slipped in and out of all three, much more comfortable, accepting of it all than me. Me? I let myself grieve and analyze - why wasn't this bastion of responsibility wearing his seatbelt? why did he cross the median? Then I came home and took two at*ivan which didn't do anything but make my head cottony, leaving my heart untouched and raw.