It hasn't yet been a week since I lost my job but the hours drag on so slowly it feels like months. I want to smack the clock to get it going again.
The feeling's so wretched, the nerves still raw, getting more so. There's a knot in my stomach; I feel nauseated sometimes. Worse yet, I keep replaying the whole, awful episode in my head: over and over. Every time it cuts just a bit more deeply.
I compared the feeling to grief a couple days ago, only half-jokingly. Turns out it does bear a strong resemblance to that awful, permanent sense of loss. Eight and a half years (a little more than) is a decent stretch of time, long enough to have made memories - good and bad.
- Like the snowman a co-worker made last winter, after a nasty blizzard left us all shoveling off our cars at the same time, the parking lot so deep with snow, our windshields covered in at least three inches, ice underneath. Passing scrapers and brushes back and forth. That was one of many times I was thankful my commute was all of ten minutes, on a bad day.
- Wedding and baby showers, the gifts and the food and the collective good will.
- The mixed bag that always was the staff party - not officially a holiday party, not officially not. The year we won the movie-themed gift basket! The year I received my five year award.
- INTERMINABLE STAFF TRAINING SESSIONS!
- Shared stories of interesting patrons: the schizophrenic, the rude computer guy, the people who'd call to ask for loooong lists of really obscure titles in a loooong series. Dudes watching porn.
- The time someone pooped on the floor in the large print section... Still working that one out.
- Being a part of a five-star library, knowing Adult Programming was one of the factors in our election.
- The loss of a co-worker to cancer: how quickly it happened and the hollow feeling seeing her desk sitting empty.
- When a young man had a seizure and I called 911 for him. Paramedics carried him out on a stretcher. I heard he was fine, thankfully.
- Getting to know the regulars who attended most of the programs.
- The year I snagged us Elizabeth Berg and Goldie Goldbloom for the ILA meeting, when our director was president, and Michael Cunningham the keynote speaker. I met him, had him all to myself for a quiet conversation. Interviewing him, making it into the ILA Reporter. His graciousness. And hotness.
Hard to believe it's over.
But I won't let it stop me from believing libraries are good and right, defenders and repositories of information. It isn't the same anymore; it's evolving into something different but still it's the library. And I won't leave the profession just yet. They may have to pull me out kicking and screaming. Or, more likely, writing strongly-worded essays.
Day by day by day. It will get better. Eventually.