That Thing I Did, Oh So Long Ago

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The thing that I did back then, so long ago in 2004 is a mystery to me. It is hard to remember exactly what went on since my digital self had yet to fully emerge and my biological self is failing or has been trained not to remember. I know we were still changing media quite often back then, living in the age of Circuit City and prior to the Book of Face. My email address that I used back then, and to which I would have turned to reconstruct something of my life was hijacked with the old “tears in my eyes” scam and I have not since been able to recapture it, another small part of me that I have lost along the road to adulthood, if not just a small digital account now floating out there in cybernetic perfection.

When I looked at my resume, I was able to see that I had started a new job in July or thereabouts. I may or may not have gone to Mexico. I remember that I was married… had a house… I know I had just lost a yet another job when my entire division of a certain university research center I worked for was anathematized. We had just lost such-an-such a grant and gotten so-n-so new Executive Director, a man of a long CV and even longer alphabet soup after this name. I remember as now, the world then was on fire, especially in the Mid East.

Try as I may, I cannot reconstruct the year too well or the month. Just ten short years ago. A dog’s life. Most of a cat’s life. Millions of those flies-who-only-live-like-one-day’s life. Maybe hundreds… thousands… Math. I remember going far into the woods for the initial interview of this new job, a position that would set the direction of my life in a way I am not convinced that has been entirely beneficial. I have a strong memory of going to that interview, of leaving Gothem far behind, my nerves turning into burps and small farts since I was unemployed and had just bought a house and could ill afford to be skipping payments to early on in my homeownedship [sic]… and come to think of it my spouse by chance had also joined the ranks of the freshly unemployed after some other downsizing. We were both in deep trouble. The landscape was somewhat familiar along the drive as it was the southern tip of the Lost Kingdom, those upper hills and mountain tops of the Catskill range. I remember driving past the exit for Guitarville, a familiar turn when we were young and our parent deemed it time to journey somewhere or when I was a teen and had nowhere else to go but North.

I was counting the clock since while I didn’t intend to commute every day, I wanted to know that my drive back to Gothem and my spouse on weekends and school breaks was manageable. As I drove on and on and the land moved from stripmalls and gas stations it transformed into little former motels, once grand homes, and lakes that seemed taken over by beaver as they were some grand house plopped on the other side. The drive was not manageable. It was a long journey. There are details I recall from the arrival of my destination. The feeling of dread that I was being cast ever farther from Gothem and the place I was trying to make my home as I had the anxiety of wanting to land this position and pay the bills that were ever rushing in, my meager unemployment cheque not cutting it then. Those farther details about the interview or the outcome other than I obtained the position and started working there ten years ago, this July, fall outside the ken of this blog and are perhaps too wearisome and common for any consideration.

That thing I did, oh so long ago, what was it and is today related?

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