6/25/2009
A possible metaphor for disgruntled goodbyes

The feeling was, to put it gently, quite odd. There you were, surrounded by familiar places, but the whole place felt unfamiliar to you. Nothing sticks out. Must be the dark skies, although there's no way you'd see those skies from the inside. Must be the people around you, although you're used to the lunch crowd, strangers occupying restaurant tables, only they have IDs wrapped around their necks, and suits over their abdomen, or whatever counts as business.

You make your way around the place, but there's absolutely nothing you can do. Twenty minutes, and you're forced to wait, as much as you tried avoiding idle time. Then again, there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. There's another path, and you walk through that, and you see stall after stall, and you remember the things you tried before, and one of them stood out, and you go there, and you find solace in the things you know you're not familiar with. You might call that familiarity, too.

It is, after all, a self-contained complex. Not isolated, but it feels like it. Step out, and you see a different crowd. Step in, and it all changes. You're probably used to hearing people laugh without provocation, to a lack of uptightness, to a more bustling crowd. But if it's change you're looking for, you've got to deal with all of this. Starting over again, dealing with your worries, wondering whether you can cut it, or whether they'll let you. These thoughts as you walk in the rain, and lunch groups slowly progressing to work groups, corporate drab transforming to hipster chic, or whatever amounts to it.

Can you do it? You can do what they want you to do. You're afraid you can't do what you have to do. And you listen in to the conversations, and they know what they're doing, and you're trying your best not to get your anxieties get in you. They're just inside you, waiting to be tapped, and when they do, it's another hello to the breakdown, like when you failed one thing, or failed another. Well, more of getting one detail wrong.

And then they call your name, and you get led to a table, and while a wall covers all your insecurities, you feel you're doing pretty good. Hopeful, just as the rain falls, as everything you have breaks apart, perhaps looking for a replacement. They do say it's merely first day jitters. Maybe that means you'll have another first day, and you'll be like them. The irony, perhaps, of conformity. Make the same mistakes, and you'll be back where you actually are right now.

And your responses...

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