I Didn’t Realize How Appropriate the Screw Analogy Was When I Started Writing

The other day, while I was stopped in traffic, a screw landed on my right leg. It was so unexpected that for a few my brain skipped over the event, and I stared in incomprehension. Yet the screw remained, resting against a fold in my jeans.

I picked it up and gazed dumbly at the roof of the car. “Where had this come from?” I wondered, and “Was it important?”

As the cars before me started to move again, I realized that the screw had belonged to the clip which held my visor flat against the roof in its “home” position. It wasn’t strictly necessary, and my car probably wasn’t about to collapse into so many pieces.

The point of this story — aside from illustrating my typical level of panic — is that recently life has been a lot like that moment the screw dropped. Things have changed, more or less unexpectedly, and I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s going to be okay.

Last October Wendi got the news that her position was being terminated at the end of 2014. We’d already pretty much planned on her quitting sometime this year to focus on art, so this was more of a rude acceleration of her exit than a financial disaster. At the same time, though, came word that my own position, and those of my teammates, might conclude when our project wrapped up — an event scheduled (somewhat optimistically) for the end of June. We were to find out in
February if anyone would get to stay.

It’s February, and while I’ll save the answer for when I know more about specifics, I will say that I’ve been bringing things from my cube home since December.

So the end of 2014 consisted largely of playing Borderlands 2 and watching the Murder Channel, because I’d gone numb from stress. My posts here dwindled until they finally stopped. I didn’t want to discuss what was going on, and I couldn’t find the energy to think about anything else. The queue of “Furry Widdle Bunny” strips drained week by week, until I was forced into action in January, getting each week’s done just in time for Wednesday. A few times I remembered to post an entry for the Web of the Big Damn Spider, but mostly that blog went quiet.

I’m getting back on top of things now. Seeing Wendi adjust to her new circumstances helped a great deal, as did the effort of putting out the weekly just-in-time installments of FWB. The biggest aid, of course, was coming to terms with the fact that my job security was gone. Whatever management decided, the reality was that during my seven years with the company it had transformed from a job-safe environment to one that fully embraced the phrase “at will employment”. Whether my job ended or not, it was no longer the company I’d joined.

The screw in my lap is significant, I think, but it should be all right if I don’t care to put it back in place.