Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What We Knew Going Into It

Flight home Saturday

It was profoundly rainy here in Seattle tonight. The whole city was soaked in the smell of fall pavement, wet wool and clogged gutters. My drive to work this morning was a relentless clutch-killer, and the windows fought fog the whole way. All day, I was happy anyhow.

I love the new job. I've been thinking about how to describe this, because there is something deeply familiar about the sense of well-being I have about it.

When I was in New York, I kept a pretty low profile, didn't really call anyone because I knew my time would be dedicated to Max and Thomas. One night was an exception. I stayed downtown, walked back and forth from my favorite shoe store to KidRobot, found the best new coffee place, ate a fancy salad at Cafe Gitane, and, of course, had dinner at Freemans. As I was paying my bill and finishing the last sips of the sparkling wine they serve in the champagne glasses I love (the ones alleged modeled on the breast of Marie Antoinette) one of my favorite ex-boyfriends called me. He was having a drink in our old neighborhood, so I wandered off into the summer twilight to meet him. I adore D. He's smart and funny as hell, tough and tender and so loyal. I think we both like thinking about how young we were when we met, how he was set on making something of himself, how I thought just being there made me someone already. We were so different. Still, there was something to us, something that has lasted much longer than I thought it would. We sat at the bar for a few hours, talking, drinking a lot more slowly than we used to, talking more. Towards the end of our time there, he looked at me and said "I remember the first time I met you. You walked into my apartment, and you just lit up the room." Then he paused a minute and said "And you still do."

You can see why he's one of my favorite ex-boyfriends. D's comment made me feel like I was just the right person, to him. That's a deep feeling to have, the feeling that you are just right. It keeps coming back to me now, more than a week later. I'm holding on to it.

And the thing about work now is that it's the same feeling. I'm the right person for this job, and even on day two, I can feel it. It was the same way for five years at SGEN, when I worked with Kirsten and we told each other every other day how lucky we were to work together, with such smart people, at such a good time in the company's history.

There's more to the rest of my night with D. We walked around in the dark, like we used to, and talked more, and smiled a lot. I was so happy to see him. I'm used to living without him, but still, I miss him again now. Being with him brought me back to my 23 year old self, someone much more tender, shy in certain ways, more raw and fearful, maybe more wounded than the person I am today. It was a little tough, being that girl again. I don't think I loved her as much as I should have back then. That's part of why I'm so grateful for D, because that was the girl he knew and cared about, and for the past 13 years he's been good to me in her honor. When I first moved away from New York, he was one of the people whose absence in my life I felt the most acutely. I sure loved him. And I still do.


Barb said...

Beautiful, Heather. So raw and honest. Thanks for sharing that slice of your life. It made me miss you (and your writing) even more.

Jessica Soga said...

Man I am at work right now just thought I would step off set for a minute and have a look... I almost started crying. Think I would have if I was not at work! I love you and I love everything that you teach me. I worry about myself sometimes and then I talk to you or read something that you have writen and Im back to feeling strong and not only strong but maybe just the simple feeling it will be ok.

K said...

love this photo