A lot of people know a lot of different things, even I don’t know everything I’d like right now and I can’t be a historian or a journalist – because I’m too close to this and I’m just treading water. But I’ll add whatever as I can.
Simone and I are no longer together. We swerved from talking about breaking up to being broken up. That’s the most vital news. It was a tiny shift that realigned the solar system.
I have to move out.
I had brought it up a few times but always backed away from the conversation because I think of myself as a protector and therefore this was a betrayal of the character I’d built up.
And yet there was a distance that had been growing geologically this last year.
Monday night we pulled the trigger and agreed to break up. We sat on the floor in the hallway with our legs crossing over each other and talked about how we cared, and how we assumed the other would turn out for the best. And the kittens were leaping over us the whole time. Kittens that will of course live with Simone.
And my last thought as I fell asleep that night, worrying about where I might live, was ‘at least I have my job.’
I’m certain anyone reading this knows I love the gateway, it’s the greatest job I’ve ever had. And you probably know I’ve worked in a number of kitchens where a sudden loss of leadership fucked everything up.
Anyway, I’m not trying to be suspenseful, Dan is gone. I don’t know what happened and after some thought I realize it doesn’t matter why. What matters is how the future here unfolds and I’m sure it’s going to be awful. It always has been when shit like this goes down. And beyond my concern for the future of the gateway and my own job satisfaction, it’s a blow because Dan was a friend and a mentor.
I was deep into a suicide fixation when Dan came into the kitchen one morning and said if anyone needed help with mental health or addiction issues they should privately get in touch with him because he had just talked to the higher ups at sait about including us in that aspect of certain job perks we are entitled to. Days later I was digging a serated knife into the skin of my right wrist in a boiling hot shower and I thought all I can do is die here and now or reach out to someone.
It was Dan. In the morning he pulled me into the office and we talked about getting me some counselling but more than that we also talked about how we’d both been devastated by suicide and depression and that is what got me through the day, and the week, and then the month.
When I started thinking about breaking up with Simone he was the first person to talked to, and I framed it in such a way that it wasn’t about me being unhappy but just feeling stagnant. He was a glacier of support to a lot of people despite the fact that he wanted, needed, and deserved a lot of support himself. He asked us to help, he never asked us for help.
And even before this, with everything that happened last summer. The team at the gateway has been my day to day emotional support and the team isn’t the same without him.
That’s the state I left work that day.
As it turns out Simone is on the ball when it comes to breaking up. One reason I’d been putting it off was I thought I’d have to do all the practical shit; talk to landlords, banks, have a plan for the pets, etc. But when I came home that night she’d launched all of those things, and with such focus I felt like an idiot for worrying.
I thought I was protecting her feelings and I would have to be the practical one and now I feel like she’s gleefully, dutifully pushing me out. Meanwhile my job is melting down and I’m just fucked. It’s hard to keep my head on straight, to not let worrying spiral until I feel paralyzed.
So if you’re wondering what you could or should do? Don’t be artificially nice or optimistic, and don’t ask me vague unanswerable questions like “what’s going on with the whole break up?”
What you can do is recommend music. So far, aside from my usual gaslight and frank turner, I just got introduced to Noah Gunderson. He makes great sad music.