Friday, September 5, 2014

Goodbyes Are Like a Sucky Monster

The things this lady has had to do for her job!

Working for a non-profit is, by nature of being a non-profit, sucky.


A flat tire. You can’t get a signal on your phone. You know how to change a flat tire, but you’ve never had to do it all by yourself. Alone. At night. With the crickets chirping. And the frogs croaking. By the swamp. You wonder how something can look both simultaneously serene and deeply unsettling. But there it is. Barely beyond the side of the road. You can just catch the moonlight reflecting on the surface. Near your broken-down car. What was that? Did you hear it? It must be your imagination. Or is it? You lean over to use the tire iron to wrestle off the lug nuts. There’s the sound again. You stand slowly. You walk around the car to the side of the road. The side nearest the swamp. You grip the tire iron more tightly with your now sweaty hands. A twig snaps. Your heart beats faster. Suddenly, the swamp monster comes out of the darkness, its mouth a gaping circle of teeth and lips and hunger. A sucking sound comes from deep within its mouth, from deep within its soul. Hungry, as if needing to fill a void as deep as the pit of hell, it attaches to your head like a flesh vacuum and works its way down your quivering body, ceasing only when it reaches your shoes. It never eats the shoes.

You know… like sucky monster sucky!

You can only work so long for a non-profit before running for dear life, often grasping a tire iron. You certainly can’t do it alone. You need a family. You need support. Sometimes that is not even enough. Allison was my corporate “better half”. She leaves Open Door today to work for the Wexner Center for the Arts. I am sad beyond measure. It’s like having your arm cut off or your heart cut out, just a little bit, not enough to kill you, but enough to make it hurt. And it does hurt. We’ve been through so much together. When I say, “We’ve seen some shit!” I mean that both figuratively and literally. So much shit. It’s impossible to put words together to express what her co-workerness and her friendship has meant to me. She has made me a better person. She has helped me grow. She will continue to be in my life, but I will slowly release her from my work-heart so that it is less painful. So that I can be effective.

I wish you all the best at your new job, my wonderful and talented sister! Please continue to e-mail me every weekend or I will find a sucky monster to pay you a visit! And all of the massive amount of tools in your trunk won’t save you, mwaah haa haa!

At least you’ll have your shoes.


  1. You are such a wonderful, expressive writer! And I admire your friendship capabilities, So sorry for your loss, but I hope (and have some confidence!) that you'll make new work friends. Who wouldn't want to be in your club?XXX

    1. I'm fortunate enough to have developed co-dependent relationships with ALL of my co-workers, lol! But seriously, this one cuts deep.

      Thanks for checking in, Mary Jo! That always means so much to me!

  2. Weekend email? Check! Crying my eyes out? Check! Missing you already? Double check! Thank you for this post, my dear sweet friend.

  3. FRIEND!
    My work soul-mate moved on to another job (in D.C.) last week- This is the perfect description of joy (for them) and sorrow (for us).

    The good news is that even though we're no longer working together, we still live close enough for drinks or hot dogs or obsessive watching of Orange is the New Black- let's not be strangers!

    1. Oh nooooooooo! I'm so sorry about your friend leaving!!! But YES! I would love opportunities to see your face more often!!! Love you!