After more than a few months of being in the state we've been in here at work, we've all slipped into a familiar pattern when talking to each other. The conversations typically follow a line something like this:
"So, looks like it's getting down to it."
"Yep. Who would have thought it'd even go on for this long, huh?" There's usually a short, shared chuckle at this point.
"Yeah. I guess we've been pretty lucky, all things considered. What are you going to do, you know, once it's..."
This is where I don't know how to respond. What am I going to do "once it's..."? Take a couple of months off? I'm lucky enough to have that option. Daisy wants me to ride with her on her move back to the east coast. I have a garage full of home improvement projects. Accountant Boy has a fantasy about me making sandwiches and seeing him off to work every morning, then settling down in front of the computer and writing the next great American novel. I could make a major lifestyle change and do something completely different than what I've been doing.
On the other hand, I like being a programmer. Do I keep going along my current career path? Do I look for another job right away? How much of my identity do I tie to my profession? How much of it am I willing to let go? I don't know.
What I do know is that the workspace in these picture is the last one that I'll have with this company. Ten years and nine months and they finally let me have a window cubicle. Sure it's only for two, maybe three more weeks. Look how nice it is, though! I'm enjoying it while it lasts.
I dragged all of the standing plants from the other side of the building over to my area. I've always wanted a conservatory, a very Victorian space, with parlor palms and all sorts of exotic plants. I think this might be as close as I'm going to come to having one.
What desk of mine would be complete without my trinkets, even pared down to the minimum in anticipation of the final pack-up? I've still got the skull with the sword through its mouth, which reminds me of all of our fun times at Treasure Island, before it replace its cheesy-awesome pirate theme with the cheesy-crappy "Sexy Siren" theme. This little guy came from a clearance shelf in the gift shop, a casualty of the iconoclasm of kid-friendly Vegas.
And, of course, there's Pirate Skull Planter. He's with me to the end and beyond. Hey, Pirate Skull Planter! What's up?
N'yar! Don't cast yer gaze upon me. I be hideous!
Oh, c'mon, Cap'n. You look fine to me.
I look like I'm sportin' a bit o' ratty anchor line for a cap.
Didn't I tell you that I'd help you out with this? I'm sorry it took this long, and it was going to be a surprise, but...surprise! I bought you a new batch of plants.
Ye've...ye've gone to all of the trouble fer me? Searched the far points of the compass for such rare treasure? Fer me?
Well, yes, if you consider the Home Depot in Martinez to be off the edge of the map, then sure, that's what I did for you, guy.
Yar! I be a lucky planter indeed! This puts the wind back in my mainsail, lass!
Let's get to it then. Chose the piece that you want while I pop over to the next cubicle and plug in the glue gun.
See, the thing is, ahh, ye've been so kindly toward me that I feel low fer askin', but, well, what I was gonna ask was, uh, would ye be opposed to me wearin' it all? T'would be a fine headpiece!
I was more thinking of giving you a sportier look, maybe a tall, slender grouping. We'll keep the rest of it in reserve, just in case we have to freshen up your look again.
T'is probably a fine tack to take. Do ye think it would make me look less fearsome if I picked the bit with the posies? Be honest now, lass! Don't worry about breakin' my black heart wi' yer response.
I think you'll still be the toughest looking skeletally-based trinket on my desk, Old Salt.