SBS is responding by moving much of its operation, including my job, to Mason, Ohio.
So to keep my job, I'd have to move to Ohio. Obviously that's not going to happen. I'll be out of a job by March 8th.
Damn. I'm having such a bad month.
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You are Kermit!
I assumed I'd be taken out, tied to my mate and put away as usual, but this time something different happened. Suddenly I wasn't tumbling anymore; just falling, and the darkness of the tumble room was replaced by an bright, horizonless whiteness. And all around me were objects of every description: gloves, sheets of paper, watches, coins, ballpoint pens, hats.
No two of them were alike, and we weren't even falling in the same direction. Some bisected my path behind me, rocketing off toward what I considered the left. Others fell "up," from my perspective, and I was nearly hit several times. It was as if gravity decided to be random.
I called to my mate, but there was no answer. Terror paralyzed me. What was this place? Was it even a place? Where was everyone else from the tumble room? What happened to my mate? Why was I here? What happened to me?
I kept falling, without an end in sight. Myriad other things continued to race past in every direction. Terror melted into despair. I didn't know what was happening, but I was sure it couldn't be good.
After what seemed like hours, the whiteness suddenly turned to a kaleidoscopic swirl, and then I stopped. All sensation of movement was gone in an instant, and yet I hadn't felt an impact.
I was on a surface now. It was smooth and hard, like a floor. Tentatively, fearfully, I rose and looked around.
As I sank into the cool water, I looked around for my mate. I didn't see him, but it was a big room and there were many, many others in it with us. Some of the others were like us, others vastly different, but only my mate, my twin, was exactly like me. I had a brief moment of panic, but reassured myself: we'd be reunited soon enough. After all, we belonged to each other. We'd been together since the beginning and would remain together until the end. Who could doubt that? No one, of course. These temporary separations were nothing to be concerned about.
I felt foolish whenever I had those panic attacks. None of the others ever seemed to have them, but then many of them weren't pairs like my mate and I. They didn't understand what it's like to have your whole identity bound up into someone else's so inextricably. I couldn't imagine life as a singleton, nor did I even want to. My mate, my partner, was the other half of my soul. I was nothing without him.
The water began to swirl clockwise, or counter-clockwise (how would I know?) and we all swam our laps. The water never heated up. It never does for those of us of color. We don't mind. It's still a nice, relaxing break from our regular existence.
Later, after the water drained away, we lay in the bottom for a while, waiting. I finally saw my mate across the way, but couldn't get to him through the crowd. I didn't need to; just seeing him there calmed the butterflies somewhat. Was I too insecure? Who could say? I didn't know how to be any other way.