I was laid off on Friday. There were some strange events that took place immediately before it happened, that I'm going to note here.
• The broken glass and cut finger. I was washing a wine glass and it broke in my hand, leaving me with a severely cut finger, for which I ended up going to the hospital for. This happened Monday night, I was laid off on Friday morning.
• The achey feeling in my body. For about 2 weeks prior to my layoff, my body had dull aches; in my shoulders, my arms, my hands, knees, calfs, feet. Then shooting pains in the back of my thighs. It was super annoying and strange. But after I was given the bad news on Friday all the pains suddenly receded and have gone away.
• Lana and I had just spoken at length about layoffs on the day prior, during our 1-on-1. She told me Vincent still has not been paid his last check, and that they did the same to Manu.
• Kiddy and I spoke about layoffs at my company the night before as well. It seemed to be in the air.
• I was sent home after being given the bad news. As I walked to the S-Bahn I passed by an apartment building where I had once lived, up on the second floor.
By coincidence the front door was wide open. I slowed my pace to get a good long look inside as I walked past, and then doubled back to look even more. The exterior had been completely reworked since I lived there, but now I could see they had re-done the hallway as well. A woman looked at me curiously as she entered the building, apparently a tenant, and I suddenly felt self conscious.
"I used to live there," I told her, trying to explain myself.
The woman paused in the doorway, intrigued, "Really?"
We struck up a conversation, and she filled me in on the last 10 years of activity in the place.
Apparently the terrible Nassar family that had lived below me (the husband had a daily habit of beating and screaming at his wife and kids) had finally been evicted. The little kids that had been so cute when I lived there had grown into delinquent teenagers, with the habit of breaking into neighbourhood apartments and stealing things.
Additionally, the mean old man on the 1st floor in the back, who I had always thought of as 'the Garbage Nazi' because of his tendency to yell at me for disposing of my garbage incorrectly, had passed away. He would never tell me what I was doing wrong, he would just scream at me through his window that I was Being Wrong. I learned that the only way to avoid being screamed at was to take my trash out at night, sneaking in the dark. Apparently he had terrible diabetes that required the removal of his legs, and then he somehow lost his ability to scream at everyone, and then he eventually died.
The woman told me the entire house had basically had an entire tenant turnover. The old man who had lived to the left of my apartment was gone, as were the older couple who lived to my right. Now it is just filled with young people with no memory of what went on there before, which I suppose is a good thing.
But the street itself is still fucked up; the woman told me that she works in the ground floor office space with a window onto the street, and a man once pulled a gun on her. He didn't do anything, thank God, just pointed a gun at her and then walked away. Seriously, what the fuck.
"Yes," the woman told me, "this street has some terrible karma." The old men still drink to oblivion in front of the convenience store across the street. Not much has changed. I felt relief that I had moved out after just one year, and that my memories of the place had been correct. It had indeed been a kind of hell on earth.
Life had become too routine, too. There was a creepy sense that everything had come to a close and I was repeating the same day over and over again, without anything to look forward to or try to achieve. It was like life had become a giant gaping chasm of open void. This, more than anything should have alerted me to the fact that a giant shift was about to occur.
Note: Before A announced his resignation 2 months ago, I also had a strong impression the night before that he was going to do so, and I even had a kind of mental conversation with him, trying to talk him out of it. He was surprised the next day when I knew what his 'big news' was before he told it to me.