San Francisco, Run for the Hills (Part 3)
The final part. A miracle intervention, going with the gut, and being set free.
After praying to my dead dogs and Grandma, I waited for something—anything—to force my hand.
Note: The days in the office felt so long that the hacker house was a reprieve. I befriended a Frenchman who was making a phone case that printed photos. I later saw it for sale at Urban Outfitters. Another guy talked about Bitcoin and made dog leashes. We smoked a joint together and he told me that he grew up near RHOC OG, Vicki Gunvalson. He lives in a van now.
On Wednesday morning, my emergency request arrived earth-side. And it came in the form of a standard, Toronto-sized rainstorm.
Only this rain—of ordinary proportions—was enough to wipe out all of San Francisco. There were backup pumps pumpin’, electrical outages, dumpster fires, broken windows, sandbags lining streets, and undoubtedly, turds afloat.
Unaware that the city reacted to rain like Brownsville, Texas would an inch of snow, I walked to the office.
When I got there, there were no signs of life. The building was dark and the front doors were bolted shut. Through the glass, there was a handwritten note with two divine words: power outage.
Power outage! It was a miracle. I clicked my damp heels, then slowly meandered back to the house to wait it out.
By the lord’s merciful grace, the outage spilled into the afternoon, then into the evening.
The following morning, before getting out of *bunk*, I whipped open my laptop. Incredibly, downtown was still lit by lantern. The office was closed.
On Friday, ready or not, the clouds literally parted.
It was still messy out there, but the office was open for those “who could make it in”. Typically, I would be among those “who could *positively* not make it in”. However, I had unfinished business.
I was ready to admit that the jig was up. I had to suspend logic and go with my gut. It was time to tell Paul-Jude that it’s a “no, from me dawg”.
When I stepped into the office, only a smattering of people were there. It felt like a snow day, where only the walker kids with stickler parents showed.
On this day, I was the walker kid and my own stickler parent. I’d let this go too far and as punishment, I was going to tell Paul-Jude face-to-face.
I walked over to my desk, and took my place. The mood in the office was the baseline solemn. I, on the other hand, felt strangely liberated with self-pardon. It was one of the rare moments when you know the future before anyone else.
The boss still hadn’t arrived yet, so in the meantime, I rehearsed my exit speech. I opted for short, sweet, human.
A few minutes later, the elevator pinged. Everyone’s second favourite Beatle was in the house. Only, he looked like he’d been through something.
His hair was limp and disheveled. It was far from the sleek bob of “Yesterday”.
He kept his eyes to the ground as he beelined toward his desk. This was a man who did not want to be seen.
It was clear that Paul-Jude’s home power must’ve been out. This was a broken man who’d come into the office for one thing: a hot straighten. He’d risked downed power lines and turds to be reunited with his ol’ faithful.
Before Paul-Jude’s ass could even hit the wheelie chair, he flicked on the hair straightener. I wanted to watch, but it felt too private. I couldn’t look at him glide through his choppy bob knowing that I was about to quit.
He deserved some dignity.
With too much intimacy in my periphery, I knew I had to get out of there. Avoiding eye contact, I swiftly gathered my things and murmured, “going for a coffee.”
My heart was racing. I felt overwhelmed, but kept a causal pace towards the elevator. I vibrated the “down” button, then gave-up in favour of the stairs.
Out on the street I could breathe again.
Note: What if I had watched Paul-Jude straighten his hair? Could it have unleashed some Greek mythology curse? A curse where a naive new blood is seduced into watching her deflated boss sculpt a boyband bob with a magical styling wand. Then, her voyeuristic gaze is punished and she is forced to become a “Content Marketing Guru” in a squadron of cocky nerds for eternity.
I inhaled and exhaled deeply, then walked to the Starbucks across the road. I ordered a Grande drip and sat on a stool under the window.
I stared up at the office building and pondered how to end things. Finally, I landed on something that truly felt like “me”.
Instead of calling it off in-person, I would draft a bumbling, emotional email.
I spent a couple of minutes writing and achieved what I’d set out for. The email had enough fluff to run Ugg’s production through to 2041. The email came with a full string band, back-up singers, and smoke machine. It was a telenovela, renewed for 37 seasons. It was very “of the moment”.
My email had lines like, “After seeing how passionate everyone is”, “I don't expect to be compensated for this week”, and “endless thanks”.
To my horror, I closed it off with this ditty: “I'm honoured that you sought me out, and recognized a shred of talent in me”.
Note: To this very day, the “shred of talent in me” part sends a shiver down my spine, deep into the butthole.
Then, I hit “send”.
I was prepared to wait, but before I finished my coffee, Paul-Jude responded. His email was the short, sweet and human response that I couldn’t muster.
“Sorry to hear that. But if you think it is the right thing, then you have to go with your gut.”
His words set me free.
Going with your gut is our human insurance policy. Listening to intuition when it tells us to “run for the hills”, even when illogical, is our built-in navigator.
Locking in something just because it looks good on paper fills up the space where the right thing could fit. And if we never go for “right”, we probably miss out on some of the all-converging, epic rain-storm sized miracles waiting in our shoot.
Monumental isn’t achieved with “meh”. So, when we find our purpose, I hope we go at it with hair-straightener-on-desk confidence.
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