Elizabeth's Last Day
Friday, June 20th, was Elizabeth Donovan's last day at work. We left the office together, and walked across the street to Mulligan's Pub. Elizabeth carried a large backpack, a box of books, a lamp. The place was packed, but we found a little space by the door, beneath an air conditioning unit.
"What are you gonna drink?" she asked.
"I think I'll have a Bass," I replied.
"Okay, I'm buying," she said.
"But it's your last day. I should buy."
"No, I feel bad. I owe you."
"Don't feel bad. You don't owe me anything. Anyway, I'm taking your job."
"I still feel bad."
I took Elizabeth's money and went to the bar and ordered two Bass Ales. The beers came soon and I returned to the little space by the door. It was cold. We shuffled back and forth to avoid the frigid blasts from the A/C.
We talked about audiophiles and art and what we would do with ourselves afterwards. Elizabeth still felt bad.
She came on as managing editor in March 2001, and we always worked together very closely. For a time, in fact, we would share a cubicle wall. Later, we'd find ourselves in adjoining offices. She traveled all the way to Jersey on a couple of occasions to see my band play, and I attended a couple of her husband's art openings.
"E, there's no reason for you to feel bad. If you can afford to stay at home with your two kids, and that's what you want to do, then that's what you should do. I can't imagine it any other way."
"I know. It's going to be good, right?"
We finished our beers.
"It's cold in here."
"Alright," she said, "Let's go."