Yesterday I went down to the Bite of Seattle (I live on a hill, so I’m always going down to somewhere, except when I’m going over to something.) to meet up with Jim. Aside from when I ran into him a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t seen him since I worked for him at That Phone Company six years ago. He’s a year into a leave of absence from the twice since merged version of That Phone Company, where he’s worked for more than ten years. He talked about wanting to travel around a bunch, about wanting to buy a Jeep, about how much he disliked Phoenix (where he lived for the last few years) and Renton (where he lives now). He told me stories about people who I’d worked with but don’t remember. We paced around with the teeming masses, had a couple of snacks.
We had a beer and I said an awkward hello to a vague Amazon acquaintance. I ran into this guy once after he’d just left Amazon and he explained how he was taking his time working out the excercises in What Color Is Your Parachute?, working out what he’ll do next. So this time I said, “How’re you doing?” “Good, what’re you up to these days?” At a loss as usual I answered, “I’m not really doing anything. Still just hanging out.” “I’m working at something.com now, doing customer service.” And I almost caught myself saying, with no cynical intent – really, “Did you ever find out what color your parachute is?”