I hate when this happens

So, I worked for an architect last spring and into the summer a bit. He was a good guy, funny and a little awkward. I liked him, and the work was interesting, hours were flexible, and it paid well. All around, kind of a great job. One day he took me aside, which always makes me think I’m going to be scolded, but instead told me that he had multiple myeloma, which is bone cancer. He was doing well generally, but had a bone marrow transplant scheduled in a couple months, and so would be in the hospital. I was pretty relieved not to be in trouble, and he was doing well, and the transplant looked like it would go great. He had recovered quickly from whatever they had done before, and so he was very optimistic. He went into the hospital a few weeks before, to get prepped and have them kill off all his bone marrow (which sounds horrible. I can’t imagine) and I sort of headed the project, which was a little overwhelming, since it was drawing everything for building a house. He was good at first, but then the medication started knocking him out more and more, and I had to leave off work, because there were design decisions that he needed to make, and I couldn’t really proceed without him, or at least, without his guidance. I told him and his wife that I would be going to Camp in not too lang, and would be back at the end of august. They both said that sounds great, go have fun, he should be good by then, we may even go on vacation around then.

When i got back to new York, I was a little desperate for work, and called him and left a message. I didn’t hear back, but I figured he was still on vacation, and then I picked up other work and forgot. Every now and then, I would think hey, I should call him, but never did. I think you all know where this story is going. I sent him an email a couple days ago, to say hey, how are you, and are you sending me a 1099 or anything like that. His wife wrote back to me tonight. He died in august, after 11 weeks in the hospital and complications with the transplant. I’m still crying. I mean, I sort of knew. I sort of figured. But it was really easy to just say oh, well, he didn’t need you anymore, must be busy, whatever. I even made little jokes about how I should call and findo ut if he was still alive. But now I know, and I can’t be ignorantly hopeful anymore. He was such a good guy, and hired me based on my drafting, and trusted me with drawings. He was quirky, and a great designer, and I miss him. I already missed working for him, but I got to pretend that that was still a sort of remote possibility for a while. Now it’s not.

I haven’t cried for that many people who I’ve know and who died. I can only think of 3 at the moment, including him. I think it’s that feeling of the rug pulled out from under your feet. His wife is great. The one time I talked to her she was really nice, brusque and funny. Her reply to me tonight sounded like her, but also tired and drained. I can’t imagine. Godamnit. That’s a little of why I didn’t call or email before. I didn’t want to know. I feel a little guilty for not knowing for so long.

In other news, I got a design job, I think. But they want me to bring my portfolio in tomorrow. So I’ve been scrambling to get stuff for that. I’m glad I was up and got her email tonight, and not tomorrow. It’s easier to deal with things when you can go to sleep and have that delay in processing, a bit.

In any case. Michael, I miss you. You were a fun guy to work for, I liked how your glasses fit you. I really wish I’d gotten to know you for longer.


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