When I started traveling with Rand, we’d walk into a room filled with his colleagues, and he’d disappear. And it was one of the best skills I’ve ever acquired. I miss you all the time.” It’s that simple, really.
It’s all I can do not to scream and heave my laptop down the stairs, before I remember: they’re wrong. They don’t know how he looks when he wakes up in the morning. Not when he needs to figure out how to be profitable. But after getting laid-off, I realized I needed to be as excited about something as Rand was about his work. Because time is scarce, and you can’t spend it arguing. And, as I stayed up late, working on a post that I couldn’t ignore until it was done, I understood. I suspect Rand starting his own company is why we fight so rarely. Run to say hi to someone, or get dragged into a conversation with a group. My only choice was to walk up to a group of strangers, introduce myself, and start talking. We’re having fun, but as the night trickles on, I’ll see him check his watch nervously, and then his phone. I have to get going.” I sigh, but since I know it’s coming, I’m not too upset. It doesn’t matter, really – it’s happened so many times that it could be any event. And finally, with a half frown he’ll say, “I’m sorry, guys. He’s never sat on a stair with his head in his hands, wondering what the hell he was doing with his life. I know enough that, when we go out to dinner with his colleagues and they talk shop, I am not left out. I don’t like not being able to understand the locals. There would be times that I wouldn’t be able to help. There would be – and still are – things that I can’t fix. I read his blog, I get to know his friends from work, I sneak into a session or two at the conferences where he speaks. And then I make him brownies, and when I do, I’m careful not to wash the batter out of the bowl until he’s done with it. Not when so many other people are involved, working days and nights to make sure things are okay.