San Onofre, a Love Letter

Dear J-

It’s 8 August or 8-8, double happiness day, so-named because the pronunciation of ‘eight’ in Chinese is a homonym for ‘fortune.’ So instead of dwelling on the idea that it’s my last day with all that entails I’m going to explain why I’m as lucky a person as you could hope to find. I hate explaining last anythings to the world anyway. Last implies there’s a reason you kept doing it and it’s much more interesting to not only explain why there was a first in the first place, it’s more interesting to think of all the firsts yet to come.

And don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of firsts along the way, too. We play a long game here, you and I, and I’m looking forward to the next set of first days and first paychecks and first days of school. Come Monday morning I’m not going to get up and commute the same commute I’ve done, more or less, over the past eleven years, and that’s going to scare the piss out of me. It was for better or worse the way I defined myself in the world and to not have that anchor, even temporarily, will cast me adrift on uncertainty. Yet that was my choice, my decision, and I’ll take it as my right to make that choice to leave now.

Chances are the world is big enough that I’m not going to get a chance to come back to the site and see where it will be in ten years, twenty, thirty. No doubt I’ll drive past it at some point but I’ll tell you this much: it was never the work but the workers that made me feel lucky and proud of what I did. And that, at last, is why last days are so terrible for me. We keep moving on, bigger and brighter things yet to come and unfurling by the moment. Let’s keep finding firsts, you and I, in everything we touch and do.




2 Responses to “San Onofre, a Love Letter”

  1. Ted Says:

    Mike. Write a book. I would pay large sums of money to read it. Thanks for being my friend.

  2. Dave Pjontek Says:


    It was always a pleasure working with you; competent, conscientious and above all courteous. You will be a success in this next adventure. Your friend.

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