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Last Day

August 06, 2022

On my team there is one other intern, and today was her last day. We never talked much, she sat perpendicular to me in an adjacent row of desks, and since she started before me, I sometimes read her code as a reference to my work. With no return offers being given to interns this year, we both knew that the moment our internship ended, we will likely never set foot on this campus again. We may never again eat in its cafeteria, sit at our desks and watch the kitesurfers beneath our windows glide and jump in the setting afternoon sun, gaze over the glimmering expanse of the bay at airliners floating in to SFO, clandestinely smuggle snacks from the microkitchen into our bags with only a modicum of guilt.

Like a party that must end on a deadline, the deadline means nothing at the beginning, but as the ending looms closer and closer, it tinges every experience. As she and I brought our trays to the dish return after our last lunch together, I was struck with the feeling that I’ve looked through a pinhole into another life, a life that can not and never will be my own, and now I have returned, back to the only life I know how to live. We had spent our past twelve weeks building new features for the Metaverse. In a year or ten, the Metaverse may or may not exist, and our work may or may never have seen the light of day. But I can’t reflect on this much longer. As the party ends, I must draw my eye away from this pinhole. All that I know, all that matters to me, is that the cafeteria lines will snake on, the airplanes in front of the windows will land over and over, the snacks in the microkitchens will appear day after day, and the kitesurfers will surf forever in the never ending sunset.