Answering a lot of calls like this was painful. Hearing that phone ring and knowing what normal question is asked on New Year’s Eve, but it wasn’t a normal New Year’s Eve. It was the last day of Westgate. A lot of people calling in had no idea. It felt as though every time I told someone we were closing down for good that evening a piece of me left.

I was hired on at Westgate at the ripe age of 16. I grew up in that store. A lot of memories were made there. Friends were made. Enemies were made too. I knew a good portion of the regulars. Coworker movie nights were organized, secret cliques against the objectively stupid coworkers were formed. I fell in love with the Good Tape, I spent entire shifts impersonating Christopher Walken, I witnessed a store manager chase a bat all over the sales floor and kill it with a toilet scrubber, I laughed a lot, I spent a lot of money on books. For all the complaining, it was a great gig.