What was funny about recording the last episode of Wait, What? was how not-sad I was during the whole thing. I was even aware of that in the moment, the lack of sadness and sorrow during the final recording session. I’m pretty sure I even called it out in the recording itself.
I’d certainly expected to be sad, ahead of that. It had been a running theme when talking about it in the run-up to that final recording; I’d make some kind of comment along the lines of, “oh, we’ll both be messes in the last one, we won’t know what to say,” and I meant that entirely sincerely. Even on the day of the recording itself, it weighed on me; I felt this sadness on my shoulders hours ahead of sitting down to actually do it, all too aware of it being The Last One.
The podcast, after all, had been a constant in my life for more than a decade. It was one of the few things that had survived the upheaval of 2018, when everything else in my life to that point had gone; indeed, some of the strongest memories of the initial weeks after leaving my marriage was actually talking to Jeff and recording the podcast. For a show that was, ostensibly, just two friends talking casually about comics and culture, Wait, What? had this immense importance in my personal cosmology.
Jeff was the one who suggested ending it, months earlier, expecting me to disagree. I didn’t, although it took awhile for both of us to finally, properly settle on the idea that we were actually going to go through with it. For awhile, it felt like a dare each of us was expecting the other to back away from: were we really going to do it? Was it really going to happen?
It’s a few weeks later now, and the loss hasn’t sunk in yet. The holidays happened immediately after to distract us from the muscle memory of sitting down to chat for two or three hours every Saturday evening. We’ll still be calling and chatting anyway, just without recording it, which makes the loss infinitely easier — it’s probably why I didn’t feel the sadness when recording that last episode — but nonetheless, I know something has been lost. I’ll feel it when I least expect it, I can tell.