Monday, December 24, 2007


You go to work because you want to finish a big project. Your part of the building has about thirty people in it, but today there are only five or six. Everybody is sober, expectant. Your workmate brings cookies. The atmosphere is motionless, static, calm. People chat, their moods are between office and home.

You put your headphones on and do your job. People leave, occasionally, you see them out of the corner of your eye. You eat cookies and listen to your music and you work, work, work. You are hardly aware that time is passing, lunch is over, it's late afternoon.

During a break you talk with your workmate. He's leaving soon to pick up groceries and go home. After he leaves you go back to work, you finish your project, you get up to stretch your legs and look around.

The building is empty. No more chatter, just the sound of the air-conditioning. You are standing in the middle of a place where people bustle and work and chat, and now their cubicles are empty. Their coats are gone.

You walk around, hoping somebody has stayed behind so you can say goodbye to them. The offices are dark, closed. The receptionist's computer has been turned off and her sweater is on her chair. Through the windows in the atrium you see the darkening sky, the trees bending over in the wind, night is falling, it feels like something bad is happening.

You hear the vending machines. The coffee pots are empty. It's cold outside. The world has gone home. Something icy has hit your heart.

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