Monday, September 15, 2008

Since I couldn't get Labor Day off, I decided to quit my job, just so that I could participate in any local Labor Day festivities like a normal American.  I knew this decision would come back to haunt me, and soon at that—probably Tuesday morning.  I didn't care.  Tuesday morning, though just four days away, seemed a long way off.  I looked for it outside my window at work on Friday morning, but all I saw was the same silver skyscraper I'd seen out my window every day since I'd started working there.  (Well, not every day.  There was a period of two weeks in March last year when I'd turned my desk around so that my back was to the window.  I switched it back when I grew frustrated at the way the sun would hit my computer screen in the late afternoon.)  At lunch on Friday I sneaked a cardboard box out of the supply room and brought it back to my office, where I filled it with my personal possessions.  The box wasn't even half full when I finished, so I threw in the many boxes of staples and paper clips that for some reason I'd stocked up on during my first few days on the job.

Box in hand, I stood at my door and took one last look at the room, saluted it, then turned off the light and headed out.  No one I passed in the halls asked about the box.  

As soon as I made it to the street, I walked in the direction of South Street and the East River.  Along the way, a street performer was doing a magic trick for an audience of about two dozen tourists.  I walked behind the tourists in order not to ruin the entertainment.  As I crossed South Street and reached the edge of the pier, I couldn't help noticing how tall I'd grown since aging from a child into an adult.  I leaned over the railing.  A slack rope strung between two posts was busy dipping itself into and out of the indifferent water.  The rope and the posts were also indifferent.  I lifted the box over the railing and let it drop.

That night I cooked some spaghetti and watched a few hours of PBS, all the while monitoring a bump on the back of my neck that I feared might be cancer.

1 comment:

  1. For real? All of it?

    This sounds almost like a passage from Jay McInerney.

    Also, it's not cancer. :)