Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A State of Mind

I am in awe today.

The Blackberry is leading me on merry adventures, through twisting office passages, up barren stairwells, and through mazes of cubicles. I pass the Minions, pecking away at their computers, gossiping lightly or taking nourishment out of steaming styrofoam cartons of gruel.

My disguise is nearly complete. I have managed to find a black cashmere trench coat from Holt Renfrew at a local Salvation Army for $14.99. Now I can walk confidently; one of them. As I approach the secretaries, a look of uncertain fear can be seen in their eyes, an expectation of an important meeting they had no knowledge of. Relief floods them when reveal I am only there to attend to their printer. They can relax. I am not important after all. But I look the part. As someone who was once mistaken for a homeless person by homeless people, I am now mistaken for an executive. Fluidity, adaptation. Be the role.

I am free.

Free to move around without attracting attention, silently walking among what can only be described as chaos built on unfathomable layers of human folly.

I plunge into the passages of the underground, walking between towers. Crowds of tunnel dwellers move nimbly through the brightly lit, marble labyrinth or sit, eating slop ladled out by smiling uniformed attendants from colourful establishments.

Christmas shoppers struggle with their bags of wrapped trinkets, chatting lightly in anticipation of material elevation. Stern businessmen stand in groups facing each other, contemplating abstract numbers with grim consternation. Enormous flashing televisions bark an endless stream of nonsense from the walls thrumming out a deep baritone over the constant staccato of insect chatter.

As one tower underbelly transitions into another, a brief respite from idle luxury materializes in the form of a subway entrance. The floor is covered in streaks of grime and puddles of melted, salty snow that has slid from high, fashionable boots. Bearded men wearing strange hats and necklaces play guitars while briskly walking people offhandedly toss change into the empty cases without stopping to listen. Silver airtight doors are constantly nudged open as the unceasing mass sweeps through to the bowels of yet another tower, identical apart from a new shade of marble.

I am ushered along, in amidst the flow. There is no need to navigate, every time I try, I find myself alone in a dead end or cul-de-sac where well dressed people sit on benches enjoying a brief rest from the swarming, endless line of walkers.

I am carried along to my destination, keys cards flash out to unlock the elevator, and doors. I nod to the secretary, and enter a huge room of cubicles. Strange green shoots grow from pots on ledges. I can’t identify the species. Curious, I stop, reach out and touch one. Fake. Plastic, wiped down occasionally by uniformed late night cleaners to remove the dust that would shatter the illusion. What can grow under this harsh, unnatural fluorescent lighting?

Rows of them, tapping at their keyboards, secured in their cubicles adorned with teddy bears and photographs. I pass, some lift their heads, most are too involved. In the kitchen I find my printer and set to work.

The Blackberry gives a buzz, and I turn onward to another destination. Another walk through the tunnels, more doors to beep open with my card. Another office.

I am in awe today.

I am a stranger here.

I have returned only to continue to travel.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


There have been an astonishing lack of entries lately, please forgive me and allow me to present my feeble explanation. Shortly after posting the last entry, I rode the train of broken faces and crushed spirits to my blackberry job, only to find that my computer had been disconnected from the network. Apparently spending all day writing blog entries is frowned upon at this institution, as well as some kind of violation of network security. This development forced me to endure a day of tedium, strolling listlessly around downtown, and waiting in vein for a printer to break.

Indignation rose in me. This was a clear violation of my sovereignty, and my God given right to loaf at work. I resolved to rectify the situation. The next day I brought along my laptop. Entering the building, I proceeded to my now useless desk, collected my key cards and Blackberry and made my way to the nearest Starbucks where I sat all day, surfing the net, playing strategy games and drinking endless cups of coffee. This has become my new daily routine, I'm at 'work' at the moment.

The absence of the pain of sitting in an office all day sapped the inspiration that fueled my writings. I was comfortable, and could escape the office environment and play video games.

The friendly staff at Starbucks got accustomed to my presence in ‘my office’ and kept me well fed with free samples of coffee cake and whipped mochas. Life was grand, but the blog has suffered, that is, until that faithful day when events took a turn for the worse.

“We are pawns of the Gods” the ancient Greeks had proclaimed, and so it seemed to me when one day the Blackberry finally rang. My peace was about to be shattered.

I took a moment to stare at the cruel and discourteous thing with surprise and trepidation. What was this? A broken printer? Would I lose my seat at Starbucks if I went and attended to it? Hesitantly, I answered.

It was my boss.

The clamour of the Starbucks environment could be clearly heard in the background. I tried to sound breathlessly busy and professional, but I knew deep down I wasn't fooling anybody. The hammer is about to fall, I thought. After a cheerful greeting, my boss addressed the point of his call.

“I just wanted to tell you that you’re doing fine work there, and we are going to be offering you your own site, along with the appropriate benefits and full time wages”



A Job.

This wouldn’t do at all.

Granted, the girls at the office are very pretty and flirtatious (when I bother to be there which is very seldom), but they wear big sunglasses, and anybody that follows fashion gets little respect from me. There is no way I can see myself living this life.

Now, I’m not complaining. It’s an easy, well paying job in a bad economy and I am thoroughly uneducated, unqualified and all but useless in the Western World. I’m aware that I should feel lucky. But the only way to really live is on the keen edge between life and death. And so, after saving a bit of dosh, I plan to quit and fling myself again out into the void.

I gave myself a piece of advice a long time ago, which I have yet to really adhere to. “If it starts to feel like home, it’s time to leave”, and I am rapidly approaching that point now.

The long and the short of it is that I am once again in a disturbed enough frame of mind to inspire some new writing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the staff has just presented me with a sample of their “Holiday Turkey Sandwich” which I will now turn my attention to.