street sightings

don’t say workaholic like that.

On Friday night at 9:58, I was standing on the eleventh floor of a tall building. The space around me was loud and full. Music played. There were no drink-less hands around.

I looked at the surrounding buildings’ lit up windows. I saw a lot of empty offices. I wondered if the lights were always on; I wondered how many people put already-read-but-printed emails in the blue bins and how many in the regular trash cans.

There was one man sitting at his desk. It was 9:59 now; he was still at work. He looked at his computer screen and then down at his desk. He wrote something down. Maybe he was drawing a picture. He looked at the computer again, then back down to his desk.

I wanted him to be doing something creative. I wanted him to be in the midst of a breakthrough. He could have been writing down the address of the hoppin’ party he was expected to attend that night, or the directions to his daughter’s friend’s house, where he needed to pick her up at ten thirty. I know he wasn’t doing these things though. He has an iPhone; he relies on that for these kinds of things.

I walked to the other side of the room and stared at some people. I took a moment to mostly focus on those not separated from me by window panes. I smiled.

When I made my way back to check on my creative man, he was gone. I really hope he enjoyed his Friday night. I really hope everyone else accepts whatever he was putting on that paper as brilliant. I really hope he loves Mondays and Saturdays all the same. His mind is always working. He doesn’t compartmentalize; his work and life are all connected. Everyone loves him.

I just realized right now that, in my yellow room, I feel more comfortable with the door closed.


One thought on “don’t say workaholic like that.

  1. cathe says:

    elizabeth clarke, i’m dying. i don’t believe that life can be stories, but you have a way of making stories out of life that is so convincing and subtle and intimate that i believe in it, and you keep getting better and better at it. i love you alot, also i dont have a phone so email me if you need.

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