Shiftwork

I had rug pattern on my face from sleeping under my boss’s desk while she was out of town. I did it to have the experience, thinking it would yield something meaningful (now, a blog post 16 years later).

I discovered martinis that spring, and fixed mine with potato Vodka, sweet Vermouth, and a pickled okra for garnish. The okra looked like a witch’s finger. I sat under a cherry tree in the courtyard in my African robe, and picked the blossoms out of my glass as they dropped.

I had a crush on one of the other tenants and hoped she’d see me out there and join me, but she never did. I met her in the laundry room and fancied we’d get together since that’s where my mom and dad met. Instead, she had a boyfriend who was taking extra time to move out with her.

Someone kicked a hole in my front door on a weeknight and stole my jar of change for the laundry, and a briefcase that had a Laguiole knife I bought in France. I couldn’t lock the door and had to sleep with it ajar, so I kept a long flat-head screwdriver by my side, the only makeshift weapon I had, a tool intended to service the hard-to-access areas in a La Marzocco espresso machine.

I walked to work, an hour’s journey downhill across Seattle’s Central District, then further, through Pioneer Square and SODO. I made a case for more responsibility, and was able to show that I only needed half the time to get my work done. My boss offered to promote me and I thought about it, but decided to leave Seattle and move to France instead.

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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