It was a dark, moody sunrise from the top of our office building that day, No Roof Access. The kind of morning you can’t tell if the sun is really there, it’s just a band of white below the cloud deck. And the clouds take on the quality of muscle, of brain matter with pinks and purples. And I was there too, knowing I would soon be gone.
I took more time in the sauna than I ever did, my last day at work. It had been about 18 years and the sauna hadn’t changed. It had a kind of smell saunas have that’s not good or bad, but unique, the smell of men. I went in and out of the sauna and thought about the frog that boils slowly in the pot. And I admired the outline of my body made in the sweat I left behind on the cedar planks.
Some things I gave away but most things I shredded, recycled, or put in landfill. I had a fitted shirt from the early 2000s that started to smell and when I got home, I balled it up and put it in the trash.
There were people at work I said goodbye to and also said I love you, which I didn’t expect, sometimes they said it first. And my hair stylist says he’s experimenting more with fourth dimension portal jumping, which I also didn’t expect, but believe he is right.
And a friend said I shouldn’t have to walk out of the building alone, someone should be there with me, which made me sad why she said that. But I walked out alone anyhow, and drove to a bar to meet my colleagues.
It’s a part of town where you can find the homeless wedged in between cars and potholes on the side streets, the railroad tracks and cranes. And the rain was coming on just as a guy was getting back to his tent and got inside, and I took a nap in my car across the way, set the timer on my smartphone.
People get nervous at events like this if the drinks aren’t put out right away. Everyone’s offering to buy something for everyone else because they need something for themselves. So we settle in to our pockets of small talk and our drinks and toasts. And I walk out hugging them all with their eyes on my back going down the steps, turning purple in Outlook, which means I’m out of the office now, not available.
The cats play the tambourine with the bells they wear around their necks, and the song says feed me, it’s time to get up, Monday morning.