So today marks the beginning of certain kinds of freedom, and more or less the end of other kinds of freedom.
How this was all supposed to go was that at some point today, I would find myself magically transformed. I would have a glow about me. I would be working on my novel while lithe women fed me cantaloupe.
"I do not really like cantaloupe," I would say to them, and they would start to cry, as they had only wanted to bring me happiness. We would finally settle on grapes.
Fantasies aside, I was greeted instead by the telltale evidence that my car was once again burgled, and my stereo gone. The detachable face plate which is designed to avert exactly such an outcome was still in my apartment. The inside of my car looked like the part of a detective movie where someone's apartment gets ransacked by thugs. Stuff was simply everywhere.
I was only two weeks shy of having lasted an entire year without someone yanking my stereo out of the dashboard in the night. In both instances, the work was performed with at least a moderate level of skill: they always seem to leave me the wiring harness intact.
And this time, they didn't even break a window. How utterly thoughtful of them.
I avoided going in to work today for as long as possible. I did this for two reasons. The obvious reason was because I really didn't want to go and have to do any work, but the real issue was the knowledge that going in meant packing up and going home and that going home from work today means that my commitment is over, and I am free to work on my novel as much as I choose.
Over the precipice I go. I should probably admit that I am terrified.
Technically speaking, I have no obligations of any kind lined up. I have nowhere to be, and nothing to do save for the things I choose for myself.
I hope the people I was working with will remember me for more than the last week or so, when a request to do something was often met with a petulant cry of "but I want to go work on my novel!"
Then I would begin crying.
It's the people I will miss, the social interaction and the exposure to other perspectives which make going to an office worthwhile (inasmuch as it is worthwhile). No more will I bounce a ball in GoodThomas' office, or cause him to hurl insults at me through various means. Two more skills, carefully honed but now of little use.
It seems that my primary tool of social interaction is to be this blog, for the time being. Please be kind and stop by often. I'm dying to talk to you. I promise I'll be nice.
I took a little time while at work today to ascend to the roof of the building. I had never been up there, and there's no guarantee I'll ever have another chance. Who knows if I will be asked to work on the delightful fireworks project next year? Besides, I had my camera with me.
I got a lot of shots of rust, which are up on the Flickr page, along with other shots from the rooftop. The things on the rooftop fell pretty neatly into three categories: rusted or otherwise decrepit things, small bones left behind by ravenous gulls, and bird shit.
I also met a strange, wild-eyed man who lived up on the roof, fighting for space and food with the gulls and pigeons who occupy most of the vents and structures up there. That's him at right, threatening to shut down the power to the building if we did not hand over any sandwiches we had with us.
We gave him our sandwiches, and he told us he was the Amazing Balsiti, once a famous escape artist. He had declared his intent to escape from the very roof on which we stood, but had not been equal to the challenge. He was determined to remain up there until he got it right.
"Well, when we get tired of being up here, we're going to go through that door right there and then down the stairs," I explained slowly, pointing to our point of egress.
He rolled first one eye and then the other, muttering "amateurs" under his breath.
Later, sated by the sandwiches and somewhat more relaxed, the Amazing Balsiti produced a tiny man (seemingly from nowhere) who danced on his hand, sang "Camptown Races" a few times and vanished once we had all joined in.