Everyone stacks silently on top of one another, countless numbers of layered footsteps muffled by rebar and concrete and other things stronger than ourselves. The radiator twitches noisily beneath me, pattering away like rain on a tin roof and smelling of burning summer dust.
Twelve stories below, people of indecipherable shades carry their miniature briefcases, wearing miniature raincoats built for these fall days. This is the 8 a.m. crowd – shuffling, dark, and presumably serious.
“LANE FIRE” the road reads if read like a book and not a road. The letters are mismatched and accidentally idiosyncratic with a secret beauty beyond the comprehension of any Department of Transportation.
The glass windows delicately separating myself and the morning obstructs the noise from outside. Those omnipresent city sounds. The noise you forget that is there, endless and always, like love, dulled by the patina of time. It wails and screeches and clatters and hisses – obnoxiously and continuously in a cacophonic loop.
Across the street, in a building not unlike the one I am in, early morning meetings commence and paperwork lays strew about haphazardly, as if the work and the orderly completion thereof is secondary to simply showing up. Headless, faceless hands rise and fall with the fervor and deliberation of points being made. Here and here and here – the fingers jut into the air, stiff and determined.
These are humorless places and there are hundreds of them. Row after row. Avenue to street. Places for commerce and coffee mugs with pictures of dogs in mowed backyards. Made in China places. Fucking kill me places.