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the building i work in is gray. it has gray walls and gray floors and grayish tinted windows for the important people in the gray offices with gray doors. there are metallic surfaces and tall ceilings with exposed piping that rattles periodically for no apparent reason. here and there you’ll be assaulted by a bright-yellow or bright-blue wall or a bright-red pole. a futile attempt at cool.
some of these brightly painted walls have posters lined up from recent advertising campaigns or company recycling or carpooling efforts and it has the disturbing feel of high school hallways during class elections.
but mostly, it’s quiet in here. library quiet. when i walk in from one of my many, many outdoor escapes, most of my cubicle-mates are properly facing their monitors with headphones on. not even a restless tapping of pen against desk. just industrious tapping of fingers against keyboards. (although i’ve often observed furtive emailing or chatting or screenplay writing…)
once in a while i won’t have my headphones on and i can hear my editor laughing from her office. her office wall is covered ceiling to floor with video game posters featuring beefy warrior-men. she has a full, easy laugh and it often fills the entire floor.
what is labeled “mine” in this setup is an open-faced corner cubicle. and yes, it’s gray.
but i have chili-pepper lights from chinatown hanging from a rare white wall to my gray overhead compartment. i put up an old j.otto poster of the getty museum above the unused but bulging file rack. and i’ve pinned up a few random postcards, including photographs by larry gianettino and inge morath’s llama in nyc.
my 3-year-old mousepad has a cartoon-ish dog/mouse holding his thumb up and a sign that says “future or bust.” there’s also a large, heavy black phone on my desk with too many buttons. it looks like it’s been there since 1982. this corporate relic brings me daily “when are you coming over” phone calls from my mother. and sometimes elliot calls and impersonates my company ceo. (but he usually sounds like will farrell impersonating janet reno.)
i spend 24% of my life in this gray corner cubicle. yes, i have done the math.
factor in 33% spent sleeping, 5% showering/dressing, 8% eating, 4% doing house work, and 1% dreading the previously-stated 24%—and that leaves 25% of my life for me. 25%.
well, at least it’s more than 24...