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put the clocks on shuffle

The mailroom is closed.

Someone ran through our office earlier today, announcing that the sun was getting brighter. Everyone ran outside to have a look. Except for me. I went into a conference room, sat very still in a corner, and held my breath until the overhead lights went out.

A couple hours later, someone ran through the office, announcing that the wind was so strong it was blowing color out of all exposed objects. People were afraid to go outside, so they all crowded around the windows to have a look. Except for me. I went down to the basement and locked myself in the furniture room. I surrounded myself with broken chairs and sat on the floor with my ear pressed against the cinder block wall, trying to think of a color strong enough to kill the wind.

And now I sit in the mailroom, listening to the building empty itself. People remove themselves with greater urgency at the end of the week. "Friday" is just another word for "Disappear." I'm still here, as I have nothing left to prove. I perfected my disappearance years ago. Remain perfectly still, and no one will ever suspect you never left. And they will never think to come looking for you when they want to find you. I'm waiting for nightfall, unsure if I can stand the sight of the sun without color and a brighter wind blowing holes through the sky.

Tonight I will put on my coat and climb a little higher into the city and sit at a bus stop where the route has been discontinued. I will drink isolation fluid under the street light and think of the word "disappear" and all the names it implies. Sometimes it's nice to sit above all these people heating the night with their pleading and praying, their scraping and crawling. Big men don't realize how small they are. Just like the rich don't often recognize their own poverty. I neither envy nor begrudge them for what they have. I just like the way tree limbs bend at midnight, and the rise and fall of avenues rolling street lights out to the sea.

And the clock and the cold will march me home at an inappropriate hour to measure the carpet's accumulation of dust and disrupt the white light of notebooks and listen to my fluids burn through the plumbing.

Good night, dear sweet imaginary reader.

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