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this great big massive fucking loneliness

1. It's been a while. My office moved, back in May, from the Wharf to the Financial District. We have the top three of nineteen floors in a new building. Nice views. Much smaller space. The mailroom is tiny compared to the old one. But my commute has been cut in half. It now only takes me 20 - 30 minutes to get from door to door. I do kind of miss that early-morning walk along the Embarcadero.

2. We learned, three days before the big move, that my boss was being laid off. He had been the mailroom & supplies manager for that company for 38 years and was planning to retire in just a couple years. I felt horrible and guilty. I should've been the one they let go, but my boss makes more money. He was the one who hired me. Back in '99. I was one of four assistants. And now I'm the only one left.

3. My last day in the old mailroom was on a sunny Saturday morning in May. Moving crates all packed up and waiting for the movers to come and roll them away. I was looking at the empty shelves and bare counters and work spaces and thinking about all the people who had come and gone over the years. I couldn't stay in there for very long without getting all teary-eyed. Took some pictures then sat out on the loading dock and waited for the movers.

4. I worked late every day for the first four weeks in the new building. Getting the mailroom set up. Taking over my boss' responsibilities. Setting up new vendors. Concluding relations with old vendors. All the delivery guys complained to me about access to the building, as we were the first tenants with ongoing construction. It wasn't uncommon for couriers to have to wait twenty minutes for the freight elevator, so they would just leave without making the delivery or pickup. And traffic and parking in that neighborhood is horrible.

5. Our team is now half of what it was before the move. The same day my boss found out he was being laid off, our site manager announced he was moving to Oregon and put in his two-week notice; he has yet to be replaced. After the move, one of the receptionists was re-assigned (because of his attitude) to another location--it's unclear if he'll be allowed to return. One of the facilities coordinators got fired for napping in a conference room during his break.

6. I have not taken a day off since the move. But things have settled down quite a bit. A third-party vendor now supplies snacks and beverages to the kitchens (which my former boss and I used to do at the old building). Our employees no longer have assigned seating, so there is nowhere for me to deliver mail and packages. Instead, I notify them of deliveries and they claim them from me in the mailroom. This means that I am considerably less-mobile than I was at the in the old building. I am pretty much tethered to my desk for most of the workday. My body feels softer and slower. My vision blurry from having nothing to do but stare at a screen. There are great spurts of activity--followed by long lulls of nothing. I spend the time researching and shopping for records online. Eventually, the bosses will figure out that they can save more money by axing me and having one of the surviving facilities coordinators supervise the mailroom. I worry about losing my job. And, at the same rate, I would be relieved.

7. IL has a beautiful baby boy. We don't talk much anymore. I miss her. That person is gone.

8. R. and I don't talk much anymore. You don't really know someone until you recognize how unrecognizable they have become. I think she thinks I judged her over her decisions and actions last winter. I am disappointed in her but still love her. I miss her. That person is gone.

9. The new office has a wine keg. I make daily use of it. At 3pm, I schedule the final pickups for the day. I then scurry up to the 19th floor and fill my tumbler with a delicious pinot noir. I then retreat to the mailroom, dim the lights, listen to music and await final pickups and any late deliveries. It gives a pleasant slant to the day. "This drink is giving me LIFE," IL would often say during the first round of our outings that now seem so long ago.

10. Some recent acquisitions:

--The Cramps - "A Date With Elvis" (orange vinyl)
--John Coltrane - "Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album"
--The Cramps - "Bad Music For Bad People" (uranium yellow vinyl)
--The Fall - "Perverted By Language"
--The Fall - "Room To Live"
--The Fall - "Hex Enduction Hour"
--Ennio Morricone - "Un Uomo Da Rispettare" (original soundtrack on green vinyl)
--Stereolab - "Peng!"
--Cindy Lee - "Malenkost"
--The Telescopes - "Splashdown: The Creation Days 1990 - 1991"
--John Coltrane - "The Last Trane"
--The Brian Jonestown Massacre - "Something Else" (white vinyl)
--Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions - "Son Of A Lady" (10" vinyl)
--Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe - "Right On" (white vinyl)
--Mazzy Star - "Still"
--Ty Segall - "Freedom's Goblin"
--Guided By Voices - "Earthquake Glue"
--Guided By Voices - "Isolation Drills"
--Alan Sparhawk - "Solo Guitar"
--Yo La Tengo - "Summer Sun"

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