Home on the Fringe

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Monday night I was sitting at home and I realized that I didn’t need it.

It’s been over a year since I had anyone over and I don’t know any of my neighbors. I pay for heat, electricity, water, internet access, for cable television, and a telephone that never rings. Why?

I walked through the house trying to understand why I own all this stuff. Books I’ve already read, CDs I’ve already ripped, and appliances I don’t even use.

I packed a bag with enough clothes to last a week at work, and grabbed my sleeping bag out of the closet (where it has been, unused, for three years), and raided the bathroom cabinets for medicine and toiletries that I would need where I was going. I also took one towel, and my alarm clock.

I called my landlord and left a message that I was leaving, and to use the deposit for the last month’s rent. I apologized to the machine for not giving 30 days notice.

I spent the rest of the night dragging furniture out of the house and filling garbage bags with everything else. I put it all out on the curb with a sign that said “FREE”. I stopped and stared at the sign for a minute wondering was it a label for the pile, or an announcement of my new status.

Tuesday night, after work, I moved into my cubicle.

By around eight o’clock everybody but the security guy at the desk is one, so I went to my car and pulled out my stuff and brought it in. After 6 you have to sign in, but since I had just left the building a minute ago the security waved me past without really paying any attention to what I was carrying. They really only pay attention to what you carry out, not what you bring in.

My clothes went into the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, with room to spare for the sleeping bag. The top left drawer of my desk became the medicine cabinet. I rolled out the sleeping bag on the floor and maneuvered it around until I found a position where I could lay down and not hit a filing cabinet or a cube wall, and where I didn’t stick out into the aisle; diagonal, head under the desk to block out the lights, which are half-on all night.

I took my monitor off the desk and put it on the floor, so I could watch TV shows I downloaded off the internet. I set my alarm clock, and somewhere around eleven I fell asleep.

My alarm clock woke me up at five. Normally, I get up later, but I didn’t want there to be any chance of some early bird strolling in finding me. I don’t think I would get in any real trouble - could claim I had a late night and decided to crash with a sleeping bag I had in my car. It would be embarrassing though and I can only use that excuse once, so I would rather save it.

Got up, took out some clothes and took the stairs down to the fitness center, to avoid the security guy at the front. Showered, shaved, I found that I actually had a lot of time before work started, so I decided to actually use the fitness center for the first time since I started, which was stupid, since I had to shower again. I’m learning how this works though. From then on, I shower last.

Wednesday night is “Fruit Night”.

The company has this employee moral building thing they do each Wednesday night. Some service comes through and puts bowls of fruit into all of the break rooms. While they were here I hung out in the PC Test Lab, with the door locked. After I was sure they had left I went through the building and took the stuff I liked. It all went into three bags that I boldly labeled “ALLAN’S” and stashed in three refrigerators around the floor. I can eat at the cafeteria during the day, and get stuff from the snack machines at night, but I am afraid that I will get scurvy or rickets if that’s all I eat

Thursday and Friday night are not special. I avoid the security guy, and watch TV shows I’ve downloaded during the day.

Saturday and Sunday nights are hot and muggy, since the air conditioning is not turned on over the weekend. I end up sleeping on top of the sleeping bag both nights. I drove three blocks to a strip mall and did my laundry – it was the first time I’ve had to leave the building since I got my stuff out of my car. I also discover that the executive kitchen has a supply of cup-o-soup packets.

Monday, I start pocketing packets of crackers when I go to the cafeteria.

Fast forward, one month.

Monday morning my boss told me that she’s noticed the extra hours I am putting in. It seems like I am the first in and the last out every day.

Tuesday morning I am take the stairs up from the fitness center and an executive admin stops me. I’m afraid for a second that she knows about the soup, but instead she tells me that I look great, and asks if I have lost weight. When I asked her if she would like to have lunch sometime in the cafeteria, she said yes.

Today it’s Wednesday morning, and I am sitting in my cube. I know all my neighbors, and people drop by all the time. I have heat, electricity, water, internet access, downloaded TV shows, and a telephone that’s always ringing.

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A Significant Lack of Posting from Edwin Gore's Dopey Homepage! on September 14, 2007 2:27 PM

I'm not sure whether I don't have anything to post about, or if there are simply so many things that I could post about that I am paralyzed by a plethora of possibilities. I am finally getting around to watching... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by edgore published on June 30, 2006 12:56 PM.

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