A thousand years ago I had a job at Viacom at the heart of Manhattan.
Mercifully, I had lucked out in the accommodations department. I was living rent free in a friend’s empty penthouse. My rich friends always had more homes than they could inhabit and I made a habit of filling in off season. My life was always full of these apparent contradictions, of superb wealth dangling just out of permanent reach.
Every morning I would swish in a marble tub whilst sipping an espresso and then I’d trudge off across slushy dirty sidewalks, head bowed. I tried to vary the route when possible, to help fight routine fatigue. Except for storm days when I beelined for the closest subway entrance. A damp slippery corner where newspapers and rotund muffins winked from behind scratched plexiglass booths.
There were those mid-winter days when more than half the employees could not make it in from their far flung suburban reaches. In the unusual quiet I would stare out from the glass towers overlooking Times Square, watching snow tumbling in its dignified gaiety, the streets and sidewalks almost devoid of life. New York City at midday midweek and empty and quiet all blotted out from the snowstorm. Fishtailing taxicabs the only color in sight. I promised myself how one day I would be long gone and coddled in sunshine.
At the end of eight hours of nothing too exciting, unless you mean the day I brought Viacom to its knees, by accident. Somehow I jammed the company intranet but that is another story. Calamity or not, invariably, I would go home. Home being this palace in the sky, empty as the big city in a snowstorm. After six months, with a pocketful of money, I tucked and rolled. After that particular stint with corporate life I set off for points south, Ecuador I believe, one way ticket.
These days I live coddled in sunshine and I am grateful, daily. Sorry to rub it in Northerners. My thoughts are with you!