...Fuck. I forgot. It's like time is moving backwards today. Where did I put that folder... or is it lunchbreak?

Environmental degradation. Murder in a dozen different legal cloaks. These cause profit.

Flagrant waste, Simon thought, looking at the text it was his job to edit, clean up and mark up. Prose in no way lucid, reams of paragraphs of throat-clearing. Devoid of candor, all of it legalese or long grant-proposal dialect. Stifled expression crept through in myriad formatting tics and quirks, wanton fonts, salient words and points emphasized in a variety of fashions: italics, bold, underlined, and sans-serif.

Simon sighed.

Yes, but is it art?

No, clearly not.

But he could not prove it.

Something was melting his mind. He wondered whether it was the Internet.

The vicissitude of his secretary position—his first full-time job—was sanding him down. Here, a project could go from being a looming priority to being forgotten unfinished forever in less than a day. The sense that most of what he accomplished would be wasted injected a numb stupidity into every decision, cast a pall of emptiness into everything.

This windowless reception area had become a cocoon in which he was undergoing a metamorphosis. Simon could tell that, after taking this job out of desperation, his once-anchored opinions had begun to shift and dissolve like a sort of vague, didactic static. And now he could no longer seem to hold an idea in mind for any duration of time. Bricks faded into shadows then air.

So, understanding that his mind was going, Simon kept a notebook in which he wrote down everything that seemed important whenever it occurred to him. Whether it was an idea for a ballet, or a note to stop at the stationary store on the way home after work, he wrote it down. For weeks this had been going on. He couldn't understand where all these ideas were coming from when his life had been given over to a full-time creativity-dissolving environment. He reasoned that perhaps he had always had ideas, but previously had acted on them. Now they just buzzed around his head.

His whole mind it seemed was floating, irrelevant, a sort of vanity. He might make it to the stationary store, but would never write that ballet. In this manner his mind seemed to have disconnected from his body, severed from within, and his interior life, with all its daring adventure and fabulous aesthetics, lived on in isolation while the body woke up every morning at precisely 6 AM and cleaned itself and got on the train to go to work.

As the train rattled on elevated racks past an abandoned carnival that morning, a man below splattered vomit on the wall.

Train. Was it lunch hour, or... was the day over?

  the Bartender serves up Melancholy Hour the Bartender serves Happy Hour putting it to bed the News: evening edition the News: morning edition the Secretary and the Administrator discuss a private matter pertaining to a possible problem the Secretary has a doctors appointment the Secretary does research on the Internet the Administrator stays at work late the Administrator goes to work about dawn the Administrator lies awake all night the Janitor gets drunk at night the Janitor goes to work in the afternoon the Janitor gets up in the morning Werd falls asleep at night Werd gets drunk in the evening Werd goes to work in the morning