He opened up Outlook calendar and there was solid blue indicating busy meetings from 9:45am to 1pm. He wanted to see her, be with her, hold her hand, and be close to her. The office, the meetings, the people, he was mentally so far away from these things and yet the mechanics of his workaholism took over, and in rote fashion he opened up the code editor anyway, and continued debugging and experimenting from the night before.
The code was a mess, no one responded to any of the missives he offered that things were broken, and he was alone, and thought that no one cared, which was pretty much true, but his job was to care, and care incessantly until things were righted and put back into an orderly state, no matter how hard, or how long it took and no matter whom was paying attention or not. He glanced at the meeting at 2:45pm to 3:05 over and over. She didn’t accept, but he got an out of band text saying ‘OK’. His plan was to escape the 20th floor, go downstairs, wait for her and just walk. Walk away from all of it, towards the Embarcadero, and just hold her hand when they were a few blocks away. All he wanted to do was listen to her talk, listen to her day, listen to what she was interested in, and just see her smile and be close to her. She was an island of respite in all this, and he yearned for her comfort and touch from deep within. Code and more code with no lunch and then a message at 2:30 saying can’t go out at 2:45 but 4:30 is better.
He started some cross functional collaborative work with another worker from a different team, integrating his software into other’s projects and he could sense that this would take a bit more work and be a longer effort. Reluctantly, but conveniently, he messaged back: ‘OK, sounds great’. Practicality is something he was proud of, and while his heart simply wanted to drop everything, he had to do his job and do it well, with others; so he mused on how it almost helped that the stealing away got pushed back anyway. It offered more hope that he would see her, and possibly even for longer since 2:45 to 3:05 was pretty stingy and not placed very well, whereas 4:30 was, for a company at their size, quite normal for absenteeism to begin occurring. ‘I’m going downstairs, see you in the lobby’ was the text he sent. He didn’t even put on a sweatshirt that was in his bag, he just wanted to leave and see the sun. He got to the elevators and pushed ‘G’ and got to the bottom. The lobby was sleek and very dark with all the granite as the sun’s afternoon position was not favoring the lobby. Beams of light however were outside, cascading through the windows, into a glowing Stevenson street.
It was a bit early and it was desolate in the street, and he thought about how quiet it was compared to when the whistle blows around 5, and droves of people mass exodus the hive, like ants exiting their cones in a hill, chemically signaled by their scouts. People hurriedly looking at their watches, their phones, heels clacking and shoes scuffling practically escaping in droves from floors and chambers above, looking to go somewhere else, and wanting to be outside the sleek yet darkly lit granite facade the lobby was currently shaded in. It dawned on him, he was now one of those ants. There was somewhere to go, somewhere to be, other than in this building.
Normally he would have been perfectly fine, being relegated to more and more work, with no end in sight, but then he realized that she caught something in his very core. He was compelled towards her. He did not know what it was at first, but talking to her, reading her, watching her, and noticing her, it became more than physical attraction. It was a compulsion to know her more, to try to read her feelings, try to understand her, and to try to hold her closely, and so closely to his heart that he could feel as if he were at one with her, and never let go. The more he thought of her, the more there was an impetus to get away from the building now, to leave the cold, stark, lobby and run into the sun and watch her and be with her.