He used to act bad, used to, but he quit

12:31 leave office with vague plan to buy tobacco for smoking, possibly locate lunch for $1 (a bagel? gum? non-diet soda?)
12:35 get tired of waiting for elevator on 15th floor, attempt to walk down stairwell. discover stairwell ends with fire-alarmed door at 12. walk back up, try other stairwell, disregarding “EMERGENCY EXIT DOOR WILL LOCK BEHIND YOU” sign on door
12:40 discover that other stairwell also deadends at 12th floor. begin sweating somewhat due to situation and fact that stairwell is approx 100 degrees F.
12:45 have now tried doors for floors 13-19 and discovered they are all locked. consider just going back to 12 and setting off alarm. Decide against, because there has to be an open door somewhere, right
12:46 despite the sign saying that the 20th floor door will be unlocked from 7 am to 5 pm daily, the 20th floor door is locked. But…
12:47 despite the sounds of people outside the door, i decide not to knock on it, because it would be embarrassing to have them let me out and then have to answer questions such as, “why are you so dumb” and “why are you in the stairwell which, despite outward appearances, is not a viable medium for passing from floor to floor”. decide instead that i will risk the embarrassment of setting of fire alarm.
12:48 change mind when i get to 12th floor. on-field ruling is that it would be much, much more embarrassing to face the same questions that i would on the 20th floor if those questions were accompanied by flashing lights and loud firen alarm blaring and people having to leave the several hundred offices in this building.
12:49 return to 20th floor, a bit sweatier than i’d like (also warrants mention that i am wearing a hooded sweatshirt, Chicago Bears starter jacket, wool hat, as well as a surprisingly constrictive necktie)
12:50 take a few breaths for composure, prepare to knock on door. commence knocking on door. There are clearly, clearly several people (women) in the adjoining hallway, in the freedom lands, through this one metal fire door.
12:52 two full minutes of loud knocking and saying “Um Hello HELLO can someone possibly open this door” are not responding to in any way. Even though I hear people pausing and thinking about the knocks coming from the door that even someone without a degree in structural engineering can determine does not open from the side the knocker is on.
12:55 walk back down to 12. think about it again.
12:56 walk back to 17 for no reason. call information using my cell phone. get front desk of building. ask that i be let out of stairwell. state that i will be located in between 13th and 14th floor of southern stairwell. front desk staff are amenable to my requests, if somewhat churlish. (Front desk: “Don’t you know you can’t go from floor to floor?” Pete: “I do now.”)
1:00 janitor shows up and lets me out on 13.
1:10 have brief conversaton with drunk-seeming homeless guy who wants 50 cents to have enough for a forty. He wants to get St. Patrick’s Day started early. I wish him best, he screams Erin Go Bragh at passersby as I cross street.
1:15 buy clif bar, eat it because i am afraid of malnourishment and am tired of eating spoonfuls of peanut butter to get essential nutrients
1:18 watch someone try to unstop a sink with a very big plunger
1:20 spill water on my shirt

One thought on “He used to act bad, used to, but he quit”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.