Three things happened this past Friday.
- The spring finally sprang. Temperatures jumped to 70’s F, birds’ noise dull street traffic, magnolia buds pop showing pink insides, daffodils and tulip bloom urgently, bums moved their sleeping quarters to Madison park benches. Sun, balmy air and smiles on every face in the crowd – what a beautiful Friday.
- Thursday before was my biweekly payday; at 6:05pm boss apologized for having forgotten home her checkbook, promised to put paycheck in the mail. Instead, on Friday morning I send her a text: “I will be in the office vicinity in the afternoon, please sign the check and I’ll pick it up”. In reply I received not a text but email: “Your paycheck will be ready by 2pm. Please also be ready to pick up all your personal items. I will not need your services going farther (sic!). Thanks!“ Whaaaa?! There was no warning, sign or conversation to make me expect this. On the contrary, all day Thursday she was particularly friendly, sharing her personal opinions of contractors and clients and making plans for decorating “our” office. She also mentioned her longterm plans to let me deal with all construction documents while she’ll take care of client relations. When I got to the office the door was locked so I opened it with my key and found an envelope with the check on my desk. The office was empty. A post-it on the desk asked me to leave the keys and thanked me. No explanation given.
- I came out into the sunshine, envelope in hand and my keychain lighter, dizzy with this abrupt turn of events after 6-months of hard work (on my part), capricious demands, occasional familiarity and empty promises (on hers). I sat on a bench, stared at brightly lit park scene around – all these people rushing back from business lunches, squirrels hopping on fresh grass, dog walkers, schoolchildren, art students with portfolios – noticing strange effect the sun has on me. Free at last…world welcomes me…time to travel and enjoy the spring. People appeared unfocused, duplicated while shadows, on the contrary, sharp and blue; my eyelids were heavy, headache was starting in my temples and I suspected my dizziness have other reason. By the time I got home I was full-blown sick with flu.