The 15th of June 1986 – Burbank, California

(found under the rotting shell of a coconut)

Dear Charles,

I hope things are going alright for you. I’m just writing to let you know that the move went well. The last couple of months since were pretty good, and I’m settling down into my job alright too.

I got a good story. I guess that’s really why I’m writing you. I got a good story, and I figured you’d get a kick out of it.

See, there’s this esplanade up on the roof of the office I work in. It’s just a little bit of grass with some benches, but everyone goes up there to eat their lunch, since it’s usually such a nice day. Everyone walks the few flights of stairs up to the roof, but nobody takes those stairs back down. They all take the long way back to the office, down some elevator to another floor and then through some hallways to their cube.

You see, the door there sticks. It only sticks a little bit, and for some reason it barely sticks when you open it from the stairwell, but when you open it from the esplanade, it always sticks.

Every lunch break, I just sit on my bench and watch people bang their noses into this door, a door that just opened for them a few minutes ago, and then trudge off to take the long way back.

One day, I saw some guy in his suit and tie try and fail to open that door. I had just finished my lunch, so I stood up and walked towards the door while he was walking away from it.

You shoulda seen the look on his face. I mean, when I walked right up to that door, he looked at me with such bravado. You shoulda seen it. He looked at me like he knew, like he was some king with a vision into my future, like he understood my failures and my mistakes and every wrong turn I’ve taken. I’ve never seen such judgment.

Then you shoulda seen his face when I pushed against the door just a bit harder than he had, and the damn thing popped right open. You shoulda seen how his face just absolutely deflated. All the air went out of it, like when a kid squeezes a balloon to hard.

I got to see his face because right after I got the door open I paused for just a second. I waved at him and his glum, fallen face, and I stepped right through the doorway.

I was surprised because I expected him to follow right behind me. Instead, he kept going along the long way. I really couldn’t believe that.




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