The elevators in the thirty-floor building where I work run on a scheme designed to save energy. What this means in practical terms is that there are four elevators with an average ten minute wait. People from my office embrace the universal slacker dodge of the smoke break to stand next to the snack machines and look at “girls”.

Today I received a cheery farewell from my coworker. Last week we had a bit of a dustup. The argument was getting heated, which was frustrating because this was ships passing in the night stuff. Eventually he grew quiet and seemed to be listening to my point of view. A few moments later he expelled a crackling fart from the depths of a deskside nap. When he woke up it was like night and day.

I may fault him on his methods, but results-wise he’s got the golden touch.

They sell beer in the vending machines and I think about it every single time I go to the office.

The heat has been stunning. My collar is a science project and collapse seemed imminent throughout the unairconditioned day.

Once I caught the elevator I tried to explain to another coworker that I was on my way to buy the second half of the sixth season of the Sopranos.

Where are you going?

“Mafia television.”

Uncomfortable grinning.

“I’m going to buy organized crime television, you know?”

You will go home now?

“I’m going to buy mob TV season and then go home.”

Have a nice weekend . . .

Crossing a major traffic artery I noticed trees that had been planted in the past week. Their sudden appearance was explained by an electronic billboard (sponsored by Omega watches OMG!) declaring an even year until the ballyhooed Olympics finally kick off and everyone can start thinking about FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010.

Cumulonimbus clouds stood stacked in a blue sky. Last week at 9pm, every night like clockwork, powerful thunder and lightning storms would appear, followed by a blessed ten minutes of cooling rain. Most people attribute this to the government controlling the weather, including myself. I saw something about local scientists mastering nuclear fusion on TV. “This miniature sun will supply unlimited energy and change human life on earth.” It’s hard to know what to think, however, as folks here open a new coal plant on a daily basis.

A fetid river moves beneath another bridge. A perching club of capped swimmers I can never join are valiantly braving industrial chemicals and horrifying fauna to cool off in the river’s waters. They are resting beneath trees across the river and their laughter laps up at me.

To my left I pass once again the Embassy of the Republic of Iran and a moment later a street walker with all her womanly arms bared. She’s shapely, walks like a baseball player in his uniform, and though pretty, looks like she’s taken a few punches in her day. I wear a backpack, so working girls generally take me as too poor to be worth their time. Next come a beer house, an auto mechanic and now the low rent embassies of countries like Bolivia, stacked tightly within something resembling a housing project apartment building.

Men with mustaches and brief cases and bad skin and the weight of open state secrets officially cross the street. There is a buzzing evading bugging and its peaks and valleys describe plans to end AIDS and end lives, start companies and wars, cooperate and develop. Cicadas shriek from the trees and the river keeps

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