Beep. It agitated me. It wouldn’t stop. It didn’t even happen at regular intervals. It happened when I thought it had stopped. Beep. I walked out of my office and noticed my neighbors with their doors closed and their lights on. I walked around the secretary’s desk. She took care of llamas. If I didn’t say “hi” she would lecture me about being more social. But why was it important to be social? Nobody wanted to be friends. They wanted to maintain an air of pleasantness when petty problems made them stressed.

“Can I give you some advice?” The llama lady asked.

“Okay.”

“If you talk to people, it will help your career.”

She found out I was ambitious last week.

I walked by the counselor’s office. “Henry, we learn about health benefits after school today.”

“Benefits?” I asked.

“Haven’t you been reading your email?”

“I try not to trouble myself with email if I can help it,” I said.

“Well, we have a meeting at 2:30.”

“I need to make myself feel better.”

She laughed.

Then I went for coffee.

Dan was hanging around the pot. “Did you have a good summer?”

It was the same question he asked me last year and the year before. “Did you have a good summer?” I asked.

“Oh, I mostly stayed home. Played a round of golf and shot my lowest score in 3 years.”

“That makes a guy want to get out there and play again,” I said.

“No, not me. I don’t have any money after house payments.”

My coffee was done. I drank it and felt better. “I’m going to leave this place.”

“You say that every year, but you’re still here. You can have a good life doing your job.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of,” I said.

Dan looked confused.

And I walked back to my office.

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3 thoughts on “Prisoners

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