A man who works in my building rides his bike across the street to the grassy patch in front of the seafood restaurant. There he sits on a portable chair and smokes cigars during his lunch break. I find this an interesting pastime.
People from other countries stroll on the promenade. I can usually spot them before I hear their foreign tongues. It’s usually the subtle or not-so-subtle differences in fashion that tip me off. Others just don’t look American at all. Something in their bearing or gait or facial expressions. Less fleshy and stupid looking.
Tourists swarm the place because it’s the high summer season. Overheard for real: “Should we do Hard Rock?” Imagined rest of conversation: “It’s so nice to go to other cities and see all our familiar places. If things were different it would be scary. Oh look, it’s the Cheesecake Factory. I hear they hate gays just like all my friends back home.”
Here we have the National Aquarium. It’s not like Sea World, but it still makes me think of that episode of The IT Crowd when Roy is dating a girl whose parents died in a fire at a Sea Parks (the fake British equivalent of Sea World). He becomes obsessed with figuring out how, with all that water around and considering the concrete stadium has a total of 12 exits, they could have possibly died in a fire. Much like all IT Crowd episodes, of which I’m not ashamed to say I’ve watched at least two if not three times each, it is hilarious. Of course it’s British. The mainstream American humor palate is so much less refined.
But I digress from my walk.
The harbor smells like a rancid cesspool. I hope the visitors bureau is working on that.
Many women walk around with babies attached to their chests like parasitic blobs.
I don’t walk long. It’s important to strike a balance. If I’m outside too long I feel worse when I go back in. However, at least the temperature in my office is no longer hovering in the subarctic range. That is a plus.
In the lobby I assess the elevator situation. I hate riding with other people in an elevator. I hate everything to do with elevator use, but I will not go into it all here. Building security keeps the stairs on lockdown so even though I only work on the third floor I’m supposed to ride the elevator every time. You can go down the stairs (not up), but according to the sign on the door you’re not supposed to do so unless it’s an emergency. This enrages me. I still go down them, as do others on my floor. Anyway, if there are a lot of people milling around waiting for an elevator I usually go to the other side, which is what I do today. I’m about to enter an empty elevator when a man comes running across the lobby. How can anyone be in such a hurry after lunch that they can’t wait two seconds for another elevator. I’m embarrassed for him. He chokes out a breathless ‘thanks’ before fiddling with his smart phone. They all do. Smart phone fiddling has replaced watching the floors light up on the sign above the door as ‘the’ activity to do in an elevator. I stare at the floor.