After turning off the ignition, I gather my wallet, badge, bottled water, route forty four Dr. Pepper, laptop, and sack lunch. I open my car door and a wave of cold silence nearly knocks me down. The parking lot is full of cars, but I am alone. A small smile flashes across my face.
The silence is broken by a squeaking sign being rocked back and forth by the wind like a newborn struggling to sleep in their mother’s arms. I slowly exit the parking structure almost reluctantly only to be surprised by continued solitude. Next to my office building is a golf course, with a line of overpriced homes just on the other side. Strangely no dogs are barking. No kids are playing. It is almost as if God is directing a movie and this is my own private scene.
The wind picks up and I further retreat into myself as I walk up the small hill that leads to the back entrance of my building. There is no one behind me, and no one ahead of me. In my head I picture crowds hustling towards office atrophy. Everyone eager to begin the slow torture of enduring a minimum of eight hours anticipating the day’s end. The picture stands in stark contrast to my current journey. I am half way done with my walk and still do not see a single living soul. The only sounds are created by my flirtatious dance with the wind. If not for our momentary embraces there would be absolute silence now.
With strange sorrow I dismiss my walking companion as I enter the office building. The entrance is a glass void. The wind seems upset, rattling the doors and glass panes. I lift my badge up to the next door and the electronic beep echoes through the entrance area. Once inside I can no longer hear her. My new companion is the synthetic lighting bathing me indiscriminately. I am still alone. As I approach my office, I have my first human interaction since leaving my car. Seven hours, fifty nine minutes and then I am free again.