Thursday, August 23, 2012


On her last day at Felchco & Sons, Meanswell sat with her carton full of desk tchotchkes, the Zen sand garden and tiny rake, the click-clack metal ball thingy, the Dilbert-a-Day calendar from 1985 she could never bring herself to part with. The phone, which hadn’t rung in months, did not ring today. No one came with flowers or a big “good luck to ya” cookie. Meanswell chalked it up to a bunch of strangers she now worked with, her old crowd having moved on long ago.

Even though she had put in a solid 28 years of service for the Felch family, she felt no regret about leaving. She was going to enjoy her retirement. The grand kids were just the right age, not so young as to be prone to tantrums, not yet old enough to think Granny was a drag. With any luck, she’d have five years of fun with them in between watercolor classes, matinees and Cobb salads at Jimmy’s on Fifth.

She sat still and quiet in the dark for a half hour or more. Any other day, she would have flailed her arms in that certain way she had figured out to catch the sensor eye of the energy saving motion detector. Instead, she carefully rose, balanced her carton under her right arm and slipped away from her job for good. This she did without triggering the sensor. There was no need to turn off the lights as she left. They were already out.

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