Sep 30, 2022

“An experiment. It’s too hot in the house to do anything but sweat, so I’ve turned amphibian and made bath water my element. I’m presently squatting in the tub with my typewriter on a board and my hair in a shower cap to keep it off my neck.

“Today was a bummer. I went to a certain office in the City to look over listings for civil service jobs. I was toting a wool coat (though the temperature in Berkeley was 90 degrees, I was prepared for any exigency), a pastrami sandwich (will the mayonnaise spoil in the heat and poison me?), and a jumbo sketch pad (the only paper I could find). Once in the City, I drove in dazed circles for an indeterminate amount of time around the appointed block—parking lot prices having shorted out my circuits.

“’One hundred’ was lettered across the entrance of the building I sought. I passed a futuristic arrangement of lights suspended from the ceiling in the lobby and took the elevator for floors 10-18. The floor numbers lit up dimly in a little black window over the buttons as they do on computerized cash registers. I mention this because it took me only half a minute to notice this—and they call me a slow study! On the eleventh floor I got out and stared down blank corridors.

“When I took the elevator down again two hours later, I felt as deflated as a popped balloon—job titles I couldn’t decipher, entailing responsibilities I couldn’t fathom, conveying a tedium that numbed my mind to contemplate.”