Sunday, November 30, 2008

Everything is illuminated

From Moonlight Ambulette:

So now that I remembered how to read I've been picking up all the many half-read books littering my apartment, and have happily re-delved into Personal Days, Ed Park's very funny novel about a group of people who work in an office at a time of economic upheaval and rampant layoffs. It just goes to show you what a difference it makes to be reading the right book at the right time -- even just a few weeks ago I'm sure the employees' skittishness about layoffs wouldn't have struck so chillingly close to home, but now layoffs (and rumored magazine shut-downs) are sort of the theme of the day at the media company where I work.

And then the most amazing thing happened. One day I read this paragraph: "Week after week, you form these intense bonds without quite realizing it. All that time together adds up: muttering at the fax machine, making coffee runs. The elevator rides. The bitching about the speed of the elevator. The endlessly reprised joke, as it hits every floor: Making local stops." Funny, I thought, and so true about the unexpected bonds. But no one makes that elevator joke where I work, bub! I mean, no one really makes small talk or even looks each other in the elevators in my building.

And guess what happened the next day at work. Two security guards in the elevator, going up, with practically every floor's button illuminated. One turned to the other and before he even said it I knew what he was going to say. Making local stops.

This book must be magic!

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