The first Monday at work after 3 weeks of absence.
Outlook Inbox: 341 new messages
To do: 27 tasks
Calendar: 23 notifications
Mobile phone (work): ‘You have 12 new messages’.
What’s up: 43 messages from 8 conversations.
Gmail (private): 27 new messages; 115 new messages from social media.
I sink into my chair.
I embrace myself as if suddenly facing a cold winterish wind.
I pull my scarf tight to envelope half of my back. I cross my feet under the table. I curve, upper body leaning forward.
I stare at the screen and beg for a miracle: that the world stops from spinning so fast and that my head keeps up with it.
I bend and hug one of my knees. I release it as soon as I hear my colleagues entering the room one by one.
I sit straight. I bring my chair closer to the table. I freeze. I am stuck half way between touching the keypad and starting to function, and holding to the support of the chair, unable to make a move.
I hear noise in the background. I turn my head, I great my colleagues smiling shyly. I fix my screen again.
Somebody asks me something. I nod. I can’t remember the question. I am not sure it is addressed to me.
I continue to hold my eyes pinned to the open icons in the taskbar, blinking dangerously in the right corner: antivirus update, program update, scheduled virus scan, password renewal alert, Lync missed conversations.
I am struck by a lightning of artificial intelligence. It smells like burned brain wire.
Connection status: lost.
I stand up. I take a deep breath and grab my badge. I grasp the tea cup from the table next to my hall of fame wall. My brain inventories all the items I had left in exactly the same place 3 weeks ago. It gives me a reassuring yet an unnerving sentiment of timelessness.
The phone rings. It dies after two bells. I remember I want to go to the cafeteria. Already standing I feel a change. I meet smiling and worried faces, ignoring ones, some impassive, a few of them even wave to me. Robotically I cut across the room. I am heading for the terrace.
And I breathe… a long, deep breath. I am inhaling the cold damp air with wood ashes aroma reaching the patio from the other side of the highway. It rains small perfectly round drops of autumn sadness. I reach my hand out from underneath the protective ceiling. Pearls of shiny water roll down my arm. A large loud laugh gushes out from the darkness of my desperation when the silver glacial sensation tingles my body.
I step into the fall. I welcome the infinite needle like water drip to massage my face. The skies turn deep grey. I visualize it pressuring my shoulders. I cough involuntarily still looking up towards the kingdom of clouds. The platform is now deserted. I can hear the chairs squeak on the floor inside as everybody else is so pressed to take shelter.
A lightning rips the sky in zig-zag. The thunder unleashes the power of the uncontrollable. The deafening sound pushes my palms over my ears. The massive walls of glass quake with the shock waves..
” That was close. Just close. Not close enough!” I say loudly to myself and to the gods.
I hit the ‘shut down’ button of the laptop. I grab my keys and whish myself and my mates a nice restful evening.
I survived the lightning, I heard the thunder. They were close, close enough…