The ele­va­tor got stuck between the 32nd and the 33rd floor.
35 min­utes had already passed. A voice from the speak­ers said that the per­son­nel was sorry for the incon­ve­nience and that he had just to keep calm and to kindly wait until the tech­ni­cians would have fixed the prob­lem, there was noth­ing to worry about, “you-are-safe-sir”. There was a lit­tle beep and then the music started over again: it was a never end­ing loop of three Celine Dion’s songs of which he was unin­ten­tion­ally mem­o­riz­ing part of the lyrics.

The ele­va­tor was one of those glass cap­sule designed in the 80s, with a dark gray moquette and some blue light spots in the false ceil­ing. From there he could look at the city sky­line and at the lit­tle white sails ran­domly scat­tered between the island and the cost of the hazy bay.The air-conditioning sys­tem had stopped work­ing with the black-out and it was start­ing to get warmer. He unknot­ted the tie and he sat on the floor look­ing down at the peo­ple walk­ing on the side­walks and at the cars start­ing and stop­ping at the cross­road. He could also see his fixie, that he had locked in front of the star­bucks at the cor­ner of the street. He was happy that it was still there.
His iPhone started vibrat­ing in his pocket, it was his mother. He waited a bit, star­ing at the screen, then he decided to answer:

-… Hi mum.
– Hi baby, how have you been? You should call more often you know we…
– Yeah I know, it’s just I’ve been really busy: the apart­ment, the job…
– Yeah, we know. So how was your inter­view? Was it today, right?
– I told you it was not an interview…anyway I’ve just fin­ished the meet­ing with them…trying to get out from their office…it was good…I’ll start work­ing on this project from next week…
– Oh baby that’s a good new, you deserve it! Your father and me are so proud you quit your last job..
-…I didn’t quit, they just didn’t renew my con­tract…
– Any­way, we are so happy you are not work­ing any­more for them, they were just exploit­ing you. You should take care more of your­self, life is not just about work. So did they offer you a per­ma­nent con­tract or…
– I already told you mum: it was not an inter­view and I’m not gonna work for them, but with them…
– How do you mean?
– Come on, we already talked about that, I’m just try­ing to under­stand if I can start doing some­thing on my own. …I’m sick of work­ing for other peo­ple.
– Yeah cooky, but you can’t waste your time: it’s the moment for you to seri­ously focus on your­self and on what you really want to do.
– It’s exactly what I’m doing! By the way, it was you and Dad who told me I had to start work­ing on my own.
– Yeah, but we meant a real job…
– It is a real job!
– So how long you’re gonna work with them?
– …we agreed for…three maybe four weeks.
– Oh baby you can’t keep going like that: what are you gonna do after these three weeks? what about the apart­ment? Are you gonna leave it at the end of the month?
– I don’t know mum, really, I can’t say…
– How don’t you know it? And how about Sandy, what does she says about all this sit­u­a­tion?
– She’s look­ing for a new job as well, it’s not easy…
– I’ve really the impres­sion you guys are wast­ing your time.You are not two teenagers any­more, you should try to be more mature…
– We are mature mum, we just don’t have a job…I have a job actually…it’s just that it’s hard to plan things for the future.
– Why don’t you come back home for a while. You can stay here and help your father.
– Dad is retired, how could I help him?
– Don’t be so aggres­sive with me. Did they give you at least a nice office where you can work for the next three weeks?
-…No, I will be doing my work from home.
– How do you mean?

He put the call on speaker and posed the phone down on the floor. Out­side it was more and more misty and the fog was ris­ing from the street to the top of the tower, like dust after an explo­sion. For a moment he could still see the pin­na­cles of the build­ings in front of him, but then every­thing turned white. He started feel­ing a bit lost and anguished; so he got up and he thought he had to call the secu­rity again. He put his fin­ger on the emer­gency but­ton, but then he stopped and he started look­ing at the milky white haze that had swal­lowed every­thing out­side. Celine Dion. He put his back on the slid­ing doors; he breathed.

- baby, can you hear me?
– …
– baby, are you ok?
– …yeah, I’m fine.

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2 thoughts on “Haze

  1. 1001 00101 says:

    There is only one thing worse then unin­ten­tion­ally mem­o­riz­ing parts of Celine Dion’s songs, and that’s to be asked about a real job. What is real sup­posed to mean?

  2. Colt Sievers says:

    this is what is hap­pen­ing to us, but it’s not just our per­sonal cri­sis, it’s the cri­sis of a job which shows how weak it is in front of major global forces.
    per­haps this is the right moment for pur­su­ing our per­sonal reinvention…?!

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on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2017-08-06 12:09:32

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multitude- multitude

on Survey

2015-04-01 13:27:31

[…] the spon­ta­neous responses to the last ques­tion of the sur­vey car­ried out in […]

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 18:10:56

@Colt Sievers I will be the first to agree with you on all counts. I would love to read that article. If you ever want to publish it on my blogg please do not hesitate to contact me.

Colt Sievers

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:58:10

@Conrad having worked in one of those offices that you mention, I have found your post as much provocative as naive and simplistic. I should make an entire post to explain why... will leave that for later. Thanks, anyway, to keep the discussion alive

Conrad Newel

on 12+ h. a day, 6/7 days a week

2015-03-23 16:45:07

Besides my terrible diction or lack thereof this raises another issue. Should we really feel outrage or sympathy for these interns? After all the ones who can afford to take these kind of jobs are the sons and daughters of the wealthy. What this letter is, is infact symbolic capital and social significance for sale. The rich kid can buy this piece of significance for among other reasons to go to a party and say to his less affluent counterpart, "hey I work for SANAA, or DS+R or whoever. Where do you work again?" Its a status symbol, just like a porsche, or a private jet. Affordable to a selected few that can afford it.