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Submitted by
Ann Rosenthal, Student, Queens College

The Guy in the Blue Suit


     From my office window I saw this guy in a blue suit walk out of one of the dark clouds. He looked like he just got off the elevator and found himself on the wrong floor. Then he disappeared into the sky.
     I followed my co-workers down the steps. Some of them had already gone all the way down to the black marble lobby and were coming up again to look for others. “Did you see Cheryl, the timekeeper?” one of them asked.
     After, I’d catch a movie.
     I followed my co-workers down the steps. Some of them had already gone all the way down to the black marble lobby and were coming up again to look for others. “Did you see Cheryl, the timekeeper?” one of them asked.
     The security guard in the lobby shouted –go north- and everybody from my building crowded into the street and moved in the direction of my podiatrist’s office, which was three blocks north. I decided not to go. I got away from them and bought a newspaper from this guy whose stand was always open no matter what happened, like the last big snow storm, or the almost hurricane. I would look up movies and head in a different direction. Maybe, there was a good comedy playing.
     I sat down on an empty park bench and noticed people from other buildings streaming toward the Express buses that wait at the edge of the park. They started shouting to each other –“The buses are going out service!” So they changed direction and herded themselves to the foot of the bridge. “Hurry before it closes!” a woman yelled.
     A group of fat park squirrels began to swarm around me on the park bench. They were looking up. The guy in the blue suit had just floated by. He was still figuring out how he got off on the wrong floor.
Paper

     The sign-in sheets, You Got A Telephone Call pads, instructions to staff, stock quotes, bills, Xerox papers, faxes, Post-It packs, pink, blue, lined/unlined, the paper insides of locked supply cabinets and confidential files fluttered over us like the wings of birds. You could hear them in the quiet of the aftermath. They, like us, were headed for a better destination. Until we ran a few blocks, and like tickertape gone haywire, these papers swooped in and cut the faces of the two ash covered people I found myself with. The slashes on their gray skin turned to bright red.
     A yellow legal pad, like the one I couldn’t get earlier that morning, tripped my feet. “Only one legal pad per person, per week,“ Cynthia our office supply coordinator had insisted. “You already got one this week. Come back next Tuesday.“
     Where was she now I thought, her office universe dismantled, crazy, and thrown into the street. I kicked the pad and kept running.


—Ann Rosenthal, Queens College