Sam punches the clock at eight. Shortly thereafter he crawls through a web of memos in passive-aggressive tones. Upcoming deadlines dot his plain desktop calendar, so he fills another cup of joe. Tuesday’s powerpoint and quarterly review roll in and out of memory. Sam’s glassed over eyes would draw attention, but all are focused on the suits. He blinks and lunch is already gone.
Drones, fueled by coffee, tap away at their keyboards through the afternoon to keep the machine churning. Sam closes his eyes and can almost liken the sound to the surf washing over shallow sands, but it is not yet time. He is bound to this place, these buzzing fluorescents. The starch of Sam’s shirt, the very tie around his neck constricts his lungs and yet he dons them day after day. Hours have given way and Sam is speedwalking out the shiny revolving door.
Sam’s white civic darts from lane to lane as he races the sun to the horizon. He arrives at the portal to his other life. The familiar chill of damp rubber stretching over his skin brings Sam’s mind back into the present moment. His fins in hand, Sam jogs across the sand. Ocean rushes to greet him and he rolls around the shore break for a fleeting moment of regression.
He swims out through the breakers, squinting into the quickly fading orange glow. Reaching the place where the swell’s energy loses touch with the Ocean’s floor he settles his body across the choppy surface. Sam melts into the sway of the sea. The emails, handshakes and starchy shirts are all someone else’s memories, foreign. They’re no more able to touch him in this place than the clouds reaching for the Earth. He aches for the Sun to hang still in the sky, for the tide to forestall its retreat and for his last wave to stay open and glimmer just a few moments more.