I’ve been quarantined for the week along with most of the rest of my co-workers at a training class up in the northern part of this city. It’s in a drab building of steel and glass, surrounded by a drab parking lot, encircled by a not-particularly-drab but also not-particularly-exciting interstate highway. Our classroom has a window to the outside, which is nice, though the glass is treated with something that somehow manages to make even the sunlight look drab. The interior smells by turns of Lysol antiseptic, salted popcorn, and exhaust fumes.
There are, I am quite sure, worse jobs than working in this drab building that smells faintly of exhaust fumes. Far worse jobs. But I think that still there must be something a little bit soul-destroying about working in a place that looks and feels like it is a rest stop on the interstate. I mean, at least rest stops have maps and park benches. This place just has parking lots and droopy shrubbery.
After tomorrow I’ll be back to working in my downtown office building surrounded by street vendors and crosswalks and suicidal Jimmy John’s bicyclists and park benches, and I’ll feel a little more human again. And sorry for the people who are still trapped with the exhaust and popcorn fumes in this depressing little enclave.