The god of the office watches snow

The god of the office stands on the balcony and smokes a cigarette and watches the snow.

He thinks many things at once.

He thinks, I’m giving these up for Lent, like last year. Although he is not Catholic, the god of the office is embracing the idea of giving things up, and he is tired of stinking. Also, he was at the dermatologist last night and age came crashing down on his head like a freak wave; his arms in his reflection in the mirror in the cold doctor’s office lighting said, get to the gym on a regular basis; the basal cell carcinoma on his shoulder said, eat more anti-oxidants, and so on.

All the old-guy stuff all of a sudden.

It’s always sudden, although it never is.

At least I don’t have thick, yellow toenails yet, thinks the god of the office.

The god of the office stands on the balcony and watches the snow. I did a good job with snow, if I say so myself, thinks the god of the office. It looks good when it’s little dry flakes, and it looks good when it’s big wet flakes. Kids play in it and the Inuit make shelters from it.

Snow reminds the god of the office of Japan, when it’s thick on the branches of pine trees. Japan reminds the god of the office of moss and snow and autumn leaves and the frog jumping into the pond, plop.

The god of the office thinks of Shinjuku station, milling with millions of commuters in a hurry. Where’s the moss and snow there?

We carry it with us, say the commuters.

The god of the office thinks about the world’s current business model:

  1. Entertain them: news, bread and circuses, TV shows, social media, like that.
  2. Scare them: drugs, poverty, unemployment, terrorism, precarious employment, marginal health care, artificial scarcity in the midst of abundance, due to unfair distribution of wealth.
  3. Keep them stupid and confused: crappy education, bullshit economics, TV news, etc.
  4. Keep them divided and distracted: racism, social issues, religion, class, and all that.
  5. Profit!

Maybe free will wasn’t such a good idea, he thinks. He shrugs. Too late now.

The god of the office watches some snow fall off a branch, and he watches a winter crow.

Why don’t you fly south, he asks the crow.

Because we’re crows, says the crow.

The god of the office puts out his last cigarette, and looks at it. I will miss you guys, he thinks.

2 responses to “The god of the office watches snow

  1. b

    When I gave up smoking I went to Pennsylvania to stay with relatives for a long weekend and didn’t take any smoking accoutrements with me. Before I left, I got rid of my ash can (I smoked outdoors only and put the butts in a Folgers can) and I gave away my lighters. Going to PA put me out of my usual habitat and routine, which helped a lot, and coming home to a place without smoking-related items also helped. I think I moved my favorite ‘smoking chair’ from the porch, too, just so I wouldn’t look at it with longing. Also, I chewed mint gum when I felt like I had to have SOMETHING, and it seemed to ameliorate the situation.

    I had quit many times before that but it never stuck. I’ve gone 9 years without a cigarette but oddly I still crave them sometimes. The reverse of that is when I pass someone who is smoking in public, the smell makes me nauseous.

  2. cj

    Good for you! Basal cell is a slow grower… Cigs give you bad breath and cancer.
    I’m not Catholic and I’m doing (trying to do) Lent this year, too. I chose to give up booze and cursing. I’ve been mostly good… eh, we’re all sinners… Just trying to be less good at it. Good luck ;)