Working Downtown - An Essay

10:14 AM

I work on the fifth floor in an office on Main Street, downtown. I sit by a huge window looking out onto a cafe with a great breakfast special, apartment buildings where the pigeons congregate and the funniest people come and go. We have a grid system set up so we can call out when something funny is happening at a number and corresponding letter that matches a window. It's a little like Battleship and Bingo mixed together for people watching. There's an older woman who always wears a mumu and walks a Corgi in and out and in and out. She's one of my favorites. The skyline out my window is perfect; I'm just high enough to feel elevated, but not too high where people watching won't work. It's the perfect floor.

When I arrive in the morning, 4 out of 5 days of the week there is a paper going around for a breakfast delivery. We usually order from Toasters, a delicious coffee and sandwich shop that makes an amazing Nuetella Croissant. The delivery people know us very well there, and even though I don't order all the time, I know what my favorite things are.

Ambulances and trains and cars bustle past my big window all day long. People randomly rap or sing or dance while they are waiting for the crosswalk, others are rushing around and others just sit and wait for who knows what.

We walk to lunch most afternoons when we aren't so busy that we brought food to eat. I've gotten really good at navigating the city. I know where the best places to eat are, and they're not the places you hear about. They're the random little corners with mountains of fries and hot curry and the freshest sushi. My heels clatter as our group quickly walks to and from lunch, trying to take as little time as possible most days so we don't have to stay late. All the other business people are at lunch at the same time, so we grab take out instead of a table and hustle back to the office. We pass other people from our building and wave, rush across streets to make the light, and take shortcuts that I didn't know about a few months ago.

My favorite time in the office is when I'm one of the first, or the last, left. It's quiet, the city is quieting down, and the sun hits the buildings in the best ways.

Sometimes I'll be done at the office before Randy is done, and I have some wandering time. I have learned how to navigate the train almost flawlessly. I stand at crosswalks and can give directions to the confused couple next to me. I know how to avoid the people who are talking to themselves or the ones who are already drunk. I know there is construction right in front of one of my favorite pastry shops that could slow me down. I love the feeling of knowing where I am going, having memories on side streets and shops that I pass. I love the bustle of people at City Creek, and the feeling of answering emails while wandering through the stores.

I spend some of my wandering time at the beautiful place where I got married. I talk to people and help them if they are lost, answer questions about the Church, and ponder.

Working downtown and spending 40+ hours here each and every week has made me fall for the city. Knowing the numbered streets and how many blocks it takes to get to the best doughnut shops is a delight for me.

The bustle
The buildings
The people
And little old me.

I love it.

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