Exit: The Cubicle

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It was 2:30 on a Friday afternoon. Richard Pringle sat hunched over his computer. He worked as an Online Catalogue Manager in a large library in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. Richard loved his job, especially when new books would come in and he got to see what was new and popular before anyone else did. Richard took particular pride in the fact that he aided thousands of people who visited the library every day by keeping the massive online catalogue up to date so that library patrons could easily find the resources they were searching for. His background in Information Technology made him an increasingly good asset for the library. He was also chief troubleshooter if anything were to go wrong with the Integrated Library System. He knew the software back and forth. Richard did his job well and was generally respected by his coworkers. He took great pride in all of this.

Suddenly he felt himself being flicked in the back of the head, by one of the coworkers who did not respect him as much as he would have liked.

“Hey Ricky! What are you doing this weekend?” asked Horace Honeysuckle, an annoying colleague who worked in the acquisitions department.

Richard hated being called “Ricky.” A man who is given a dignified name should not try to shorten it. Richard couldn’t understand Horace, the enigma that he was. He did not have the first or last name required for being obnoxious, and yet it occurred rather frequently. He decided to grace Horace with an answer.

“The usual, perhaps I’ll actually finish the book I’m working on if there’s not much extra troubleshooting to do with the system over the next two days,” deadpanned Richard.

“That sounds super lame,” replied Horace, he made a gesticulation resembling shooting himself in the head and walked away laughing too loudly.

“Ding dong, the loser is gone,” deadpanned Richard to himself. He enjoyed deadpanning, he treated it like it was a defense mechanism. Finally he could get some real work done before two days of alleged paradise. Richard couldn’t understand why Horace thought that was a horrible way to spend them. What was he supposed to do with it? Climb Mount Everest? Richard was incredibly introverted and weekends are generally a mere two days long. To be completely honest, Richard figured he would sleep away most of it, spending it in an amazing dream, with an imaginary friend. Her name was Olive. She was beautiful all around, inside and out, as far as Richard was concerned, and she loved him deeply. He returned her love with enthusiasm, lacking any trace of fear. Richard wished Olive was real, then she could be his wife. It was so much different from real life, where even though Richard did well at work and life in general, he was alone in much of his off time. Neglected in the companion department at the age of 31. Richard rubbed his forehead. It could be worse, at least he still had his hair, though his dark brown follicles could use some sheering. He had lapsed into thinking too much. Fortunately he had yet to take his fifteen minute break, so if any of the librarians asked him why he wasn’t working at the moment, Richard had himself covered.

Part of him wished he could plan a truly epic weekend that would impress all of his peers, but he knew he wasn’t that kind of person. If Richard ever told his coworkers of his continuous dream, they would laugh at him. Richard’s credibility in the organization would be completely lost. He would definitely keep this part of his life under wraps so that he could continue to enjoy it as he saw fit.

Richard settled back into work to finish off the last two hours of his shift. Suddenly his phone rang. Richard picked it up promptly and answered with the standard greeting. “Good Afternoon, HaliCore.” Richard was not a fan of the library’s recent name change. It didn’t make sense. Someone had explained that since HaliCore was the central library in the Halifax Public Library system then they were the core for information exchange. Richard found this all a gimmick and confusing, but never the less he faithfully proclaimed the newly minted name, as of last month, every time someone called him.

“Richard!” Said the voice.

“David! What a pleasure to hear you once again.” Richard had not seen his brother in over a year. However, they exchanged phone calls at a reasonable pace.

“Richard, I’m in town this weekend, I was wondering if you might like to accompany me to Peggy’s Cove and then we would double back to my cabin in the woods of Blind Bay? What do you think of that? Brothers hanging out again!”

Richard briefly pondered the prospect. He had never been considered an outdoor person. However, David wanted to spend time with him. At two years Richard’s senior, David was much more appreciative of nature and physical exertion. There was much Richard could learn from this experience.

“That sounds like a great idea, David. When would you like to meet?”

“I’ll pick you up at your house at around 7:00 tonight. That will give us plenty of time to catch the sunset at Peggy’s Cove. Pack enough clothes for Saturday and Sunday.”

“Will do, David. This will be fantastic.”

“See you later, my brother,” replied David.

Richard hung up. The rest of the day flew by, with the prospect of the adventure ahead in mind.

When 5:00 rolled around. Richard caught Horace on the way out of the massive library complex.

“As it turns out Horace, I do have quite the epic weekend planned. I am going to be self sufficient in the wilderness!” Exclaimed Richard.

“Yeah, right. You in the woods. See you on Monday, if you come back at all,” Horace chortled.

Richard pushed passed Horace Honeysuckle. “I’m not about to let a man with a silly name ruin my spirits!”

“That’s interesting coming from a man who has the same surname as a potato chip company!” Horace spat out the final three words with exceptional mirth.

“Those are mere distant relatives who do proud work with potato products. I bid you adieu, Horace. I will survive and I will see you Monday, with a story to tell.”

The two parted ways in the parking lot. Horace headed for his Harley Davidson chopper at one end, Richard to his Chevrolet ultra hybrid model B777 prototype at the other end. Richard enjoyed alternative, off beat cars made by trusted car companies, but were not “standard hits” with the rest of the public. He started the engine and rolled discretely onto the street. His destination? Home, a split entry on Lacewood Drive close to all the amenities Richard would ever need via the Clayton Park area and Bayers Lake Industrial Park.

Richard arrived at his home without incident. He packed clothes and necessities for two days. This took all of five minutes, after which Richard awaited his brother David with an eagerness which he had not seen in himself in some time. An adventure was upon two brothers, and Richard was excited.

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