Really liked your post so I've submitting this thing I wrote this morning that's a part of a larger story that complements well the sentiments in your original post.
What Jeannie needed wasn’t a drink like most people at this time. What she could really use was a fresh coffee. But she didn’t drink coffee this late. So what she really needed was it not to be evening, and then a coffee.
She thought of her situation in Westcity. Something about her apartment. She couldn’t work inside it so she always went to a cafe.
She had heard of these coworking spaces popping up, over the country, but none had opened up here yet. She’d join one over in Seattle. Or actually, she wouldn’t need to because the WaPo would give provide her an office. If not an office at least a desk. She had no idea how important she would be there. Probably not at all. And that was why she was going. She was the big dog here. Which meant little room for growth.
8 pm was closing in. Normal people were finished with work and winding down for bed. The only people working at this hour would be the super successful and unhealthy college students. She wasn’t neither, but she was closer to the latter. Yet she identified more with the former.
She really saw herself as a boss more than a regular employee. But her pay didn’t reflect this so she felt spiteful working at such hours. She forced herself to go have fun. Grab drinks with the team. Yet, that’s not what she personally would choose to do. It wasn’t her decision at all but more the role she was cast to play.
She looked around the cafe. Everybody looked like tired people on laptops. She needed to escape the lethargy and this blaring noise that the cafe liked to always blast.
A call came. It was Tech. He was wondering if she wanted to grab a beer.
She went for the beer. But after having two she went home. It was dark by the time she got there. And she packed a duffle bag and went back out to the car and checked into a hotel. Not a dingy one, but also not a nice one. It was off the side of a highway where the constant sound of cars passing became white noise. She stayed up all night working.
In the early morning she checked out and returned to the apartment for some sleep. She woke up around 8 and went straight to the cafe. She’d planned on getting back to work but she sat reading a book instead while drinking two cups of coffee. By the time noon came around she didn’t feel like working anymore. She felt like a long lunch.
After lunch she took a nap and woke up to the evening sun casting a mellow subdued mood onto Westcity. Jeannie stared out into the colorful buildings through her sunglasses while standing out on her balcony.
She wished Imogen would text her. They had such a good conversation a couple days ago, but Jeannie knew the old Imogen. The old Imogen was not the type to reach out on her own even if she craved to. The old Imogen was someone who would wait for the other person to reach out to them.
Jeannie hoped that Imogen had grown since then. JEannie figured that Imogen had… just in other ways, but in this way Imogen seemed the same. Some traits just weren’t meant for some people.
Her days were beginning to fall apart.
For her last story, she wasn’t required to be at the office during regular hours. It was no longer like her first days where she was at BalloonHouse 9-5 Monday through Friday. Now she was on her own. Rogue. And without structure her days were starting to fall apart. Nobody else knew though. She figured that they figured she was always in some cafe 9-5 working all day. For some reason they thought she was some super productive person. If only they knew, she thought.
8 PM was already approaching. Again. What had she done since the last time this moment was here? Time felt like it passed without asking her permission, like her time wasn’t even hers The only productive time she had had was at the hotel, but she didn’t want to pull another all nigher in a nondescript hotel. Though she was willing to if that’s what it would take.
IS that what it would take? She thought more about her unraveling schedule. Her unfixed days. This was just the beginning. She wouldn’t make it, wouldn’t be able to finish her last BalloonHouse story and not be in working shape for the WaPo when she showed up to Seattle. She was turning back to her college self. Soon after this last thought sunk into her belly, she stopped thinking and left the apartment.
She drove to that same hotel again, this time without a duffel bag. She knew she wouldn’t be there long. Just several hours.