The Rustle of Crystal

Ed put down the top of his foot slowly in the midst of the slush of melted snow that covered the gutter and the pavement on the streetcorner of Houston and Broadway. The packs of snow that were stamped firmly together had formed layers of frozen ice by the hundreds of anonymous, scurrying boots. The crystals of dense snow rustled as a part of of it broke under his weight. It caused him almost to slip and loose his balance, but in a rapid movement he threw his right hand in the air, as his heart skipped a beat. He was calm, his mind was empty still, full of the morning impressions of early traffic and pedestrians evading the collissions of their bodies whose vectors crossed each other in a Brownian web of chaotic movement. This order was as predictable as spontaneous, Ed confirmed.

The best part of the day is before eight in the morning, he thought, when a human can still hide in broad daylight and silence. The brisk air awakened his sense and the tacid light wrapped around it. It would be two more hours before New York had fully got into the pace of a city that never sleeps. Alas, so much of New York existed only in the past, or in the spheres of lower classes only, but here and now down town in the city, everything was still dorment. He finally stepped out of the cold, the heavy door slowly pulled itself shut, and the number on the elevator’s display decreased bitterly slow. This was perhaps the most impatient moment of his day, but before the doors opened, he had time to breath and become serene.

At floor seven, after the slide doors shifted aside, he pressed the four digit code for the door lock, turned the wing, and pushed the door open with his left shoulder. His flashed the magnetic id card against the digital lock of the office door. His routine in the morning was utterly strict, although he never bother to count his steps and mechanically repeat reproduce it. His blind instinct had become fully dominant and his body obeyed without objection. He must have pushed the door hundreds of times, at roughly the same hour in the day, for all the Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, the seven steps, the reach of his right arm, the pull of his left, another seven, eight steps to the left. Life was wonderful, because of the variations in a day, that came unexpectedly, and were hidden in unpredictable details, a few words of reflection by a dull colleague, the curved posture of a young female’s body for whom he felt no sexual innuendo before or after, a smile on a sour moment, the richness that life offered.

Ed pressed ctrl-alt-del with his little finger and two forefingers and without a conscious thought typed the random eight characters that formed his password in the last two months. He never thought highly of his capacity to remember things, yet his memory must have held about fifty random password,username character combinations and pincodes, email addresses, telephone numbers, and account information, including some lingering deprecated information, in length from five to ten characters on average. Yes, the human brain was a real wonder. His life continued by about twenty five steps toward the kitchenette that was located on the Mercer side. He filled the espresso machine’s filter with three spoonfuls and pressed the coffee tightly together. He twisted the handle of the filter firmly to the right, and pressed the power button and the start buttonse fluorescent lights turned on, at the the same time as the machine started sputtering freshly made coffee into the peer shaped white porcelain cup Ed always preferred. He added sugar and walked back to his desk where he started work. The rest of the day he would only get up a few times, certainly no more than five times in the day.

Then around five in the afternoon, he pressed ctrl-alt-del on his keyboard again, followed by a conclusive enter.

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