Everyone's asleep except me. And you.

The Atrium

The sun throws shadows from steel ribs that hold the glass ceiling in place: the shadows gives the sense of birds in flight, turning slowly with the earth’s rotation. Craning my neck up I recall the conversations I had here with my Dad.

They were among my first days at a new job in an unfamiliar industry; they were among his last days in this life. We both knew it, but we talked anyway of things that were unimportant.

He’d laugh and I’d feel good. Or he’d pause thoughtfully before offering advice and I’d nod carefully, really letting it sink in. But I don’t remember anything specific about those talks. Just that they happened and in retrospect feel as thorough and true now as they did then: full of presence not portent; now, not tomorrow.

They’ve remodeled that atrium since then. New shops line its walls. Walnut benches dot its center. The tile is crisper, whiter. But its lines are still the same. The light still comes down in shafts.

So I think of him when I walk through it: I stop and hear his voice, the fabric of it. It feels good. And I think of birds in flight.


Naming the Dragon