As I mentioned in a previous post, I am currently working in downtown Victoria’s Central Building. I failed to mention, however, that the Central Building is affectionately known to many as the “Save the World Building”, since it is home to Non Profit Organizations, including the Woman’s Sexual Assault Center, City Green Solutions, the Victoria Symphony and a host of other agencies which strive to make this city a better place. To say that it is one of the most unique environments I have ever worked in would be an understatement.
The people who work here are generally very warm and friendly: smiles abound as one walks through the building’s carpeted guts. Many of the people here walk around barefoot, contributing significantly to the overwhelmingly placid vibe that circulates throughout the entire place, lulling all who work here into a state of calm, yet alert, serenity: it could be described as a microcosm of the greater Victoria area.
Standing in stark contrast to the serenity, however, is the new resident of a smaller office on the second floor. Throughout the month of November, a number of tradesmen readied the office for his arrival. A professional painter was the first to arrive. In a matter of days, the once white walls of the office were covered by a thin enamel of gun grey paint. Later, Shaw Cable paid the empty office a visit, providing its future resident with a portal to the World Wide Web. But it was the final addition to the office which was, by far, the most curious. On November 25, an emaciated man with thick spectacles spent the latter half of the afternoon trying to find the perfect spot to hang a large portrait of two serious looking Russian aristocrats. When the portrait was finally hung, the man locked the door to the office, checking it twice, just to be sure, and took the elevator down to the main floor. He quickly vanished.
I spent the next several days speculating upon who the mystery tenant might be. By the time December 1st finally arrived, I was driving myself insane with possibilities: the tenant surely did not disappoint. I went to the washroom early that day, and was sure to stop in front of his office on my way. A hypnotic intensity radiated through the door’s frosted window pane, which shook with a barbarous, yet eloquent voice on the other side: “Look, Don, I know exactly where you stand on this, but I’m trying to throw you a bone here.” “…” “I don’t care! You told me Wednesday and I expect to see it Wednesday. This is an absolutely inane way to conduct yourself, let alone your business!” “…” “I don’t have time for this. I am letting you go right now. Goodbye.”
I giggled as I reluctantly resumed my walk to the bathroom. It was difficult to open the washroom door since my hand shook in response to the large dose of adrenaline that was coursing through my bloodstream. “This is gonna be fun” I said aloud to myself as I pretended to wash my hands.
I now drink over three litres of water every day in hopes of maximizing my visits to the second floor. If the bathroom is occupied, I stand outside the door of the mystery tenant. I haven’t seen him yet, but from his silhouette, I gather that he is about five feet tall, weighing over 236 pounds. He has single-handedly injected a dynamic vitality into the entire building. My output has doubled, which is surprising when taking into consideration the fact that I go to the bathroom every half hour or so.