Julia has given notice.
“Seems unfair, don’t you think?” I say. “Just taking off like that?”
Julia smiles the secret, internal smile of the recently paroled. “The instrument that would measure my regret,” she says, “has yet to be invented. You are on your own.”
This strikes me as a reasonable comment.
“Are you excited? For the new job?”
“I have to admit,” she says, “that I’m not so much thinking of that as I am of the buffer week I took between the old job and the new one. “
“Mmmm,” I say. “Delicious, unstructured time.”
Julia stares past me, out the window on the 48th floor. “It’s weird,” she murmurs. “I feel like I’m already gone.”
I smile. “Maybe you are,” I say. “Maybe this is all a dream.”
“Oooooh,” she says.
“Maybe you should give me all your money,” I say.
“Exactly,” I say.
She smiles vaguely, visions of her last day obscuring her vision. “I’m just having a hard time, you know, focusing. It’s like –.”
I watch as she stops talking, stares out the window onto the vista of the northwest corner of Minneapolis, a blindingly bright blue and white panorama.
I laugh at her as her smile broadens and she struggles and fails to pull her gaze from the outdoors.
Good ol’ Julia.
She’s already gone.