I was dreading the call. The phone rings. I know it’s for me, but I wait for someone else to answer. Rehearsing the talk in my head, I grab the phone and went into the conference room. Shut the door behind me.
Breaking up isn’t easy. Even if it is with a client. You can say it’s not a big deal, that it’s just business. But business is personal.
I am pacing around the table gesturing to no one. Making my case, laying out the rationale. It’s better for both of us. We are changing, you are changing. I stop at the door to the balcony and blankly stare at the bus stop as the voice on the phone says, “Yes, but…”
I remind myself to stay strong, staring at the LexTran poster on the building across the street. “Monte con su bicicleta,” it reads. I notice a man walking past the bus stop. Something about his gait catches my attention. Clad in a baseball cap, a dress shirt, and baggy cargo shorts, he also wears a hurried and anxious look.
The voice on the other end of the phone stops. I reiterate my points as I lap the conference table again. Why our companies need space. Why this other agency is better organized to service their needs.
I return to the window and pause. The man below turns on Loudon and heads toward Thornton’s. He looks so uncomfortable. He stops. He puts his arm out looking for support – as if he is leaning against a wall. But, there is no wall. He leans over slightly, shudders, and shakes his head back and forth violently. Slowly, he straightens up and looks around. He adjusts the leg of his shorts with a quick shake. A turd falls out. On the sidewalk.
I put my hand over the phone and run back into the office gesturing wildly and soundlessly yelling: “He’s shitting. The guy out there. He’s shitting on the sidewalk.”
I don’t remember the rest of the call. We broke up and are both better for it.