The space is empty, his office hums with the stuff inside the walls; he is the first one here and this pleases him. He heads to the kitchen and checks the coffee machine. It is ready to start brewing that day’s jolt. He opens up the water container and takes a bottle of soya sauce out of his satchel and pours its contents into the water. The bottle shakes as he giggles, as he revels in the awfulness of what he’s doing, as he imagines the faces of everyone in this office who take their first sip of coffee in an hour or so and dream of nightmares never ended. I am such a child, he thinks, and he watches the last drop of soya sauce mix with the water, he watches the inkiness swirl in the innocent water, and suddenly he feels alive, he feels like he’s done his job for the day, he builds an image of productivity caused by unhappiness, of the resentment this will build, and how certain people channel their resentments into work, because after you’ve drunk soya sauce laced coffee, there is nothing else but your work, it is the only thing that makes sense, like the sight of land after being lost at sea, work becomes life, controllable, understandable, simple.
And he knows that everyone in the office will suspect him; there is no one here that would have the audacity, the need, to do what he’s just done. He knows this and it makes him oddly proud.