INTENDING MR. CADKINS
Intending to find everything in order, I entered this
last room with a thought - what if I suddenly
could find nothing at all? The ceiling had leaked
some, since last I was here, a yellowed thin pattern,
a flow down a flaw. Did not make me happy to see,
that. The reinforced window glass - it was that kind
with the wire-mesh embedded - resembled nothing
so much as an opaquing and fading of a prison window,
or at least some awful factory scene. The clank and
jumble of the one person elevator faded. The gates
were shut. I was alone enough to be really alone, and
figured - if I smoked - this would be the time and
the place for that. Over in the desk-copy area, the place
was dead : no one had lifted a cup or a page in ten years.
I vaguely remembered, about that long ago, Mr Cadkins
always sitting there with his fat cigar. He counted things.
He was always writing in ledgers. Now, he's gone - heart
attack two years ago at 71. Too bad. I only heard of it by
asking how he was. Bill Barelly simply made mention.