High Rise

The rain fell. The wind blew. It was a terrible day, all things considered, to be outside.

Still, Tyrell stood in his rain jacket, a large fluorescent yellow X crossing the back. He held his finger down on a button, and the rigging rose.

It was a slow process, rising to the twelfth floor. The long, flat platform made a whirring sound, gradually pulling itself up the outside of the building, the wind occasionally pushing it too close, and the worn rubber on the inside of the metal protected the glass, for now. It should have been replaced months ago, but it was still doing the job, the company said, so no need to replace it just yet.

Tyrell waited, his finger holding down the button. Eighth floor. Okay. Hello people inside. I’ll pretend not to look at you. Including you, you creepy old man staring out at me, licking your lips like that. Why. Why old man. I’ll be past you soon. Thank god.

Ninth floor. Oh, hello. Turn this way, madam, you do look so nice. Come on. Please? Turn here? I never thought I’d say this, but those are some damn fine calves. Okay. Okay, don’t turn then. So long, pretty lady.

Tyrell turned away, keeping his finger on the button. He looked out at the city, slowly coming into view around him. The best part of the job was the view. The worst part was the damn wind and rain, he thought. Whatever. I’ll survive it.

Finally, the twelfth floor was reached. He pulled his finger off the button, and the platform came to a standstill. Another gust of wind blew, but Tyrell was used to it. He had his “sea legs” as the old fellow who had trained him called it. Different motion, same feeling. Tyrell’s first few days had included plenty of nausea, and a vomit or two over the side. It just gave a few more hours’ work.

He grabbed the pole and brought it up to the window, soapy water falling off. He streak it across, cleaning what little grime remained after the rain. It made little sense to Tyrell, that he needed to work on days like today. But, he thought, I’m not the boss, and I’m not the contract. No nevermind to me.

He kept pulling the sponge across, then flipped the pole around to squeegee the window clean. Then he moved on to the next one.

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