I want to be around clean men, men I can admire openly. I want to adore them for their good hearts, for their honest effort. I want to be through with this yellow gray patch of my life.

Robert, one of the guys on the crew, walked by while I was reading and eating lunch at the office picnic table. I didn't look up until he was a few feet from me. He was looking at me already; we made eye contact. He blinked, then smiled so simply and clean that it surprised me. The lowest guy on the totem pole here, just a builder, always has gritty, grease-stained hands. By office standards, he is cheap and replacable. He's the only person here who ever asks me what I'm reading.

I started my period while at work today, early on, inescapable. I feel like somebody kicked me in the back, like somebody took my belly in their hands and twisted it - the dull, stinging after-ache of an attack. I cleaned the printer yesterday. ("Well, when's the last time you guys cleaned it? "Uh, never."} I made a little watercolor picture with the blue, green and yellow ink of the used Q-tips. Streaks and curves, multi-colored printer blood.

Breaks at work are necessary. Otherwise, you start to hate your boss, not just as your boss,
but with a serious human-to-human hate. Then you start to hate your life. Then you know you have to leave.

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