Anderson worked as a maintenance man for the Jump! Theater Group, a roving-by-disposition, immobile-by-budget band of artisans, directors and playwrights currently working out of a barely habitable warehouse (they called it a space in hushed, almost reverential tones when talking to outsiders, overly eager Turtle Bay philanthropist wives with ugly mink coats, interchangeable Chinese chauffeurs unwaveringly addressed as Charlie and a separate checkbook heading for Art!) on Manhattan's Lower East Side.
He didn't have a first name; well, he did, but since no application, identification or credentials were required for the job and since no one asked, they all called him Anderson, which was fine by him. They were involved with Projects! and Energy! and Vision! and were consequently too busy getting into and out of character to pay any attention to the guy who changed the lightbulbs. This, too, was fine by him.
Anderson realized early on in this gig that anonymity was a trait to be carefully cultivated because, as far as he could tell, he was the only person in the group actually getting paid. He thought this might be due to the condition of his work, that it was too menial by the group's standards to delegate to one of the many struggling playwrights who, despite having not finished a script since they turned vegan, still found work to be something that was simply done that bore no relation to their completed scripts. "It's the Struggle!" they would say, clutching their notebooks to their chests quite literally as a defense; like chain mail, woven from ink and smeared with the blood of a thousand editors.
Or quite possibly it was that, after the first week, Anderson had so successfully become invisible that the group thought the floor swept itself, or more realistically that they were so pure and driven in intent that they literally did not track the December slush into the warehouse, that they, Barrymore-like, had seduced themselves into such a state of perfection that they no longer felt any need for their feet to touch the ground. Either way, it came down to this: as the playwright said, the struggle was the point. Since Anderson wasn't at all conflicted and since he cared little for art or misery in any of its forms he might as well be paid to offset 'the spiritual desert living within him', as they put it.
So Anderson went about his work, confident in the fact that, as far as these people were concerned, he was a non-entity.
Winter dragged on in typical New York City fashion, spring came and went one day over lunch and summer adamantly refused to admit its lease had expired. As Anderson sat outside people-watching, half listening to the group inside, their artistic fervor dulled by humidity and flat Mountain Dew, and half listening to the sounds of his own digestion, trying to find a way to quiet it, to perfect his disappearing act, he had a realization. He saw quite clearly that he could simply leave, that he was being paid to not exist, that nothing he did or didn't do held any bearing on his staying alive. The group, in all its infinite wisdom, failed to notice the work he did, so it stood to reason that they wouldn't notice the work he didn't do either.
He stood, feeling completely and wholly free, and walked towards the East River, grinning, quite literally, like a Cheshire Cat.