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#42: Grace

#42: Grace
Odd Spot - The Age 

Maurice appears, and Doug knows it is time to move. It is uncommon for him to be on the fifth floor, a space reserved for those in Maggie's good books, something Doug simply can't do. He can't force a laugh during the morning meeting where she holds court and expects her guards to find her amusing. Doug will suffer the common folk on the first floor.

But today is a rare day for him. In fifteen years, he's only ever once been on the fifth floor. He slips past a gay couple holding hands and enters the large space, the space where the Cubists are located.

He knows these paintings exist, as all the promotional material features these images. Standing on the black mat, Doug adjusts his jacket and aligns his posture. So far, time has flown by. The people are different here, more attentive to the works of art and less concerned with scrolling on their phones. The couple, still holding hands, don't even have their phones out. He spends his days down on the first floor counting the number of people not holding their phones and rarely gets beyond one-hundred in an eight-hour shift. A mother and teenage son come in and only the boy has a phone, but seems to hold it because his skinny jean pockets are wafer thin.

They stand in front of the paintings and take it all in. Downstairs, it seems to be a race, snapping a photo in record time before moving on.

Doug resolves to get in Maggie's good graces, if only to experience life on the fifth floor.