He measured on the east side with the measuring reed five hundred reeds, with the measuring reed round about. He measured on the north side five hundred reeds with the measuring reed round about. He measured on the south side five hundred reeds with the measuring reed. He turned about to the west side, and measured five hundred reeds with the measuring reed.

–Ezekiel 42:16-19

Chapter 7. With this letter to Philip Dare I knew February was turning…

With the let­ter to Philip Dare I knew February was turn­ing ug­ly, as ug­ly as a rain soaked ma­chine plun­dered acre could get, and it had be­come and would re­main not on­ly the cru­elest of the twelve that year but the most nos­tal­gic. But I had done it. I had fi­nal­ly re­tired from the field, as they say, the craven field where sticks and stones, time cards and ex­pense ac­counts, twelve pound sledge ham­mers and plumb bobs, tack balls and fresh­ly cut bun­dles of Amish hubs and guard stakes re­ly­ing up­on German tran­sits, theodo­lites, and EDFs to achieve the point on the grid where three di­men­sions of re­al­i­ty meet the op­pos­ing plans of the civ­il en­gi­neer, where rods and chains were not im­ple­ments of tyran­ny or plea­sure but were tools of mea­sure­ment that when used prop­er­ly did en­dow men with prop­er sig­na­ture, an em­blem­at­ic sway of pro­fes­sion­al­ism, the boast of stan­dard bear­er at the top of the heap on the con­struc­tion site, wore men down to the van­i­ty of a fiz­zle or a grunt, work­ing men hung over from drink the night be­fore, men and boys who, daz­zled in dream surges and the prop­er­ties of night flight and day jobs bare­ly worth their pay­check, al­ways had oth­er in­spired con­sid­er­a­tions to oc­cu­py their mind. From these things I had re­tired, and I had a let­ter from which to plot my for­mer cause. I was fin­ish­ing ten years in the field. Cold cock­ing Philip had suc­cess­ful­ly blocked me from the of­fice. But the toil of years giv­en no­tice. I need­ed to leave the dirt, the mud, the iron cold winds of near Pennsylvania. I need­ed to re­lieve my­self of the ag­gra­va­tion a sur­vey par­ty still graz­ing far out in left field with­out a work­ing sense of the math­e­mat­ics, who want­ed some­thing for noth­ing and noth­ing for what lit­tle some­thing they pos­sessed, who were quick to draw, but slow to re­coil, when serv­ing up any num­ber of rea­sons why a task should be done that way in­stead of this way, when the par­ty chief al­most al­ways won these de­bates, and when he heard a bet­ter way, was quick to shift course, com­mend the con­trib­u­tor, and swift­ly put boots on the ground in pur­suit of the new plan. I was nev­er a tyrant. Betsy and I in the ear­ly days of my com­plaints, used to ar­gue over this con­cept, of a rest­less crew is the re­sult of a faulty com­man­der. All I ever want­ed from my men was reci­procity, but the ar­gu­ments came every day. This crew of Welborn and Sworm must have fan­cied them­selves each a lit­i­ga­tor of the firm, Welborn and Sworm, for whiel I had served with oth­er ill-equipped per­son­el, I had nev­er met a pair of bare­ly lit­er­ate sur­vey­ors (ac­tu­al­ly Jesse “Chip” Welborn was a ripe out­doors­man with po­ten­tial), who seemed to be­lieve it their civic du­ty to dis­agree with every de­ci­sion that was made in the course of a sap surveyor’s cold day, no mat­ter how well-explained and counter-proofed. The in­sub­or­di­na­tion had got­ten worse. Nursing neu­ro­log­i­cal pains in my neck and shoul­der down in­to my left el­bow in­to my fin­gers, I had giv­en the cold wet sea­son months its due. Six of them had been tacked on­to my mor­tal sen­tence. I should have been pro­mot­ed in­to the Mildenberg & Mackey of­fice by now. I had had enough. The war was over. I played my trump. If I was too valu­able in the field, let them re­place me, and then still have to find some­one to move in­side. I was done. Keeping hours so foul that souls are lost in snap de­ci­sions, my own work of spir­it and mind would nev­er ma­ture if I did not make this change. Working for this out­fit would be my last days as a sur­vey­or. A par­ty chief had hung up his belt.

Gabriel Thy
109 18th St. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003

Re: Mr. Philip V. Dare
3300 North Ridge Rd. Suite 235
Ellicott City, MD 21043-5768

Dear Mr. Dare,

It is not with­out a cer­tain dis­may that I sub­mit this res­ig­na­tion for your ap­proval. The cir­cum­stances prompt­ing this move are not so diplo­mat­i­cal­ly ar­tic­u­lat­ed. Without com­pro­mis­ing can­dor I would on­ly sug­gest that the prob­lem of con­tin­ued em­ploy­ment with Mildenberg Mochi & Associates is one orig­i­nat­ing in my­self, not pre­cip­i­tat­ed by any overt trans­gres­sion by the com­pa­ny or its per­son­nel. As is well doc­u­ment­ed through ca­su­al and of­fi­cial oral ex­change with you and with oth­ers, I have long sought a cal­i­brat­ed change of venue. I have wea­ried of field ac­tiv­i­ty, and wish to ex­plore oth­er di­rec­tions in or­der to re­al­ize the full po­ten­tial of my skills and am­bi­tions. It has re­cent­ly be­come ob­vi­ous even to my­self that the qual­i­ty of my per­formed work is suf­fer­ing. I blame my nat­ur­al rest­less­ness, the)incessant need for change and a se­vere ur­gency to ex­plore the world of Macintosh graph­ics and desk­top pub­lish­ing for this con­tin­ued de­cline, and seek to rec­ti­fy the prob­lem by re­mov­ing my­self from the po­si­tion of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty I have shown in­creas­ing dis­in­ter­est in dis­charg­ing. I apol­o­gize for the im­pul­sive­ness this de­ci­sion must seem to you. The task has not been a sim­ple one to re­solve, but I trust that one’s wish to im­prove the qual­i­ty of his own life can in­deed re­ceive the good­will of his con­tem­po­raries.
Sincerely hop­ing you not find this let­ter pre­ten­tious or in any way, af­fect­ed, I pro­pose that you will sure­ly find a com­pe­tent re­place­ment for my slot. My work habits these past six months or so, I would like to be­lieve, did man­age to in­spire a re­spectable lev­el of ac­com­plish­ment in the field. Admitting that cur­rent de­fi­cien­cy of cru­cial raw mo­ti­va­tion has be­trayed me in many ways, I know I could have done a bet­ter job for you and the Company. Regrettably, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion mal­func­tions which have re­cent­ly plagued our work­ing op­er­a­tions mere­ly ac­cel­er­at­ed the process. But the na­ture of the job has fi­nal­ly tak­en its toll on me, drain­ing me of the vi­tal en­er­gy and live­li­ness nec­es­sary to re­al­ize a healthy re­turn on my in­vest­ment, that is to say, an in­vest­ment of time.
The good in­ten­tions laid out on the ta­ble dur­ing our ini­tial meet­ing last August were not lies, but high hopes. In the months since then I have sim­ply lost in­ter­est in fol­low­ing the path re­quired of a pro­fes­sion­al sur­vey­or. And one must not hes­i­tate when re­al­iz­ing where his own in­ter­ests, tal­ents, or in­cli­na­tions tru­ly do ex­ist. Thus I be­lieve I now must act up­on my own re­solve to re­gain con­trol over a life long deemed lost to the sway of mar­ketable skills.
As you would pre­fer, I am will­ing to ex­tend the oblig­a­tory two-week no­tice of res­ig­na­tion un­til the end of the month, mak­ing Friday, March 1, my fi­nal day of of­fi­cial em­ploy­ment. Good luck and thank you.

Yours sin­cere­ly,

Gabriel Thy
5 February, 1990

When I left Seizure World a year lat­er that re­al­ized I al­ways left a job when I had reached the lev­el I knew I would nev­er tran­scend while still car­ry­ing on with my life’s mis­sion.

Had pub­lished the first is­sue of the Independent Ward Sixer, and had won a seat on the ANC. We had a new may­or in the nation’s cap­i­tal for the first time in a coon’s age. Our Mayor-For-Life had fi­nal­ly stepped over a line. “Bitch set me up.”

“I am a great may­or; I am an up­stand­ing Christian man; I am an in­tel­li­gent man; I am a deeply ed­u­cat­ed man; I am a hum­ble man.” — M. Barry

“The con­ta­gious peo­ple of Washington have stood firm against di­ver­si­ty dur­ing this long pe­ri­od of in­cre­ment weath­er.” If on­ly he knew glob­al warm­ing had al­so set him up. Old poster from the 80s. Polar glac­i­er creep from the north.

“If you take out the killings, Washington ac­tu­al­ly has a very very low crime rate.”

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