At work, there was a sheet of paper taped to the wall outside the toilets informing whoever it may concern that one of the cleaners that had retired a few months ago had died. Derek was his name, and he was South African. Truth be told we never had much to do with each other, but it didn’t stop me from forming a positive opinion of him. Our paths crossed mostly in the mornings with him going around sweeping and clearing up spillages as I stumbled about still half asleep questioning the meaning of life while listening to my iPod. He reminded me of an owl, just in terms of his face and slightly hunched appearance, and I guess because he came across as quiet and reserved. I never told anyone of this, though. Best to keep such things to yourself. Just imagine spending decade after decade working, and as soon you’ve reached the finish line and prepare to bask in the glory of retirement, you go ahead and snuff it? How awful, but then again, he lived longer than most, so I guess he had a ‘good innings’ as they say. I spoke to some of the guys about it as we stood outside smoking on our break. We shook our heads and agreed about how unfair it was, and then within a few minutes, the conversation changed to something else.