He continued reading:

“Day 144. I placed an old newspaper over the railing in the stairwell to my office because I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s not being cleaned, which dates back to the mummified cockroach I found up there a few months ago. It may have been roach royalty, placed there to maintain the use of his body in the afterlife, but it was still incredibly disgusting, and I had to clean it.

Since I’m practically the only person who takes the stairs rather than the elevator, I’ll time the janitorial crew to see how long it takes them to discover and remove the paper. If my suspicions are correct, it will be here longer than I am.”

The next block of pages had been torn out, and the writing continued on Day 288.

“The newspaper is still there, having yellowed imperceptibly over the course of my experiment. I find it astounding that the stairwell hasn’t been cleaned in so long–the janitor’s assertions to the contrary notwithstanding. Perhaps it’s emblematic of my time here, which has often seemed like a hamster wheel. Didn’t I process these same reports some time ago? I feel like the neverending torrent of paper passing through my life has begun to twist in on itself like an Ouroboros. That’s not a good thing to feel, that one is as disposable as that newspaper and just waiting for a clean-up to realize it.”

As he turned the page, a loose sheet fell out. It’d been rudely shoved in and bore a date too far beyond the last one in the book (which cut off just short of 900).

“Day 2018. The paper is still there. THE PAPER IS STILL THERE. It should be ribbons by now. I know a thing or two about paper and it should be disintegrated but it’s not. It isn’t! I’m beginning to wonder if it isn’t lightening, reverting to its new state, and if I won’t soon be compelled to remove it while descending the stairs backwards. I…I need to get out…”

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