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We were instructed to stop watering our office plants and to dispose of our lunches in specially designated garbage cans. But after the fruit flies came the roaches. They fell from the drop ceilings onto our desks. They flared their wings and hissed at people sitting on the toilet. Resignations skyrocketed. After the roaches came the cats. Hundreds of them roamed the halls, spraying urine on cubicles and scratching the office chairs to ribbons. Of the remaining employees, a small cadre of cat enthusiasts was delighted. After the cats came the ghosts, then the gnomes, then the goblins. Morale hit an all-time low. But after the goblins came affection. People held hands in the elevator, made out in closets, had sex on the table in the conference room. After affection came language. For three days I spun in my office chair and said “portfolio” over and over again as if I were working a block of clay. The folks in research preferred “recompense.” In business affairs, it was “committee.” After language came silence. Our voices were still in our throats. Our footfalls made no sound. The incessant ding of email stopped. After silence, we were moved to a new building. Most things returned to normal. But the bathrooms here aren’t as nice.