Thursday, September 21, 2006

The beginning of the novel I am working on now

The boss performed a small miracle at the copy-machine yesterday. A thousand loaves and fishes, both sides, collated.

I could do this on heavy stock paper too, he said, as we all gathered around dutifully applauding. But he said ta-da one too many times for my liking and I began taking tiny steps backwards to my cubicle. I was sitting down again and playing solitaire by the time he performed his next trick. No one noticed me gone, or at least no one said anything. I played solitaire and lost every hand and was down several hundred dollars in imaginary money before the boss’s show was over.

The guy in the cubicle next to mine told me about it later.

Nothing spectacular, he told me. He just turned water into hot cocoa again.

Our boss is like that: always showing off; always boring us with his omniscience and omnipotence and all of that. Once I cracked up the girls in Accounting by saying he was omni-impotent: ineffectual everywhere at once.

That was a good day. Everything I said that day seemed to get a laugh and people leaned against the wall of my cubicle like I was someone entertaining and worth hanging around with. I expected to be asked out for drinks after work, or a movie and even though none of that happened, it had still been a good day.

Today is not like that. Today I lose files and crash computers with reckless abandon. It seems as if a sort of electronic black cloud is floating above me, and at noon, as I am walking beneath a row of lights in the cafeteria, they all snuff out one at a time overhead as I pass. No one notices but me and that guy over there in the dark suit at the corner table. He looks up from dissecting his sandwich with white plastic utensils. He looks at me and smiles.

I go back to my cubicle, go about my business, wait for another day to end as if the supply of them is infinite.


Post a Comment

<< Home