Crisp New Pages – Episode 5

Entry 43.1.51 – 11/16/2013

Gerald, You wont believe the perversions you saw today. It was horrible. It was grotesque. It was wrong. An abuse. A flagrant violation of the laws of our company, our society, and our decency.

This morning at around 10:15am you crossed the office from your desk toward the filthy office kitchenette for another mug of coffee. As usual you were feeding your gluttony and as usual you hugged the exterior wall around the office. The dated almond color of it makes you depressed. You know that route is slower but it keeps you from snaking through the gray cubicle maze filled with the conversation traps and question pitfalls you call coworkers.

In front of you, a sound leaked from the supply closet. A strange knocking sound coupled with toppling boxes of what must have been paper clips. At first you honestly thought we had rats. That pestilence had plagued you and Momma in our previous homes and it had always been your job to set the traps and deal with them afterward. Instinctively, you hurried to the dingy beige closet door and flung it open to investigate. To fix problems.

Inside you saw the disgusting writhing of bodies. You saw limbs tangled and mouths gnashing. The mass continued pulsing as if it hadn’t been startled by my presence. For a moment you were frozen. You had expected rats. You had expected filthy gray fur to be scampering to and fro across the boxes and floor of the closet. Instead you saw the herculean hand of Tom gripping the cotton candy hair of Carol. You saw her naked leg wrapped around his back. Her chubby fingers were feeling at his triceps.

Your gasp finally broke their concentration and for a moment you were in control. Their pathetic, deer-in-headlights stare was glorious. For once they were at your mercy and you had no mercy for them. Not for them.

You turned and stepped from the doorway making sure the sweaty, contorted forms of Tom and Carol were visible to your fellow staff mates. In a voice quite loud for you and with a zest you could barely remember ever feeling before, you shouted with all your moral righteousness, “Indecency. Indiscretion, fornication.”

Every head in the office turned and saw what you had seen. Every one of them witnessed this atrocity. Yet I was still alone. Carol ran from the closet in tears, trying to button the pants of her suit though her blouse still hung open under the jacket. Sandra from HR of all people, the person most versed in our company code of conduct, came to console her and help her back to her office. The hypocrisy Gerald, the hypocrisy.

At the same time you felt the filthy bear paws of Tom grip your cardigan and pull you in close. You could smell the Shalimar that had rubbed off onto him. He had spun you so quickly and with no warning, you went into shock and couldn’t speak. You heard angry sounds spring from his mouth and felt as other hands tried to pull you free from the mad man.

Gerald, your whole body shook from fear as you watched Tom stomp off in a rage. The stress. The helplessness. To your embarrassment, you threw up in front of everyone. All over the floor. On your shirt. Gerald, what were you thinking? You made some mighty big waves and you drowned, Gerald. You drowned.

Taking an early lunch, you ran home to change clothes. When you returned it was like you were a pariah. The entire office eyed you as if you were the one who had done wrong. You hadn’t been dirty. You weren’t the employer having relations with an employee. You weren’t the coworker putting his hands on another in anger. Yet in their eyes you were the one who had sinned. This office is an unjust place.

Do you want to know just how unjust Gerald? Do you? Carol called me into her office later that afternoon along with HR Sandra. Her anger was made plain by the color of her face, even through her clown makeup. She was crafty today Gerald. This was the first glimmer of strategy you had noticed in the dim squish of her soft brain. No, it had to be HR Sandra’s doing and not Carol’s. It just seemed so beyond her mental capacity. Sandra was smart. I used to have respect for her and her position in the company. Not any more. This is more or less how you were gutted today.

Carol called you in and asked you to sit which you did because you follow the rules of decorum in an office. She is still your superior, if only in title. Sandra was standing behind her desk with a hand on her shoulder both for emotional support and to temper Carol’s rage.

“Mr. French”, she said, with a smug, quivering smile creeping across her face, still puffy from crying. “I’ve decided that we don’t need any more observations for your employee review. I’ve seen more than enough. I’ll be filing the report first thing Monday morning. You’ll get your copy by Monday afternoon.”

You knew exactly what that meant. You did and you said nothing. This time though, this time you said nothing because there was nothing to be said. Patience and diligence Gerald. Patience and diligence. You could hold no more rage. You are going to fix this.

Time for bed now. You can fix this. You know you can. I just need to plan. Plans must be perfect. Precise.