There was this awesome seafoam green desk for sale at my job. A retro metal kind from the ’50s, like one that a teacher would prop his feet on and wish was mahogany, while the students were busy writing lines. It had nicks and scratches in just the right places, deep drawers perfect for stowing hatchets and paper clips, and rounded edges so my kid wouldn’t bust his head open.
The original asking price was $20. I’d slow my pace each time I went outside for a break, dragging my fingertips over the top in admiration.
“I really have to have this,” I would tell Bob and Collin each and every time like clock work. I’m sure they cared.
A few days later, a fat red line was struck through the $20, and a tempting $15 was scrawled above.
“Holy fuck, that’s a steal of a deal,” I thought in amazement.
By Friday, it was on sale for TEN DOLLARS.
Last night, I told Henry about it.
“For what?” he asked when I whined about having to have it.
“Just to have!” It’s annoying when I’m expected to have a reason for everything.
He rolled his eyes and said I could alert the guards today that I wanted to buy it. I channeled my inner-adult and decided it would be a Good Idea to maybe measure the thing first, make sure we’d have room for it. Kim just happened to have a tape measure in her purse, because she’s the best boss ever.
I ran out to the hall excitedly. Then I stopped and spun around.
The fucking desk was gone.
I asked the guard if someone bought it and she very ambivalently said, “Yeah, I guess.”
“Could you find out?”
And she walked away. She probably had better things to do, like fighting cubicle crime and shaking down vending machines.
I came back to my desk, holding back some serious tears. Honest-to-God salty eye-water. I couldn’t stop picturing the desk in various positions around my house; sometimes there would be rivulets of candle wax flowing over the edges, other times it would be flanked by an armada of merlot while wearing a spread of fine European cheeses
Yet another dream unrealized.
“Here,” I mumbled, handing the tape measure back to Kim. “I won’t be needing this.” I waited for her to ask why not. She didn’t, but I continued on as if she had.
“Because someone bought it.” I waited for the condolences to roll in.
“Oh, too bad.” And she turned her attention to much less important matters, like work.
“I wanted to sit at it and pretend like I was a PI,” I said quietly. Dayshift Brandie laughed and Kim muttered, “You gotta love her. I don’t know why, but you just do.”
I’m angry at the lack of sympathy I’m receiving over my loss.