Feb 012008
 

Messy food. I hate it. I could never even fully embrace sloppy joes when I was growing up, and isn’t that like, the dream meal of youth? Any meal that requires a napkin the size of a tarp spells out tedium to me. Maybe if it were cubed into bite-sized morsels and someone wearing a tophat and tails spoonfed it to me, I’d have applauded happily like the children in the Mamwich commercials. Then we could call them lazy joes.

I hate the sensation of cookie dough between my fingers. “Now’s the fun part, kids! Get your hands in there! Make a mess!” No thanks, please pass the latex gloves. I think maybe this is why I never got into pottery.

Tonight at work, we ordered out. I put a lot of thought into it, as I generally do with everything in life, before settling on a half of an eggplant parmesan hoagie. In past experiences, these hoagies have not been kind to me. You have your rebellious slivers of egglant, slipping off the sandwich and landing in your lap with a greasy plop. You have your strings of melted cheese, pliant and elastic, snapping in half and busting you in the cheek like a broken rubber band. You have globs of marinara that wants desperately to be your new lipstick. You have pieces of bread, paste-like once it mingles with the saliva, becoming caps for your front teeth.

This time, I was prepared. My desk was equipped with a stockpile of napkins; I halved the hoagie; I took slow, small, and careful bites. With luck, I can finish my second half without appearing as though I just ate out a streetwalker with a can of tomato paste plugging her vagina.

Dec 122007
 

I am naive. I never know when someone has a crush on me, I keep thinking Days of Our Lives will get good again, I think my cats will live forever.

And I never considered the possibility of retaliation after the Pig Mask Showdown.

I spent the first six hours of last night’s shift being psychologically heckled and taunted by Kim. “What’s wrong, Erin? Scared?” Her voice had a chilling cadence that made me suck air past my teeth. I panicked every time she left her desk and was out of my sight. I jumped at the sound of every padded footstep.

Three times she successfully scared the piss from its sac last night. Three motherfucking times.

1. I was sitting at my desk, working diligently like I do, when I felt the sensation of being watched. A quick turn to my right showed me Kim standing right next to me, right next to me, holding out a pen in prime poking position. I screamed. She laughed and said, “God, I wasn’t even trying!”

2. I had scooted over to Eleanore’s desk so she could show me something on her screen. When I wheeled back to my desk next door, I noticed several small wads of paper had congregated on the floor under my seat. Wow, I made a mess tonight, I thought as I went back to work. Seconds later, I glimpsed an airborne paper ball in my peripheral. Kim! I jumped out of my seat and craned my neck, trying to look over top of her desk, thinking for sure that she was crouched down in the hallway on the other side. I turned around to tell Eleanore I was going to get to the bottom of it when I saw her. She had flattened herself against the small partitioning that separates my desk from the day-shift woman who sits next to me and sucks back snot like a Teamster.

Kim was doubled over, face red in silent laughter. She had been chucking folded-up scraps of paper over the partition and running her pen up and down it, in hopes of baiting me to peek around. I don’t know how she was able to stay so quiet! I’d have been snorting and squealing and breathing heavily. I called her a little bitch and ran away.

3. During the last hour of the night, I was regaling Collin and Bob with tales of the pizza guy I was stalking (they were hanging on my every word, believe me). I had my back toward the hallway while visiting them in their area, and it was the perfect set-up for Kim to walk all the way around the perimeter of the department and shove something (fanned papers? I was too scared to notice) in my face while shouting. It was so startling that even Bob was jolted.

I had roller coaster heart for the rest of the night and slept with my lamp on. Kim should be a ninja. Or at the very least, a CIA agent.

Today, I walked into work, determined to give her the silent treatment—you know, the most mature tactic I’m capable of—when she said, “I saw these today and thought of you so I bought them!” and tossed a pair of awesome red-and-white striped fingerless gloves layered over a black pair onto my desk.

She’s always fucking with my emotions and I fall for it every time. Because I’m naive.