Tuesday, October 19, 2004

What an idiot

When I got to work Monday morning Jazz was at her desk. I walked by but she didn’t look up. I went in the kitchen for a cup of coffee, looking at her as I passed. Still, she didn’t look up. I got my coffee, said something stupid and mindless to her broker who sits in the office across from her. No response from her. Fuck.

I went back into my office and called her on an outside line. She didn’t pick up. I got back up and peeked out. She was staring right at me. I motioned with my hands as if to ask, “Are you gonna pick up?” She gave me that “You poor, pathetic creature” look and shook her head.

I called again. This time she answered.

“Good morning. Thank you for calling Big Financial Firm. This is Jasmine.”

“I’m so sorry. Honest. Did you get my messages?”

Painfully long pause. “Yes, sir. I got your message.”

At this point I saw Sarah come in for work and sit down to log on. I had to lower my voice. “I told your crazy sister to tell you to call me. Jim came and got me. It was 5:30, Jazz, I wasn’t in my right mind! Come on, please, talk to me.”

Surely she would understand that. It’s not illogical to see how I wasn’t coherent on five hours of sleep, right? And why the fuck didn’t she call me back yesterday. If Cruella didn’t give her the message I’ll wring her scrawny neck. “Why aren’t you talking?”

I waited. And waited. Goddammit. I hung up the phone and not so nonchalantly stepped into my doorway and looked right at her.

Sarah said something obnoxiously chipper to which I grunted in response. Jasmine got up and walked out the back door which leads to a hallway where the restrooms, elevator and snack machines are located. Feigning a bladder emergency, I followed suit.

I expected her to escape into the ladies room, expected to have to chug water from the fountain for however long it took her to come back out. Instead she headed toward the elevators and pressed the call button.

I stepped beside her though it seemed she was oblivious to my presence. The ding went off and the far set of doors opened. She stepped on and I followed her. Once we were alone I gave her my best evil eye for running from me. She pretended not to be intimidated but we both knew she really was.

“Stop staring at me.”

“I can’t.” That wasn’t what I’d meant to say, it just popped out. I should have come back with something sarcastic but I wasn't on my game.

When she gave me that agitated look that I seem to earn so frequently all I could do was wait for the reprimanding I knew I deserved. The elevator reached the top floor and stopped. She hit “G” and when the doors closed again she turned to me.

“You haven’t done anything wrong, Jay. But it was nice to see how you handled it when you thought you had.”

And that was it. What the fuck? "Seriously?" I'm not in trouble? What in the hell do I have to do to get in trouble, knock up her sister? Now there's a disgusting thought.

She touched my fingers before the elevator landed back on the floor and when the doors opened I let her off first. She walked toward the restroom and tossed back to me, “By the way, babe, Bianca has my birthdate wrong in the newsletter. I told you it’s the 18th, not the 17th. That’s today.”