This One Time, 105

This one time I was sitting in my veal pen, going through the desk drawer for all the scraps of papers and scraps of pens left for me by the previous resident. The cubicle walls were peppered with pushpins that held up nothing. Not surprising, as walls like this, the cloth ones with what has to be something like a sawdust core, don’t actually hold onto pushpins that don’t go all the way through to the other side. Walls like these — gray, soft, barely textured — only serve to dampen noise, theoretically to make telephone calls more private or less annoying to others, but also, conveniently, to make it harder to hear your fellow veal quietly weeping over what their lives have become.

Walls like these soak up the audible component of tears and hold them until they can express them by letting pushpins fall like surrogate tears of their own. Okay, that, and they keep  suppressed laughter over what you just saw on YouTube from being contagious and disruptive.

Forgive me. It’s an experimental metaphor still in the process of being refined. I tried a honeycomb first, with all of us being little worker bees, tending the corporate larvae and digesting the pollen of gathered data into honey that we then stored in the files, but then I imagined one of our sales scouts returning from one of his forays, walking along the tops of cube farm walls waving his ass around in figure-eights to tell us about the donuts in the breakroom and then I had to scrap the whole mental image, except you know I can’t.

It’s nice to have an image like that to carry around, something that can make me laugh regardless of recent events. It’ll take us years to recover from the sunburn. Everyone knows someone who lost someone, but the company tries to make us focus on the shrunken economy, the contracted workforce, the shriveled customer base.

This show I watched on TV last night offered amazing insight into how crazy the sunburn made us. Conspiracy theorists tried to corner the market on the crazy. A crazy scientist detonating a “supernova” weapon, space weapons from other governments, space weapons from our own government, an attempted alien invasion, two or more groups of aliens at war over our planet, angry gods, how it all ties in to ancient prophecies, predictions for when it will all happen again, “evidence” turned up for when it all happened the last time and how it was suppressed.

I’ve had enough of the new crazy. I want to go back to the old crazy of Eating Disorder Barbie and the Crazy-Ass Dictator of the Month Club and legions of the homeless and unemployed ripping apart anyone wearing a thousand-dollar suit or even shiny shoes down on Wall Street and what’s left of Charlie Sheen running for president and holding a reality show contest for his running mate. I don’t want anything to do with the New Sun cult.

But first I had to find a pen that worked and also make sure I couldn’t just stumble across any remnant of the previous personality that used to inhabit this cube, just in case they were dead and would climb back in here to haunt me via an old phone number on a sticky note or a grocery list or a dry-cleaning receipt. Or toothmarks on an old pen cap. Ick.

Crazywise, I guess there’s no going back, but at least I can try to keep the hauntings to a minimum. If it gets too bad, I can check with HR and see if they have a recommended procedure … that doesn’t have someone walking the cube walls above us waving his ass around in a figure-eight pattern.


April 15, 2011 · by xalieri · Posted in This One Time  


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