|(THINGS CAN GET HEAVY SOMETIMES)|
2003-04-18. cube short
She occupied her cube with premeditated vacancy, stolidly making acceptable marks on the forms and pages in front of her.
To one side, she grumpily absorbed Star Wars trivia. She heard a coworker use the word “emeny” in a mumbled argument about fantasy culture exchange. The voices rose and lowered in pitch and there were tooth noises popping with gum.
Infecting the other ear was a soft and jingly yet disturbing repetition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” The cube was empty, but its tenant had left the little ditty saved as part of the desktop screen saver. It had been cycling for an hour. She felt like a tiger-eye huddled gooey in its shell, sensing the steadily intruding bit of the auger’s spiral.
“If I was there I would have killed you,” the feminine voice of a sales rep chirped behind her. “I would have killed you!” The rep exploded into titters. Listening closer, she caught passages about percents, percentages and dollars, lots of uh-huhs and you’re rights, but nothing that elaborated on the exciting proposition of that first teaser.
She looked at her fingernails and saw there was blood ringing the nail bed beneath one, left from scraping her nostrils a few minutes before. The dry recycled air made her nose cracked and sore, but now she bore the questionable look of a woman who dips inquisitive fingers in the stream of her own menses.