Mobile technology allows the man from the French office to berate his wife at his temporary desk just behind mine. “Haloo. Yeah. Hi. Have you found the duffel bag? The wallet? Okay, well- Yes, well I need the duffel bag – I need the duffel bag for tomorrow. Did you get that? That’s right. So you’ll bring the duffel bag?” If he says “duffel” one more time I’m going to trepan him with a hammer claw. Despite the broth of meds that keeps my “trouble” at bay, his pet word is beginning to affect me physiologically. Fortunately he hangs up.
Rather than having a single tedious extended conversation, French prefers several hundred ongoing tedious conversations.
Ring. “Haloo. Where are you? You haven’t left? Why not? Look, did you ring the taxi? I just asked you: did you ring the taxi? Well look, you’re going to have to. I can’t. I can’t deal with that right now. It’s in the duffel bag.” I flick my wrist once and my sleeve-hammer drops into my waiting hand. “Suite 317. Three- It’s a suite. Suite 317. Just tell them suite-” Now it’s “suite.” He’ll be the one in trouble when I jam my thumbs into his eye sockets all the way up to the second knuckle the very next time he says that word. I listen more closely, and admire the perfect ivory arcs of my extended thumbs. He hangs up.
A few minutes later: Ring. “Hello? Okay, bye.” He hangs up.
What was the other side of that conversation?
“I’m pulling the trigger now.”
How can a phone conversation be that brief? Something that short… it’s more like a stimulus response test. Buzz, hit the button, get some kibble. Buzz, hit the button, get some more kibble.
On the phone French’s voice drips with the venom of someone who had one too many bad childhood experiences with the wire monkey mother. But look how he lights up like a dandy christmas tree when the cute new intern comes by for introductions. She doesn’t know that he’s actually a crankypants who may very well represent humanity’s genetic nadir.
These people around me, they’re like tartar buildup on the office’s cubicle teeth, and for me there’s been but one sanity-salvaging solution: astral projection. Of course it didn’t take long for Management to catch wind of the fact that I’m having these out of body experiences – perhaps it was the drool on my keyboard? – and they don’t like it at all. It’s not so much because I might manifest in conference rooms during important meetings, which I totally do, but rather because I don’t get much work done when I’m “away.” Well, I say, you can’t be in two places at the same time no matter what kind of powers you’ve managed to tap into. They tell me my priorities are screwed up, and I say that they’re just jealous, and fucking get over it, cockscombs.
What I haven’t revealed to anyone yet – what I won’t reveal – is that I can be in two places at the same time. In fact, I’m often gallivanting in several conference rooms at once, and I’ve even managed to duplicate myself once for every single employee on my floor. I followed them around like shadows, and watched them as they talked to their instant messenger friends in tiny chat windows at the bottom of their monitors.
No one wants to be where they are, but mine is the most effective solution. Why bother with pathetic phone arguments or vapid IM exchanges? Why not just leave the zits and dandruff behind and go right into the light? Impossible? Well I have a hammer in my sleeve that says it’s easier than you may think.