Days. Although all have the same length of time, they differ. And I am not talking of the weather or anything that insignificant, but experiences they hold. But ours is a depressingly arid life, its monotonous nature is such that it drives us to appreciating insignificant differences in the days of our lives such as the weather, the date and of course what we regard to be the big change – the weekend. Or the occasional holiday kind enough to not fall on a Saturday. How pathetic.
He was geared up for another of these monotonous days that wear young lives away. Walked into the office and went through the empty rituals of smiles and how are you’s. Plugged in his computer, switched it on and headed for the coffee machine. Not necessarily because he had a particular inclination towards coffee on that day, or on any day for that matter, it was just a ritual. Not an empty one though. This particular ritual served a specific function – killing time (and of course some vital organs, but who wants to live long in this miserable world anyway?). To make coffee took off at least 3 minutes from the 8 hour workday, each cup of coffee earned him a visit to the loo, another 3 minutes down. So all in all a cup of coffee gave him at least six minutes off – so his average five cups a day guaranteed him 30 minutes off his workday. On some days he would be lucky enough to bump into some contemporaries at the coffee machine, and he would get at least 2 minutes of conversation time.
This morning was one of those lucky days. A group of men were huddled beside the machine, speaking in hushed voices. He knew it to be something big if the pack was in that mode. He immediately got excited, but played it cool and walked past them to pour his moccacinno. After which he swiftly threw his head in to listen to whatever was being said. It was indeed big news. A new lady at HR. Not just any lady, one that is within the agreeable age range, good looking, hot and…uhm, ja…hot! The bearer of the good (very good) news is not only a reliable source, he never exaggerates. And he doesn’t not allow the low threshold of the office fool him into thinking that any average looking woman is beauty personified. So he had every reason to keep on listening. The woman in question was said to possess a rather generous bosom. And her rear was said to be equally as generous. With made her a beautiful oddity. She was, in all practicality, out of shape. This anyone who is a self respecting connoisseur of the female form would know. There is, 9/10 times, a tradeoff between the bosom and the rear, if one is particularly endowed the other would be equally impoverished. But she was that one in ten. Those are not the only odds she beat. 7/10 times a perfect body is not mounted by a beautiful face; again she was in that lucky minority. And lastly, 8/10 times a perfect 10 like that, at that age, is long married – not to be a broken record, but she was as single as a gay pope! So all in all, she was a two in ten. But there’s another oddity we haven’t yet taken in to account. She was an HR practitioner in a big multinational cooperation. That made her, to tire out the cliché if we are given the liberty, one in a million.
He was sold, and didn’t see the need to stay in the group any longer. He had wasted enough time for the day and knew he’d have his chance to place his undeserving eyes on her apparent divinity soon enough. He had a date with HR the very next day.
One other past time cooperate slaves use to pass time, is to have little scuffles with their overseers. To understand this, one must first understand that in the cooperate world; it is neither talent nor hard work that gets you to the top. Most of the time those at the top are the most mediocre of the lot. Those at the bottom who have seen past the façade of titles and big salary know this, and use this to rub their superiors up the wrong way. There is an accepted practice for this: question your superior’s decisions within the ambit of company policies and procedures. This will result in a bit of tension at best, especially if you win on the technicalities. No harm done. But sometimes it does get out of hand (in this case then the whole plantation can get involved and add some spice to their boring lives – it boosts staff morale in fact). Either because the sub-ordinate was not tactical, or the superior was not willing to concede defeat. The latter was the case in this here our tale. Which is why he was not worried one bit even though he had been served with papers to appear before a disciplinary committee for insubordination.
All week long he had not even given the hearing a single thought. Now it was all he could think about. What a better way, he thought to himself, was there to introduce himself to the new hottie than to let her see him in action warding off, by his sheer superior logic and reasoning, a high profile delegation (it was rumored that a board member or two had been roped in) intent on seeing him packing his belongings and walking out with his head hung in shame. They had all the power yes, but he had always maintained, the only way they could fire him was to use those powers to change the cooperation’s laws and policies. And those of the country while they were still at it.
Which woman really, would readily dismiss the idea of laying with a man who can take on the might of the cooperation on his own and win? Solomon wasn’t a player because he was smart – it was all because his pops smacked the shit outta Goliath!
As they are wont, another day died as soon as the other was born. Toasters kicked out slices, horns blared, radio presenters kept trying to get everyone but themselves ready for another day’s hard work, traffic officers warned of roads to be avoided, sport presenters were not to be outdone by news anchors in giving the latest news, the weather forecasters also chipped in their chorus to the morning cacophony. All that lucky big old Sun had to do was take a lazy stroll across the heavens.
Big bosoms and rear where on his mind as he walked into the office block. He quickly shut out the anticipation of seeing the rear, seeing that they would all be seated so chances where almost zilch. The other slaves in the plantation where anticipating news of another David vs. Goliath episode. Was this the day the powers that be finally had their way? Those in the know were skeptical; in fact they were sure he would come out unscathed. Which is exactly why they took advantage of those who were not privy to the details of the case, and it was in this state he found them huddled by the coffee machine. They were arguing about the odds; bets where being placed. Both side seemed confident of their claims, and naturally the bets placed were high. So high all parties decided on one to one odds. He just walked past with a smirk. One of his colleagues flashed him a knowing wink – this was too easy money he thought, he should really get some of it – a percentage at the very least, royalties or something. He sat at his desk and waited for the anointed time to go face the music as it were. Naturally he was unfazed – which irritated those privy to his case details to no end, a bit of worry in his eyes could have pushed the bets even high.
As he walked towards the boardroom, one of the seniors tapped him on his shoulders and wished him a farewell. He almost laughed. But he quickly composed himself and reminded himself why he was doing this; he needed to keep this job. He couldn’t imagine working at a place with less drama, that everyone was baying for his blood excited him to no end, kept him on his toes; otherwise he would be bored out of his skull.
The boardroom was not as packed as he had expected it to be. It was the usual suspects – there wasn’t going to be any fight here, it would be an easy victory for him. Bummer! There were no members of the board – he realized maybe this was what the wink was about, the rumor about board members attending was just a ruse to push up the bets. Nicely played, he thought with what might be construed as a smile if one was really desperate to find any hint of emotion on his stern face. But that was not such a big deal, that honor belonged to the fact that there was no unfamiliar face in there. He sat down with a very perceptible look of disappointment. They were set on punishing with boredom these evil people. He knew the drill. They would read all the disciplinary policies and procedures he already knew by heart, then his supervisor would lay his claim down – a very lengthy, tedious and repetitive soliloquy. Then he would shred it to pieces using the very policies they read out, the manager will protest, legal will agree with him, and HR will dismiss the case. And that would be it.
Once they had all seated, the another familiar face walked in, apologizing profusely for her late coming. A familiar face he had not laid eyes on in ages, and certainly hadn’t expected to see it here. The description laid out at the coffee machine the prior day was to the letter. The only detail missing from it was how many strands of hair rallied and united under the banner of pan-beautifulism to make up those glorious locks on her head.
He completely switched off. She did not show any signs of recognizing him, though he looked like he had just saw a holy ghost. The acting chief HR officer announced that the newly appointed HR chief would just sit in and he would carry on with the duties of her office as he had been for the past few months. The motions went as was expected, he was a zombie through most of it, only came back to life when at the end of the proceedings she said she would like to have a private word with him.
“What’s her name?” she asked once they were alone. He looked at her with disbelief. I thought you didn’t recognize me, he managed to let out. She hit her chest with her right hand in an exaggerated gesture of hurt. In case his senses had not yet been fully restored, “You are hurting me,” she said. He had to admit, it was a tad bit insulting to think so lowly of her.
“What’s her name?” she asked again. Nobody, he answered. “What happened?” she continued with her line of inquiry.
I did, he was curt.
Two weeks ago.
“Poor thing,” she said as she passed her phone to him. He opened her phonebook. What’s his name, he asked. “Josh, old town, two years. Thought I’d try out the long distance thing. Katz, here, two weeks.”
So two messages? He asked as he started composing a message to Josh. “Can’t you try make it one? Be creative.”
Challenge accepted, he said as he added Katz to the recipients list. “But then again, maybe I should get one since you denied me the opportunity with what’s her name?”
Nobody? He assisted her.
“Ja. Nobody. So it’s only fair that you give me Katz”, she said with excitement of a school girl about to do something the principal would not take kindly to.
Too late, he told her as he handed her the phone back, it’s done.
She didn’t bother with the phone; she stood up and hurriedly walked towards him. He stood up in anticipation. The kiss was short, wet, and passionate. In that one swift move, they (or rather she) was single, and at the same time in a relationship. Just as one day dies and another born at the same time.
He had anticipated excitement on this day. He got it. Tenfold. He had expected to impress the new hot HR chief with a show off against the big dogs. He never expected to be reunited with his lover. A lover whom he shared a love so strong that it could only be suspended by distance. Given how torturous it was to be away from one another, they had long settled on a workable solution. Should circumstances drive them apart, they would forget about the existence of the other. And the best way to do this would be to love another as passionately as they loved each other. There was also to be no contact. All ties cut. Should circumstances wish them to be in the same space, all other relations would be ended with immediate effect, and their love affair continues where it left off.
And this was the case on this day that started out, went about its business and ended as all of them do; with no ado whatsoever. But for them it was no ordinary monotonous day as they laid in bed in each other’s arms: naked, hearts pulsating, heavy breathing, excited, exhausted, happy.