Monday, September 3, 2012

Hair of the Dog

Perhaps I should have mentioned this before Juan’s car caught fire in the underground garage and before he tried to kill me mountain climbing. Still, I’ve always wanted to write a flashback. An awesome thing about writing, time matters so little. Where else can you get that? Let me share with you how I met the golden boy:
After making the financially sound decision to spend two years investing in my education, I emerged from school with a Stenography Certificate. Step back. That and a smart suit got me a fine job making copies and power point presentations in the business world. So back to school I went, evenings and weekends. Many of my classes were taken with a friend from work, let’s call her Mercy. Mercy loves learning, fashion, astrology and her grandchildren. She also talks really loud, and can’t see up close at all. I adore her. Mercy reads her horoscope and stresses about it, “I get gas when Mars is in my house.”  Did I mention she talks really loud?  Yes. And I sat next to her in class. She’d bring her prescription bottles so I could read the fine print for her, and she’d scientifically compare possible side-effects against her horoscope for a clearer prognosis. I loved her too much to refuse to cooperate, and would whisper embarrassing details in her ear. She’d ask for clarification nice and loud. “What are feces? Is it okay to have dark feces while I’m doing a reading in church on Sunday?” 
Being a charitable soul, Mercy had taken to reading my horoscope too. Mornings she’d swing by my desk while I worked on presentations consisting mostly of mathematical equations and Greek symbols. Mercy would recite the stats on my chances for survival should I venture out for lunch or drive on the freeway that day. Being a contrary sort, and trapped in numerical purgatory anyway, I’d always do the opposite of what I was told. Today Mercy slapped a file on my desk, “Land sakes, he’s here!”  She was shaking with excitement. “Mercy?  Did you steal a personnel file again?” I asked. She liked to keep an eye out for incoming potential problems by knowing everyone’s horoscope. “Stephanie! According to the charts he is your perfect mate!  He was born on the right date, the right year AND in the right place!” Oh, no. I am not this nice. “I’d rather eat my own hands than date a mathematician.”  “It’s destiny,” she says all dreamy. I point out, “Besides, Frog Face has a strict policy against employees dating each other.”  Mercy got indignant, “Frog Face asks you out every Friday!” “Mercy?  Asking me to pick up his dry cleaning, wash his car and drop it back in the lot for him isn’t exactly a date.”  “Fine,” she gets snippy now and snatches the folder off my desk. A photograph slides out. He…doesn’t look at all mathematical. “Oh. My. Gah – is this him?”  Now she gets coy, nabbing it and stuffing it in the folder, then marching towards Personnel. It hit me then, that she’d orchestrated the entire conversation, right down to the precision photo drop. Manipulator. Bet she isn’t even far-sighted.
“Frog Face wants his mail,” Mercy said, scattering it across my desk. “He’s in a meeting upstairs,” I told her. “I know, he said he wants his mail.” She kept right on moving. That should have been the first clue. Mercy does not keep right on moving, I hadn’t even gotten today’s horoscope yet. Elbow deep in numbers, I was under too much strain to notice. Gathered the mail and got up, grabbing my sweater. Mercy darted back, “Can I borrow your sweater?  I’m freezing in here.” Magnanimously I handed it over. They do keep the air-conditioning on ice-age during the summer. That was clue number two. Mercy suffers hot flashes. She’s been known to hold her skirt over top the A/C vent.
Sliding quietly into the conference room, I placed Frog Face’s mail in a pile at his elbow. He was in the middle of one of his long lectures, the kind where he tents his fingers, and takes long painful pauses between obtuse random stories about Copernicus or Euclid. Frog Face doesn’t look anything like a frog, he’s actually good-looking, at least until you get to know him. His surname is Prince, and Mercy gave him his nickname. Said he was the classic Frog and Prince story in reverse.
My mail delivery derailed his riveting story because Frog Face put both long hands on the conference table and said, “Excuse me?  What is this?”  “Your mail,” I’m helpful by nature. “And you’re interrupting my new hire orientation because…?”  I’m also usually a couple beats behind. I almost told him Mercy had sent me; then I glanced up. There sat Juan, waaay better looking than his photograph. I will tell you, too, that I think we had one of those moments. I know I stared at him, and I thought he stared at me. Perhaps it was because I was staring at him. Perhaps it was because I’d interrupted the meeting to give the renowned Doctor Prince this month’s copy of Sports Illustrated. Perhaps because I’d now forgotten what Frog Face asked, and had birthed the mother of all pregnant pauses. For awhile I suppose he waited for me to catch up and answer. Those who know me realize that does not happen. Eventually this dawned on Frog Face too because he gave me a very threatening, “We will discuss this later, Miss….”  He trailed off there, having never mastered the silent i.c. in Pazicni to pronounce it. I caught up then, pulled my gaze off Juan’s and left to go find and murder Mercy.
And that is how I met golden skinned, golden eyed, golden haired Juan.
And today’s Glitter Globe question is have you ever publicly humiliated yourself over the opposite sex?  There is a cone of safety here, you can tell us.  We will commiserate with you. Or have you ever had one of those magical moments when you first met someone?  Or worse still, have you ever thought you did? 

The Epic Slinky Dog Giveaway continues here at The Glitter Globe!  Please follow my blog, if you haven’t already. Right over there ---à where it says “Join this site” (or Networked Blogs). And be sure to leave a comment below, for a chance at your very own Slinky Dog! For every five new followers, a random name is picked from the comment section.
*What's with the golden boot in the middle of the story?  Because I can. 

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