Monday, April 11, 2005

Fax Machine on Line One

There is a new woman in our office. She is a temp or something and will only be with us for six weeks. She is gonna help Boss do something with something. I don't know.
I was hungover at work today but felt great, high. Talking to myself the whole time, not caring who heard. People give me strange looks there, I see their mouth form a secret smile that makes me wonder what they heard me say to myself. What do they make of the guy pushing the mail trolley talking animatedly to the air, gesturing at invisible things, nodding? It doesn't matter. I feel like a King. This place is mine.
Later, the new woman is using the WORKSTATION next to mine. The phone rings, she picks it up.
'It's a fax machine,' she says.
'A fax machine?'
'Yes, a fax machine.' She confirms it. That's what I thought she said. She half turns in my direction, not quite looking at me. She puts the phone down and looks back at her computer. But her phone rings again. She picks it up.
'It's a fax machine again,' she says.
'Again?' I says.
'Yes. A fax machine.'
Two robots in a white room beeping at one another.
She passes me the phone so I can hear it. I listen. There are some beeps but it doesn't sound like a fax machine, but I don't tell her that. I've been called by a fax machine before and it doesn't sound like that. I give her back the phone.
'We don't want to talk to a fax machine, do we?' I says.
I watch her face for the change of expression, but it remains the same. Pained, confused. Is she traumatised? It appears so. It looks that way. What she thinks is a fax machine calling her has set her on edge, that's for sure.

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