Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The fruits of my labor.

I am at work. That much it true, but my thoughts are elsewhere entirely. A black scarf fits snug around my neck in an attempt to create mock-warmth, as I know it is Spring somewhere (just not today in Washington and certainly not in this cubicle). Earphones recently purchased at Radioshack at the insistence of a young man who, as a selling point said, "I got the same ones and, I know I'm not sup'sed to say this, but... they're the shit," sit equally as snug in my ears (and evoke far more heat through the help of Modest Mouse). I nibble aimlessly on nut granola that I'm supposed to save for lunch (to mix spiritedly with yogurt and assorted fruit).

Ah, fruit. Today I brought an apple, but am reminded upon arrival that this is a fruitless task. Tuesday. Fruit Delivery Day at the office. An event created no doubt to increase moral in the world of corporate America. Do not think my jaded sense of self implies un-appreciation for free produce.

Pause for a moment as I write to smile at no one- Irony rears its lovely head in the form of a song called "The Fruit That Ate Itself"- so far March has been implicated in several trials of the most ironic persuasion!

It appears last week's sadly neglected find- a too-ripe pear- has met its demise in my desk drawer; right next to one obligatory work toothbrush, one small paring knife (or pearing knife, or is that trying to be too witty?) from my home collection smuggled into the office to cut my daily allowance of motley fruit, and one tin of Rosebud Salve.

Mmmm... may the author pause again for lip balm application. Satisfied, I return.

I consider eating the Bosc anyway, but decide against it, and make my way to the kitchen to scrounge for remaining fruit-gratis. As expected, all that remains on the cold, metallic table (usually shared only by a large pack of Indian-American IT personage) is a sad combination of undesirables- Untouchables in India, if you want a theme here: a lone banana (bleck), a couple of decrepit grapes and a baker's dozen apples of various size and disposition. Blast. I missed the kiwi. Sometimes we get a spare avocado thrown in. I'm not sure why, although it is a fruit. Then again, so is a tomato, and an eggplant, but we don't get those.

I digress...

It is not these scattered remains, picked over by vultures like a carcass in the desert, that catch my eye initially, however. It is the khaki-colored Carhart-clad legs poking out from beneath the sink that strike me as odd. I tilt my head and make a face as a John Goodman circa Raising Arizona look-a-like smiles into my confusion and mumbles something inaudible as I begin to refill my water bottle from the water filter across the way.

A grunted "huh?" bellows out from under the sink where Carhart Man is replacing wires on a new dishwasher.

"Gail" replies, "Nuthin, I was talkin' to this lovely lady here."

I smile coyly, without trying to impress, and pervade the apples with a menacing glance as Carhart slips from beneath the sink and his steadfast work to peak a glance at said "lovely lady." He nods and wrinkles his mouth like an upside-down shoulder shrug as if to say, "yeah, she's alright, not my type, but alright." I take note of this and laugh internally.

Then, from the sky, or heaven, or some distant neighbor's party we are all not invited to, a clear and audible ding dong resounds through the kitchen. A doorbell. We look to each other for assistance. I suggest, "Is there a doorbell in the dishwasher?"

"Gail" scuffs, "I was gonna ask you about it. I didn't know there was doorbells in offices," a grin erupting on his moon-face.

The silence is deafening as we all contemplate the possibilities of the doorbell. I shrug and walk to the apples, picking a small, but seemingly tasty one. I read the sticker's bright proclamation of "Jazz" as I depart the kitchen, and slam into a chair making a metal rattle echo through the small kitchen and into Carhart's direct hearing path as he is back under the sink at this point. I shrink out apologetically and hear him screech, "What was that?!" in a tone that suggests he has still not recovered from the doorbell incident and the philosophical debate that resonates in his head louder than the sound of metal on tile floor.

His heavy sigh-reply at "Gail's" explanation makes me think, Perhaps the fruits of his labor are heavier than mine.

Yet... here I am, still thinking about doorbells akin to Chicken Little. He's probably long-solved today's riddle and moved on to install a dishwasher in a place where doorbells actually belong.

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