Monday, August 3, 2009M. has a Mexican shawl wrapped around the lower half of her mouth and upper body. She twirls around and around in her office chair like a whirling dervish and explains, "I am going to be the most fashionable homeless person!"
"How so?" I ask.
"Everything was on sale yesterday, Jake. I bought it all. I won't have enough money to pay the mortgage, but I will look very fashionable not paying it."
Suddenly, M. stops twirling and demands to know why I haven't said anything about her new sandals. Before I answer, she stands up and walks down the aisle. A very long piece of toilet paper trails behind one of her heels. I bust up laughing as do other members on our team. It gets funnier when M. sits down and takes off the piece of Scotch tape she used to manually apply the toilet paper to the bottom of her shoe. Hilarious!
She continues with the homeless talk: "I'll be sitting there, in fashion, on the street corner begging for change. I won't have any money for food, so I won't eat, so I'll be skinny and look even better in my new clothes. Do you see how it all comes together, Jake? It's like taking a jigsaw puzzle and throwing all the pieces in the air then watching them fall to the ground. You record the pieces falling and watch it back in slow-motion to see how everything falls into place."
As always, I'm not sure how to respond, so I sit patiently waiting for M. to finish. She rummages through her giant giraffe-colored bag and produces an enormous pair of MK sunglasses which she adorns. This creates a shocking yet stylish look accompanied by her shawl.
"Guys, I washed my wallet!" M. shouts with glee as she unfolds a giant pink armadillo case, showing off her credit cards, Drivers License, etc. I didn't know you could wash a wallet, but apparently M. did it with spectacular results. Her cube mate is very impressed.
M. asks, "Jake, how much will you give me if I catch this M&M in my mouth?"
I respond, "I dunno... three pennies?"
M. proceeds a circus act of tossing candy into the air and stepping forward to catch it in her mouth. The first one misses and makes a loud clanging noise as it ricochets off her teeth. The next two hit their mark and fall into her shiny mouth. (M. doesn't eat them, of course. She spits them onto the palm of her hand and tosses them in the wastebasket.) By the time she is finished, I owe her 9 cents. Wow! Her cube mate follows suit and tosses the candy into the air, trying to catch it in her mouth. I wonder what a person might think if they walked down our row at that exact moment.
I should mention that M. took the liberty of giving my little plush Ewok his own set of "staple braces" last week. I walked into work this morning to find him standing under my monitor where he always is, smiling at me with a crooked piece of metal over his sewn-on smile.
"How are his braces doing?" I ask M.
"There is a seance in his mouth from all the wax," M. tells me. (He uses the wax in the same way M. does- to keep the wire from poking his gums.)
Before the day is over, I ask M. about her new sandals. She leaves early, trailing a long piece of toilet paper behind as she pursues a new life in homeless fashion.