Thursday, September 10, 2009M. takes her shawl and drapes it across her cubicle. She is mostly hidden from me except for the hole that goes over a person's head.
M: "We are getting a divorce," she says.
J: "Is this a trial separation?"
The divorce has come about from me wielding a giant black and yellow umbrella in M.'s direction. I do this to block her unwavering need for attention, and it works!
M: "Jake, I can see you." (M. looks at me through the head hole of her shawl. Her fingers are wrapped snugly through the hole, giving her the impression of a small child spying on her parents.)
M: "Can you see me looking at you, Jake?"
I take the umbrella and pretend to poke M. in the face with it, through her little sneak hole. She retreats. After awhile, she says, "Jake, let's make up."
We go back to our normal work relationship, which again, is like a married couple who should really be divorced.
Just like any married couple, we fight over money. I try to give M. the $5 I owe her for licking a poo envelope the other day. I include an additional $2 for the coffee M. has bought for me every morning for the past two weeks. M. refuses to accept it.
I leave the money on her desk. A few minutes later, she tosses it back at me. I walk over to her and place the cash next to her keyboard. "Will you please just accept this?" I ask. "You worked really hard for this $5. You licked poo!"
M: "OK, I'll take it."
I walk back to my desk.
M: "Jake, have you seen my airplanes?"
M: "My paper airplanes. Watch."
M. fold the cash into a simple paper plane. She attaches a paperclip to the tip of it and sets a penny in the cockpit. Then she chucks the airplane at my desk.
I unfold it and hand it back to her.
J: "This is your money. You earned it fair and square."
M: "OK, but have you seen my cranes, Jake?" (Getting all hoity-toity.) "I don't know if you know how great my Papier-Machet is, but mmmmmmmmmff... I took a class from a master hhhhhaaaarrrrr... when I was in Japan. Mmnnmmph."
After several back and forths, I see two dollar bills laying on my desk. M. holds the $5 bill in her hand.
J: "Is this a compromise?"
M: "I realize I earned this $5, Jake. But think of the coffee as a gift, OK? Yes, it's a compromise."
And we live happily ever after (in our separate cubicles at work).