"Can I get my payslip?"
"Why didn't you get it this morning like everyone else?"
"I... I..." I stutter, not really having an answer for her.
"The pile is over there. Get yourself." A crooked talon points past my shoulder.
"Thanks." I sheepishly offer to gain atonement for my transgression.
"Don't thank me." She snaps and returns to typing with ferocious speed.
I have developed a strategy to better my odds with this secretary. I will initiate the conversation while pretending to walk towards the copier. I start with a just a smile and a split second's worth of eye contact. This will earn me a warning in the form of tighten lips, thin red line like a paper cut and pure hate from mascara-ed lids. Or. I get a chatty greeting. Birds chirping and beams of light burning through the dissipating clouds. I then carefully submit my request which I carefully weave into friendly conversation from in front of the copier. I constantly gauge the barometer that may signal any sudden turn of weather. In her chattier moods she is an unrepentant gossip. It is almost vulgar the way she trades in inter-office politics and romances. Almost, because I too revel in this cattiness. Yes. dear readers, it is one of my vices. I am a terrible gossip. I am a nosy shit. It is not out of maliciousness that I enjoy these torrid tales of stolen kisses in the supply closet (Sadly this cliché is alive and well). I am just plain nosey. Yet, the brash way she dispenses these tid-bids of information simultaneously give me the sensation of revulsion and titillation. like licking a 9 volt.
Our hero, secretary, and man from room 5.03 are in an office. Secretary is sitting at a desk in front of which are the other two actors. At the beginning of the scene man from room 5.03 enters.
Our hero:<<to man from room 5.03>> "Looking sharp today. The ladies will be chasing you."
Polite smiles all around. Man states his business to the secretary and leaves. Immediately, after the secretary turns to our hero and says in a conspiratorial tone.
Secretary: You know he's gay.
This is what I mean. There was no call for that. It made no difference to me. As if he was offended by my stupid joke mistakenly suggestion he would be interested in women chasing him. It was purely for the purpose of giving me that bit of gossip. When she said it I immediately thought, 'You, gossipy shit.', but I didn't complain. I quietly added that bit to my gossip scrapbook and went about my business. It's not as if I can use these tidbits as tender at the usual tea break gossip sessions. I avoid socialising at work as much as possible. I can't explain why exaclt I have an interest in second hand information concerning the same people from whom I avoid getting first hand auto-biographical information. Maybe those bytes of serendipitous information that says the most about a person. I'm not sure. I think the only acurate explanations is I too am a gossipy shit. Oh well.