Bungled Fantasies

Monday afternoon, a couple of days after the New Department Head fired our cleaning people, we smell dead rats in the girls’ bathroom. I heard that the Accounts Receivables girl was the first to sniff it out: Apparently she was blow-drying her hair and panicked, thinking she had accidentally set her hair on fire.

By evil, malicious whimsy, the New Department Head designates me and the Fridge Tyrant the bathroom-airer-outers because we “look[ed] bored and in need of something to do.” So there I am on a sluggishly lukewarm Monday afternoon, propping the door to the girls’ bathroom open with my back and left heel. I’m yelling at the Fridge Tyrant to “Get me something to hold it open!” (He picks up a paperweight.) “No, something heavy!” (He gestures at my purse.) “Haha, funny.” (A sheepish shrug as he disappears into the warehouse and re-enters with a heavy-duty Oxford English Dictionary.) “Perfect.”

But that’s actually the dictionary pour moi. I brought it with me when I first started working here nine years ago, and was still wet behind the ears. My beloved dictionary, one that had served me as a young adult who’d curiously run the rough edge of her thumb over words like “voracious”,”combustible”, “chemise”. It had survived my two younger brothers, the flooding of the shed/apartment I rented during heavy torrential rain, a four-story test-drop, and a car accident. Little did it know that a couple of weeks into our relationship, I would eventually cheat on it with a thesaurus, and it would now find its face shoved into the bottom of the bathroom door to prop it open.

The Fridge Tyrant armed with a can of Lysol and I, armed with an empty stomach, zone in on the suspected stall. He places his hand on the top of the door, and says, “We’re going in on a count of one, two-”

But I am already pushing my way in.

The moment we shimmy our noses near the toilet bowl, we are hit smack-dab in the face with the most pungent of pungent odors imaginable. Think of the moist underside of an elephant’s trunk, except there’s like a trillion of them packaged into a permeating ring of death-dealing smells.

“I think I’m about to vomit,” I squeak.

“Was this the same bowl that swallowed your phone?” he squeaks.

His smile fades when I shoot him a look that reads, “I have a Swiss Army knife, I know where you park, and I’m not afraid to use it on your Goodyear tires.”

So there we are, Fridge Tyrant and Fridge Tyrant Victim, brought together for a single purpose: To huddle in a bathroom stall with our shoulders touching, peering over the toilet bowl with our noses pressed into the crotch of our elbows, sniffing out disaster. Both are slightly-attractive single adults searching for love. I have to admit, when he first came on the job, his dark looks conjured up images of a lumbering, depraved, and wild-eyed wolf. I have to admit that when our gaze met, something strangely chemical, strangely electric jolted through me… Until the moment he tossed my stuff out of the fridge. One would expect for something romantic to happen here, but it doesn’t. Everything just stinks like hell.

Mimi: Hey, I’m going to leave this to you, OK?
Pats him on the shoulder.
Fridge Tyrant: Sure, OK.

————
And ch.9: Download | Read online
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By hats99

A takoyaki-fiend who refuses to sleep more than 4 hours a day.

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