January 22, 2010
LIBRA HOROSCOPE (from astrology.com): Your face is a photograph of your feelings. Vulnerability is your strength.
Cute barista’s name is Dodger. He asked my name for my latté order and I said—get ready to cringe—“I’ll tell you mine, if you tell me yours.” I smiled bravely through the whole exchange as the guy behind me impatiently went through an episode of odd throat clearing noises. (He should really give up smoking or knock it down to just three packs a day.) Dodger. Even the name is adorable. Adopting a cockney accent, he explained, “Me mum got a thing for Dickens.” All I know is I want me some more. Please, sir.
And that’s where the fun stopped. I was welcomed with hideous glares from Ann-Marie and her entire entourage, which seems to be everyone but Ernesto and me. I’m guessing they got together for drinks (arsenic?) after work last night and took a vote. It’s unanimous, then. Laura is sleeping with the boss. She’s going down on him. Bad choice ‘cuz he’s just going down.
“Good morning, Donna.” Grunt.
“Hello, Laverne.” Sneeze?
“How was your daughter’s birthday, Amy?” Dunno. Suddenly urgent need for Amy to turn, grab the phone and reorder toilet paper for the office. I suppose that could be a dire concern.
Poor Hester Prynne. I feel your pain.
9:35 Ernesto summoned me to his office. Closed the door. Thank god it’s a windowless cave. (Looked up to scan for tiny spy camera. Not sure what to look for.) “What’s going on out there?”
Time for me to be the dodger. “Oh, it’s just last minute preparations for the Olympics, I guess. Don’t you like the Royal Bank’s new look?”
“Not outside. In the office. I’m getting a sense something’s about to boil over.”
“Yes. I think you’re right.” I paused. Ernesto wasn’t a good boss. He was crass, lewd, insensitive. But what I couldn’t handle was he was a yeller. If something went out five minutes late or a power outage (like on Monday) meant he couldn’t proceed with online Scrabble, he’d swing into a tirade berating every worker in sight as well as the Harper government, Oprah and everything blue in “Avatar”. (I agreed with respect to “Avatar”, but there were better ways to make one’s point. No?) Katherine once asked, “What’s the matter with your boss? Always seems to be in recovery from laryngitis.” If only.
Ernesto continued to stare at me, waiting for more. Never had a poker face. Clearly, I knew more. I had no feeling of loyalty to anyone. Not to Ernesto. Even at his best, he’d basically poisoned poor Tupper. Not to the girls—gosh, why “the girls” anyway? I was the youngest at 32. When would we be the women? How could I side with them when they’d decided without a shred of evidence that I was a slut? A slut with remarkably bad taste.
And for a second time in the day I heard throat clearing. Spill it, Nebergall. “They’re working to get you fired. Sexual harassment, sir. And they think we’re sleeping together.”
It was the last statement that seemed to horrify him most.
KEN’S JOURNAL (sent via iPhone):
HALF A MILLION?! THAT’S HOW MUCH GIL WANTED ME TO INVEST IN UNTITLED FILM PROJECT THAT MIGHT HAVE MEG RYAN ON BOARD. HALF A FUCKING MILLION! OR MORE. NEARLY CHOKED ON MY STEAK. (THANKFULLY DIDN’T. DAMN THAT PIECE OF MEAT WAS TOO GOOD TO WASTE!) SURE, VANCOUVER REAL ESTATE HADN’T TAKEN THE HIT LIKE IN OTHER AREAS, BUT I DIDN’T HAVE THAT KIND OF CASH EVEN DURING THE BOOM. BALLSY OF GIL TO ASK. BALLSY AND FUCKING STUPID.
CAUGHT END OF CANUCKS GAME. WELLWOOD SCORES! DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT I LIKE YA, MAN. STILL DON’T THINK IT’S ENUF TO KEEP HIM AROUND. HOW YOU LIKE MOOSE, KYLE? AWFUL CHILLY IN MANITOBA.
CLARA’S SISTER WANTS TO COME BY TONITE TO CLEAR OUT THE REST OF CLARA’S THINGS. SEEING BESS ALMOST AS BAD AS SEEING CLARA. BESS WAS POISON TO OUR RELATIONSHIP. “YOU CAN DO BETTER, CLARA.” “WHAT DO YOU SEE IN HIM?” AND, LINE FROM JANET JACKSON, “I KNOW HE USED TO DO NICE STUFF FOR YOU, BUT WHAT HAS HE DONE FOR YOU LATELY?” YEAH, PACK IT UP, YOU VENOMOUS BITCH. AND DON’T GIVE ME NO SHIT ABOUT THE PORCELAIN DOLLS. IT’S JUST CRUEL TO DUMP A GUY AND LEAVE HIM TO STARE @ A FREAKIN DOLL COLLECTION FOR THREE MONTHS. SCALPED, YEAH. CLD’VE BEEN MUCH WORSE. BELIEVE ME.
WON’T GIVE BESS THE SATISFACTION OF SEEING ME EVEN GLARE @ HER. I’LL BE COMPLETELY STOIC. YEAH, TELL CA CLARA I’VE TURNED TO STONE.