His posture improved- she smiled. Details of the office kitchen sharpened- fingerprint smears on a metal tap, scratches on the table, and the fact that the clock on the wall was an hour behind. The frame was the same colour as his IKEA couch, Sensational Sunrise Orange, and she laughed at a joke he made about furniture shades. She didn’t like the way that he spoke about nothing, all icing without cake, but she liked the way he looked, and it seemed to flatten out his aggressive way of talking. He said: Should be heading back to work.
Welcome, read the first slide, to the Future!© A promotional video for the urban planning company concluded with a jet landing on an aircraft carrier, piloted by a bald eagle. He made a small joke to her about what was that about, and she chuckled. The presenters for the recycling firm were, for whatever reason, wearing hats that read Support Our Troops. After applause from the interns, he left to smoke. She stayed. His phone was dead, so he feigned a conversation when the presenters walked past his car. Someone yelled, the jets were dope, bro!
Well, I’m leaning on my car and it’s warm and those interns, yes, hi, you’re a douche, he said, waving. And I had coffee with Claire this morning.
A returning worker caught him by surprise and he shot out ok, sure, thanks, bye babe.
Neon lighting of the fruit section showcased a hand-written sign about the increased price of avocadoes. Something about a serious drought in the foreign land of avocadoes. Likely story, he said, to a passing shopper. The woman did not stop, and made to seem as though she hadn’t heard him. He felt slighted that the stranger hadn’t wanted to talk to him, because he was just being friendly: At some point, women owed it to men to talk to them in public, whether it was the street, the bus, or the fruit section: It was the least they could do. He was a good talker, he thought. The tap on his shoulder took him off guard and Claire said didn’t mean to scare you, smiling in her work clothes, standing with a man.
How’s it going?
Hey! This is my partner.
Hey, Charlie- really amazing to meet you, he said.
You have a dog? said the boyfriend, looking to his grocery cart- dog food and avocadoes.
Yes, but it’s because I’m taking care of my neighbours cat, but it won’t eat any of the cat food.
Have you talked to a vet?
No, I haven’t, thanks: I thought I might try some dog food, before reverting to that. But yes, I do have a dog.
You’re hilarious- isn’t he, she said.
What kind of dog?
Husky, do you have a pet?
No- and you live in an apartment?
Yes, we take him out five times a day-
See, I can never understand how people justify leaving a dog in an apartment-
Well, with that logic, everyone in good shape must live in mansions.
Okay, I think we need to get going, but I’ll see you tomorrow?
She thinks I’m funny, he thought, after she had sent hahaha over the office’s messenger. In the office kitchen, he was smiling, the clock on the wall still wrong. He kept her in her cubicle after work for ten minutes with a speech on the price of avocadoes, rehearsed in private, with a Youtube video as a visual aide. When she excused herself he felt slighted, but satisfied at how much she had laughed. For whatever reason Mr. Sprinkle Dinkle was still not eating.