Janice

by plermpt

I was eating a grapefruit breakfast at my desk.

She walked behind me, looking over my shoulder, at the grapefruit. She asked me if it was delicious.

I asked her if she wanted a segment. She said no. She smelled like a sour uterus.

She sat at her desk and we faced each other and she asked to see my book.

I handed it to her. She said her books had beautiful pictures in them. Not photographs. Pictures. Beautiful drawings. Her description was lost in translation. They had all been ruined apparently, though it was no one’s fault.

She said the men came into her house and ruined her books. But it wasn’t their fault. I didn’t know what she meant.

I imagined latex men fumbling with a giant, unwieldy fire hose, spraying a bookshelf. She poked my thigh and handed my book back. This meant that she wanted to fuck me. I stared her down when she walked past me and tried my best to find her attractive.

HR said she couldn’t wear pants. They discriminated. Or something. I didn’t understand what she was saying. She said everybody. She pointed to a sign that said no eating and then she pointed to my grapefruit. Then she said it was a hostile work environment and mentioned Harry by name. She said that Harry wore a football jersey to work. It didn’t matter that she was Chinese; she was changing subject mid sentence. I thought about how annoying it would be to fuck her.

She suggested we trade emails. She had three warehouse jobs, and needed more to maintain her sinewy forearms. I needed a job, but thought it would be better not to stay in touch when she raised her arms to reveal wiry strands of armpit hair poking from beneath her white t-shirt.

She left in the middle of her shift and never came back. Floor support considered putting a trainee at her cubicle but didn’t feel right about subjecting them the lingering odor.

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