If the phone rings again, I’m going to throw it out my office window. I press my nose against the glass and picture my multi-line phone tumbling down onto the icy downtown Denver streets, crushed instantly by the environmentally irresponsible drivers of Hummvees and Cadillac Escalades. The mental picture makes me happy temporarily, and I slump back down in my chair. The chair, as always, squeaks loudly under my weight, and I remember for the fourteenth day in a row that I meant to bring in the WD-40 from my toolbox. I am completely unorganized. What am I doing here? Where am I going with my life? These are the two questions that I ask every morning, and then ponder for about an hour before I decide to begin any actual work. I rest my forehead on the edge of my desk staring past my lap to the cheap carpet below. My shoe is starting to split from the sole near my left big toe. As I start to raise my head I notice a small stain of unknown origins on my pants, this near my left knee. I scratch at it with a bitten nail and think that possibly, not counting my entire left leg, I look fairly put together, for a Monday.My boss comes strolling into my office seeming to have been here for hours. He has that 'settled-in' look. Stale coffee breath. An already loosened tie. I glance sideways at the clock (9:45) and half-wonder if he is there to discuss the fact that I have been in the building for all of twenty minutes, a twenty minutes that has been spent in the following productive manner: listening to the phone ring five times in a row without answering, pressing my nose against my dirty window, and resting my head on the desk, contemplating my direction in life.He stares at me in a strange way, and my mind starts to race, searching for excuses for being late. 'Deciding to floss for the first time in a week' doesn't seem to sound important enough, although it is the truth. Of course, the flossing led to other neglected hygiene rituals, and before I knew it, I was arriving at the office well after nine, albeit with very clean teeth, a perfectly bleached mustache, and impeccably plucked eyebrows.He, my boss, 'the man', sets a file on my desk, and then, with genuine concern, asks, "What's wrong?"I am confused, and he sees this so he expands on his extremely general question, one with several possible answers.
"With your forehead, I mean?"I touch my head and feel the line made by the edge of my desk. I assume that, just for good measure, it is also bright red. I don't say anything, and he smiles to himself and then leaves. He didn't even notice my eyebrows.