The work day was filled with non-interlocking images, like a disparate puzzle. A rabbit hopped in the kitchen and a very small boy sat at the table with a laptop in front of him, as though he were about to make a presentation. His little legs shot out straight in front of him.
Lunch chat centered around the very lovely almost spring-like day, with everyone exclaiming “Have you been outside?” Passersby walked with no coats on, though the temperature barely reached forty-five degrees. Talk flitted from daylight savings to living in a tent in Norway several years ago and how the northern lights drove her crazy. The talk shifted effortlessly to suicidal statistics in the corn belt, farmers with guns, bad health and depression and onto the occurrence of agricultural amputations, due to farming machinery.
Maybe it wasn’t as bad as some lunchtime stories she’d heard, about birthing a horse and how it just “plopped” into one's lap or about hogs copulating, or fishers being vicious animals or the hen that lays eggs in the yard beyond an eight foot snow embankment, so that the eggs are hard to find and might lay there for who knows how long?
Later In the afternoon conversations were overheard, rolling from cube to cube like prairie grass in a windstorm, interspersed with violent sneezing fits, crouping coughs, limping, lamenting, and the beautiful sad dog with blue eyes and a gimping leg who was walked every hour but didn’t pee. A coworker, back from Cozumel and a bad airline experience (she’d had to stay two days in Ft. Lauderdale waiting for a different flight) brought in excellent dark Mexican chocolate to share and left it on the table in the kitchen and it was gone before anyone could spell C-o-z-u-m-e-l.
It was the birthday of a coworker, but no one knew, and she didn’t look her age, the other women commented as they attempted to do knee bends against the wall just for the heck of it, but they winced when they got up because their knees were killing them. She was given a balloon for her birthday, but then someone accused someone of withholding the birthday information, which wasn’t fair because she didn’t know.
And there were deadlines, including the post card print order with the bleed line problems which could come back with either the big red REJECT proof or the calm green one that said ACCEPT. And indeed, the weather was balmy and wonderful to walk the fifteen minute loop around the plaza, but a person was mocked for wearing their coat outside.
There was the incessant phone ringing, the freezing up of the internet with computer warnings,
and the deadlines, and the inferences and the mocking. Five o’clock was so long in coming.