A Noir Guy Returns to the Office

Noir man photo by Craig Whitehead on Unsplash

It was one of those nights when it's just too hot to sleep with anybody.  Fortunately, I'm not hot enough to sleep with, so I’m coming up aces on that hand.  I went to the fridge to grab a cold soda, but decided on a Schlitz Malt Liquor bull.

Figuring one bad decision wasn't enough for the evening, I sat down at my typewriter to put down my thoughts on the “Big Return to the Office”. 

Having spent the last two years of the Pandemic alone in my basement apartment with the one fluorescent light bulb over my desk had given me the complexion typically referred to as a pallor.  At this rate I wouldn’t need to buy that ghoul costume I had my eyes on for Halloween.

I wasn’t sure what the rush to get back in the office was.  It seemed to me that two years away from everyone was just a “good start”.

I was just getting up my momentum. Now stampeding like a panicked herd of water buffalo back into our stalls will only lead to massive outbreaks of office work and bureaucracy. 

You may question my analogy of “stampeding water buffalo back into stalls,” and comment “why would a stampeding water buffalo go into a stall?”  But that’s the beauty of it.  I can’t think of a single reason. 

As a side note, the choice of water buffalo was based on the average weight gain of those of us in Corporate America.

There’s been an uptick at the local consignment shop. People looking for clothes that, if not fit, at least are less obscene than their work attire long since forgotten in the closet. 

Much like a time capsule from an era when people did not consider a mask essential for completing their outfit, and when they could still fit into something other than sweatpants, and all their sizes did not start with a varying number of X’s.

The Return to the Office

My coworkers told me to take the stairs.  Eat apples.  They don’t understand.  I get winded taking the nap.  And as for apples?  Apples are designed to be inedible. 

The first bite is impossible, rendering it nothing but a vector for seeds.  If you can get that first bite in, from there on it’s smooth sailing.  I just don’t have it in me.

Just look at that self-righteous fruit. No thank you.

I told my boss I needed to work from home a few days a week to help take care of my kids.  He reminded me that since my wife was his sister, and she annulled the marriage before consummation, 28 years ago, that was less an inconvenient truth and more a flagrant lie. 

He followed up with, “I’ll consider it, as it would lead to seeing you less.  Don’t forget to wear your mask when you are in the office.” 

I reminded him about the pandemic lift of the mask mandate.  He allowed as it was more an aesthetic requirement, with the health impact of less nausea around the place in general, and moderately filtered halitosis in particular.

It hadn’t taken me long to adopt working at home.  But after a couple of days I found myself back in the office collecting things from my desk, like monitors, mouse, keyboard, as well as several items from Nick’s desk, since he has much nicer things than me. 

When my haul got too heavy, I put back some of my stuff.  I knew it was safe.  The site is secure, and besides, No one else wanted my stuff either.

The last several times they attempted this return to the office, the bug leapt in like Kevin Costner in front of Whitney Houston, taking the bullet time after time, so that I could continue to sit here in the dank confines of my own personal desk. But like the dames in my life, it seems even this bug has let me down. But I have a feeling, just like those dames, it’ll show up again on my doorstep without warning.


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