Corporate drama

graffiti screamer

Smelling of lemon furniture polish and stale coffee, he wafts down the halls mumbling. Not like a doddering old man babbling nonsense, but a sinister sibilance, a subliminal threat that makes my skin crawl..

Roaming among our cubicles, spying on each of us during the day, he never makes direct conversation. He only tsks, and tuts his displeasure and disdain. In the story of my life, he would be Mephistopheles.

The front desk receptionist, a youngish woman who appears to have learned to dress watching kabuki theater, judges my less flamboyant fashion sense. With her e-cig dangling from her neck on a thick, silver chain, like some kind of trendy style accessory, she resembles Alice’s caterpillar puffing on a hookah. A halo of blueish smoke encircles her head as she rolls out perfect rings through her ruby red lips, linking them in a daisy chain of grey loops.

She is hypnotic, and I would tell her all my secrets if she would only ask.

My office mates are lemmings going about their day in the same way, every day – no deviation, no surprises, no alterations. Their precise and methodical routine is as mesmerizing as the hookah girl. It is corporate opera, an ancient tale told through their carefully scripted libretto, only I don’t understand the German lyrics.

Sometimes, I wonder if it is the building itself that makes me anxious. A living creature that is slowly absorbing me into its consciousness. One day, I will no longer be an individual, only another voice in the chorus.

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Light and Shade Challenge: “extended metaphor” and Corporations cannot commit treason, or be outlawed or excommunicated, for they have no souls.” ~ Sir Edward Coke

This week’s Studio30 Plus: “babble” and/or “palaver”

  1. It’s sucking my will to live!
    Actually, I tripped over the receptionist bit, as the e-cig was around her neck (presumably dormant, but I don’t really know how e-cigs work), and yet she was smoking it and blowing rings and such.
    No matter. You still built – really efficiently (and you know how I love that) – a vividly miserable little office space.

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    1. That part was the only thing based on a composite of several people I know who use e-cigs. They all wear them either on a chain or lanyard around their necks. My son has a friend who smokes one, and he told me that the friend does sit around blowing smoke rings with the vapor. I don’t know how they work either, but whenever I see someone smoking one, it makes me think of the Disney cartoon “Alice in Wonderland.”

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  2. Yes, I feel it every day, inside these walls. I was made to thrive in a world of cubicles.

    Really loved the descriptions, this piece was alive.

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  3. Awww … the cube farm. Where the desperate sometimes fade into oblivion. I love the line, “A living creature that is slowly absorbing me into its consciousness.”

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    1. I thought about putting something in there about meerkats. They remind me of cube farms.

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  4. I like how this builds, it makes the reality stronger.

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  5. Your depiction of working in some offices is right on. I’m kinda concerned about that receptionist’s grip on reality though, not to mention the Japanese sword she may be hiding under her wardrobe.

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  6. Love this! I can relate to it because I work in an office. Sometimes it feels like the large concrete buildings are eating me up 🙂

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  7. Waiting for the next episode.

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  8. this was thrilling to read, for some reason. i am hoping for the practical conclusion in which someone find a blueprint for a time machine or mechanical wings, and building becomes a thimble at least of fun.

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