I've been extremely busy trying to get ahead on my work before I leave Thursday for New York. So I don't really have time to wax moronic about my boring life. Instead I'll throw down with another chapter from Sex Offenders.
Spread the love and keep reading!
The rest of the workday goes by slowly for Danny. There is little to do in the office, and he is no longer in a journal writing mood. He wastes the morning hours surfing the Internet for news, then goes to the park for a quiet brown bagged lunch of bagels, lox and a bottle of spring water. He takes a long walk through the park, returning to work a half hour late. Nobody notices his tardy return, since he isn't important enough to keep track of in the first place. He spends the rest of the afternoon in the computer room, eavesdropping on one intellectually masturbatory conversation after another.
The time seems to pass by a little faster, but even so, he finds himself thinking about the same thing again and again. No matter how hard he tries to occupy his mind with other things, he can't help but think about Mae's wonderful smile. Each time the recollection manifests, he romanticizes it a little more. At two o'clock their simple exchange of friendly smiles turns into something far more meaningful. By the end of the workday, her smile is transformed into an icon that represents everything that is right with the world. It symbolizes a sincerity and kindness that has been painfully lacking in his life. He subconsciously transforms her smile, and by proxy her into his Holy Grail. Somewhere beyond his ability to recognize it, where one might find love at first sight, is a cosmic feeling that Mae is everything he needs in his life. It is this hidden urge that makes him decide, at quitting time, to take the long way out of the office, through the main path, and right past Mae's cubicle. He does this in hopes of catching another glimpse of Mae. Perhaps she will be kind enough to grant him another intoxicating smile, that he can take home with him.
He saunters through the office, seeking out Mae all the while. To his dismay, he makes it all of the way to the elevators without seeing her. He even passes five perfectly good elevator trips, in hopes of running into her. Edwin emerges from the office in time to grab the 6th elevator. He nods hello to Danny as he gets on.
“You coming to Hardballs?” Edwin asks.
“No. I can't. Thanks for the invite, though.” Danny replies.
“That's too bad. Maybe next time.” Edwin cracks a sly smile as the elevator doors close shut, relieved that he will not have to wage battle, however lopsided it may be, with Danny for the affections of Mae. Danny is too busy with his own disappointment to notice. He gets on the sixth elevator along with several women from the marketing department, who are engrossed in a conversation about the lack of quality footwear in their lives.
Joan's day drags on like every single day she has ever worked. She spends her time planning lunch, or her next smoking break, because those are the little carrots that make working palatable. She is such a social animal that she is only truly alive when she is engaged in social activity. So she spends most of her time on the phone and making guest appearances in other people's cubicles. She is a skilled enough corporate employee to find work-related justifications for these habits, and by the end of the day she manages to actually get her work done. The work accomplished is only a means to her particular end, but since results are consistent with her job description, she encounters no trouble from others. As long as she gets to chit-chat or gossip with as many people as she can, she is happy.
She uses the afternoon's social calendar to conduct a background check on Danny Perrin. She makes several attempts to extract information from Henrietta Budge, the portly human resources assistant with the bubbly personality, with mixed results. Henrietta gladly offers up Danny's age-twenty-nine, his residence-Venice Beach, and most importantly his marital status-single. She also contributes a healthy dose of compliments, applauding his intelligence, his work ethic, and his perfect attendance. Joan fishes for any office scuttlebutt concerning Danny, but gets nowhere. Joan realizes that Henrietta is far too considerate of others to be a source of dirt, but subscribes to the “there's no harm in trying” theory. Joan invites Henrietta to the evening's impromptu sports bar gathering, and moves on to the next cubicle.
The rest of the day is spent in similar fashion, although the only information she is able get is that most of the company doesn't even know who Danny is, let alone what his likes and dislikes are. No one she interrogates claims even a casual friendship with him. This doesn't strike her as odd, but it disappoints her because she is going to have to wing things. She prefers to embark on her conquests only after much research, learning what her prey's interests are so she can feign interest in the same things and bond accordingly. Without such insight she will have to freelance, something she doesn't care for, but is more than willing to do in order to capture her prize.