Hey guess what, I had coffee with Marti and look! Look! Look!
You’re not looking. Look! -- What’s the matter?
Aww. But look!
(she is holding a DVD box set. it is the second season of True Blood)
You want to talk to Mum about your bad day?
OK. Just a sec.
(she leaves. he drinks the rest of the Ribena. rain falls into the garden outside.)
(she returns, now wearing horn rimmed glasses, a blue bathrobe and hair curlers)
Aww here’s my Rojie.
Awww here. Have a hug. Tell Mum about your bad day.
It was okay.
(she pulls a pack of cigarettes out from the robe and lights one)
Did you feel the earthquake this morning?
Felt like a big one. It was early, at like 10 or something. The sky got dark and the whole building shook. You didn’t feel it? At first I thought it was like a bomb or a missile or something… plane crash.
My Rojie. Worried about plane crashes. You’re my nervous little guy.
Yeah – but then it was weird, because afterwards I kept finding all this dust in my office, like white powder or something. It was getting into my shoes and everything. And then fucking Korea was –
Sorry Mum. Sorry. It’s that guy, he’s like… he had me on the edge of a panic attack all day. They’re doing performance reviews this month and he’s just walking around the office all morning staring at people’s work stations, doing spot checks. Who was in, who wasn’t in. He’s going to lay off half my team, I know it. You should have seen him, he was stalking around like some kind of primal hunter. And then he’s coming up to me and asking if I believe there’s a God – what are you supposed to say to that!? Like what, you’re going to fire me because I don’t… shit, could he do that? I don’t even know what religion he is, so I can’t lie. Fuck’s sake I can’t even work out what ethnicity he is!! Sorry Mum. I shouldn’t swear, I know. I’m just really worked up.
There there. I don’t like this man very much.
He doesn’t blink. Not very often anyway.
I don’t like anyone who’s mean to my little Rojie.
And he’s calling me all day, I mean what are you supposed to do? And oh God I haven’t told you -- he gets Janet to come in, all like “you have to go see Korea right now”, like “RIGHT NOW” and I go there and his office is empty. It’s just me and… he has all these little statues, like Easter Island things. And then I hear this thump, it’s like a horror movie or something, and really slowly he comes up from underneath his desk and stares at me. HE WAS HIDING THERE. Under his desk. And we have this… I don’t know what you’d call it, “conversation” isn’t really the word. He’s going on about Star Trek and man’s mission to the universe or some shit – sorry – and I’m standing there thinking “what have I done”, you know? “What have I done, why is this happening to me?” Just like “I’m going to get fired now” or “maybe he’s going to bite me to death”, and I don’t know why it’s happening, and all I can pay attention to is that my hands are in my pockets and they’re full of this white powder shit, and he’s not blinking, he doesn’t even blink once, I couldn’t take it, I thought I was going to puke, I actually had to go to the toilet and stand there for like three minutes because I thought I was going to puke…
My brave little boy.
…and y-yuh… yuh…
(gulping for breath)
You just let it out.
That’s right. Let all that tension out. Deep breaths. You’re so brave.
(a long pause)
Huh. Hnnh. -- You shouldn’t smoke Mum.
(a long pause)
But he didn’t fire you.
And they’re not going to. You’re too special for them to fire you.
My brave little man. You had a bad nasty horrible Wednesday but you made it didn’t you?
And you have your pretty girlfriend coming over and she’s going to watch True Blood with you. You like that show, don’t you?
That’s right. It’s your favourite show, and you’re going to have ice cream and everything’s going to be all right.
Yeah. -- Thanks Mum.
Tsk. I love my little man.
(she kisses him on the cheek, then smiles and walks out of the room)
(a moment passes. he has regained his composure)
…fucking Star Trek… I mean, what the fuck...?
(he picks the DVD box up off the kitchen counter. turns it over. reads the back)
(she returns, dressed as previously)
Phee-eww! Did she smoke in here?
Yeah. I told her not to.
[Fiction] Inappropriate Boss
5 months ago