Slice of Write

Stories & jibber-jabber by Janelle Parmer, Author of The Other Side of the Ledge & Chasing Calla Lilies

Why did I drink that large iced tea at lunch?  I knew I had this staff meeting right after, and they can drone on for up to two hours.  We were about an hour in when I started to feel that all too familiar urge to flee to the restroom.  I normally would just get up and leave the meeting, but I came in right before it started, and got stuck in a seat near the front, next to my boss.  I would have to climb over him and the other five people around me.  Our conference room is not big enough for all of us, so it’s always hot and overcrowded during these meetings.  People sweating and fanning themselves like it’s a fourth of July picnic in the there. 

I tried to casually glance at my watch…again.  Damn, it had only been 3 minutes from the last time I checked it.  How is that possible?  Nancy was still talking about development mailers that nobody cared about except their department.  I uncrossed and then crossed my legs again.  I nodded and smiled at Nancy.  She smiled back at me.  This half-listening thing really works.  No wonder my husband does it to me.  Gary, sitting 2 people down the table from me, is tapping his stupid pen on the table again.  I want to grab his pen and throw it across the room.  How can he not know how annoying that sound is? 

My boss says something and then calls my name.  It’s my turn to bore my co-workers with the status of my projects.  I list off the top 3 things I’m working on, all while trying not to show I’m holding in a liter of iced tea, and that I may explode at any moment.  I finish talking and check my watch again.  We are going on an hour and 45 minutes at this point.  Ten minutes later the meeting finally ends, and people start unfolding themselves from the conference room.  My boss stops me for a minute to tell me about some stupid email he received and how he is going to forward it to me.  Blah Blah Blah.  I smile and run out of the room like a crazy lady in my bathrobe pushing into a Wal-Mart on Black Friday. 

I slip my cell phone into my notebook and throw the notebook on the bathroom counter to save it from sitting on the ground.  Just the thought of leaving it on the bathroom floor grosses me out.  I run to the closest stall, slam the door, and undress.  Just as I was about to release this horrific liquid from my body, I hear a voice.  “Hello, Hello,” it took me only two seconds to realize it was my mom’s voice.  What is she doing in the restroom?  Oh crap, it’s coming from the cell phone!  “Hello.  Anyone there?”  Oh my God!  I must have butt dialed her when I threw my phone in the notebook.  I hear someone enter the bathroom and go into a stall a few doors down.  My mom is still bellowing “Hello!”  Jesus Christ, please hang up! 

I finally make the decision to quickly reassemble myself, run to the notebook, and hang up on my poor mom.   I run back into the restroom and start the routine all over again.  I finally relieve myself.  In mid-stream I hear my phone ring.  I’m sure it is my mom calling to ask if I butt dialed her.  When I finally finish my business, I wash my hands, and take my notebook and phone back to my cubicle.  I text my mom back, told her I’m sorry, and that I would call her after work.  I sit down at my desk and throw the styrofoam cup that held the evil, delicious iced tea into the trash can.  I completely miss.  I chuckle to myself as I stand up, pick the cup off of the ground, and throw it away. 

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