Claudio blinked several more times hoping when his eyes focused again he would be able to make sense of what he was seeing. Slowly, he opened his eyes and watched as the mauve armchairs continued to dance and spin around the sitting room in an intricate waltz, that under normal circumstances he might have found beautiful. “This can’t be happening,” he moaned to himself. As if on cue, the chairs fell to the ground in disarray. Watching the chairs out the corner of his eye, Claudio slowly inched towards his office. Finding his keys, he unlocked the door and quickly shut it behind him. “What the hell is going on?” he muttered as he sat down behind his desk. Half-waiting for something in his office to suddenly spring to life, Claudio finally turned his computer on and after it booted up, began to sort through the days’ email. Fifteen minutes went by without incident and Claudio was beginning to believe he had imagined the whole thing. “Mondays…” he chuckled to himself.
“Ain’t they the worst,” a tiny squeak of a voice answered from somewhere in the room. “What? Who said that?!?” Claudio was up and out of his chair, whirling around the room.
“Down here, dummy,” the voice answered. Claudio looked down to see his computer mouse looking back up at him. Smiling, the mouse squeaked, “got any cheese?”.
“Sweet mother of Omar!” Claudio screamed as he backed away from his desk. Closing his eyes, he willed the mouse to go back to its original point-and-click form. Opening them again, he said a silent thank you as he saw that his mouse was once again it’s unsmiling, plastic-composite self. “I’m losing my mind,” Claudio sat back down and deciding to forego his computer for a while, he began to work on the article one of his colleagues had asked him to proof. Picking up his trusty red pen, Claudio set to work and before he knew it an entire hour had passed. Arching his back, Claudio stared up at the ceiling. Instead of the florescent light and cheap ceiling tiles Claudio’s office ceiling he was startled to see the top of moss-covered cypress trees gently blowing in a breeze. The lapping of waves on a shore could be heard and cicadas of an infinite number began to chirp.
“I need some fresh air,” Claudio grabbed his keys and jacket and all but slammed his office door in his haste to get out of the building. “Hey! Watch it buddy,” Claudio almost didn’t see the building’s maintenance worker, John and almost knocked him over as he headed towards the stairs. Mumbling an apology (he wasn’t completely convinced John was even there, at this point), Claudio kept walking. “Sheesh… some people,” John shook his head and went back to work- putting a fresh coat of off-white paint on the hallway walls.
It had been several months since that pivotal day. Claudio had been let go from his proof writing position shortly after, apparently they frowned upon editing a colleagues’ work by covering it with nothing but unicorns and dollar bills growing on trees. Claudio ended up busing tables at an IHOP and never did find out about the massive recall of industrial paint due to the side effects reported as a result of a bad mixing job that caused the release of toxic fumes. In addition to dry mouth, headaches and hot flashes, people reported severe hallucinations that could easily be identified by their infamous incorporation of unicorn imagery.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
OK, I know this one is late but I’ve been on a movie set all night, and I’m tired dang it! My apologies as I kind of phoned this one in… I need to recharge my creative batteries a bit. Hope to be a bit fresher tomorrow.
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: During the summer months at a university, things tend to slow down… a lot. This is a time that many of us utilize some of our vacation time, or catch up on some housekeeping type tasks etc. This is also the time of year that the Physical Plant comes around and puts some spit-shin on the building and it’s classrooms. So today was paint-the-hallway-day (and you thought it was National Donut Day). So I got to breathe in some awesome paint fumes as I attempted to be production (already a bit of a challenge on a Friday in the summer).
TWO: Claudio is the name that one of the sound guys goes by on set. I say ‘goes by’ because apparently this isn’t his actual name, but it’s what he wants to be called. This guy is quite a character, himself… I call him the lion because he has this mane of golden-reddish hair that falls to the small of his back that he keeps neatly pulled back in a ponytail (a very accurate description, actually). Plus he has a pirate earring in one ear (big golden hoop). Cool.
THREE: I was asked today by one of the faculty if I would read their article review and edit it. This always makes me a bit nervous, editing other people’s work, as I hate being critical and I definitely don’t want to hurt feelings. So, if you’re reading Jen, hope it was what you were looking for and if you never want me to edit anything again, I totally understand.
Love & Squirrels.