Peering closer to the monitor, Stella rested her chin in the crooked palm of her left hand as she scrolled through the finer details of the newest policy update. God, how she deplored the jargon of administrators- as if they had nothing better to do then push around their hollow words and concoct new crackpot ‘vision statements’ to further remind the plebeians they lorded over that they ‘cared’.
Pfffht… Stella wished she could just delete the document filling her computer screen but it had recently become her responsibility to read and then inform her department of such ‘updates’ handed down by corporate. At that moment Jack, one of the traveling salesmen who had been temporarily assigned to the office next door peeked in her office doorway. “Are your eyes ok?” he asked to the instant and obvious confusion of Stella to which he quickly continued, “It’s just that every time I walk by I see you staring at that screen. I don’t know how blood isn’t pouring from your sockets!” Jack began to chuckle a little at his attempt at humor. He quickly swallowed that inclination however, as he watched Stella’s face contort from its initial look of confusion to one of unmistakable wide-eyed terror.
Caught off gaurd by Stella’s dramatic reaction, Jack quickly mumbled a parting phrase and shuffled into his office. “Perhaps the imagery was a bit too gory for her…” he wondered to himself. Shrugging it off, he delved into his presentation for the upcoming sales exhibition- Jack was never one to linger on a subject he didn’t immediately understand. It made him feel stupid and Jack had no patience for stupidity, especially his own.
Relaxing a little in her chair now that Jack was safely in his own office, Stella immediately opened the top drawer of the desk and after a few seconds produced her small, pink hand mirror. Jumping up to flick on the fluorescents in her office (she never turned on the lights, preferring the dark to the harsh lighting produced by the buzzing tubes above) and after closing her office door brought the mirror to her face. Staring at her reflection, Stella looked for anything that may alert to something wrong with her appearance. Despite being a bit pale, everything looked as it should and Stella eventually put the hand mirror away after several more minutes’ inspection. Heaving a sigh of relief, Stella thought she had better take the rest of the day off just to be on the safe side. She doubted she could get very much more work done anyway in her current state of mind thanks to Jack’s comment.
Arriving home without further incident, Stella walked to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of Eli’s Root Beer, using the hem of her shirt to twist off the cap. Taking a long pull from the bottle, she let out a satisfied belch, “that’s how you know it’s good” she said to the empty house- a phrase her younger and burping enthusiast brother had always announced after an especially large belch.
Taking her beverage with her to the bathroom, Stella set the bottle down on the sink counter with a delicate ‘clink’ and turned on the water. Waiting for it to heat up a bit, she splashed her face and scrubbed off the day’s makeup with a gentle facial scrub, breathing in its lovely citrus scent. Patting her face dry with a hand towel, Stella fetched her root beer and returned to the kitchen. She also grabbed a large bottle of saline from the hallway closet on her way.
Rummaging in the far cupboard, she pulled out a small Tupperware container and matching red lid. Setting it down on the countertop, Stella reached for the saline and filled the container three fourths of the way full. Then, as casual as you like, placing a bit of pressure just below the socket of her right eye with two fingers Stella popped out her eyeball as if it were a gumball and dropped it into the saline. She repeated the process with her left eyeball. Snapping the lid shut, Stella walked the container to the fridge and placed it on the second shelf, right next to the sour cream and Pillsbury pie crusts. Massaging her empty sockets, Stella sighed contentedly, “Ahh… much better”.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: I am a slave to the computer. From 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday I can usually be found in my dark office (I abhor fluorescents and am not altogether unconvinced they are not the root of all evil) with my nose about four inches from the glow of my computer screen. Not to mention the 2+ hours I spend pecking away at my laptop each and every night gallantly forging on in my pledge to blog. So, it came as little surprise today when one of the faculty members, as he was walking by my office, made comment on my usual hunched position saying something to the effect of, “how are your eyes not bleeding?!?”. I kinda laughed and made some noncommittal reply like, “oh, I just pluck them out when I get home and give them a good soaking” (honestly, who says stuff like that??? Me… that’s who.). I’m slightly inclinded to believe my bizarre reply has something to do with how the faculty members I work with find it bizarre somehow (and they do) that I am always in front of my computer. Um… guys, it’s not by choice, I assure you… it’s sorta part of the job. Just saying.
TWO: As a soda addict, unreformed, I was elated when Andy came home from the grocery recently with hands down the best dang root beer I’ve ever tasted (from a bottle anyway). Cap’t Eli’s Root Beer is something to be savored, something to be swooshed slowly around in the mouth before allowing your stomach contents the pleasure of marinating in its deliciousness.
Love & Squirrels.