hells_half_acre: (Montreal)
[personal profile] hells_half_acre
There's a woman in the office building across the alley from me who is always at work. At least, it seems as though she is always at work. Every time I look over, there she is. Her back to me, sitting at her computer. I find myself wondering if she likes her job. She was there on Saturday. She's there long after Gabe leaves for work at night. She looks to be about my age, or possibly early thirties. She's got black hair, and from the back she looks like an older asian woman. Yesterday she was wearing a very fashionable hat, and looked quite nice. Sometimes I wonder what she has in her life besides work. Is there a boyfriend or a family somewhere that keeps hearing excuses.

"I'm sorry, I've got to go into work. There's a deadline coming up."

"I'll be working late all this week, you'll be alright for dinner won't you? It's only temporary, I promise."

Maybe she used to have a boyfriend of a family, but they are gone now because she worked too much. Maybe she never had anyone to begin with, and all she has is her work. She's got stock piles of money that she has no use for. She buys fashionable hats and expensive coffee beans, she saves up for a retirement that she'll spend alone. Again, I wonder if she enjoys her job, and then I wonder what it is she does, because maybe it's something I should do. I don't enjoy anything that people pay you to do.

*    *   *    *

Gabe and I are extremely annoying together sometimes. We both have too many thoughts in our heads, and yet simple conversations are beyond us.

The other day we were in a restaurant talking, while dozens of other conversations from other tables filled the small space. Gabe smiled at me and said,

"I like how we both hear well enough that we can talk to each other under sound, but yet we never pay attention so we miss what the other person says anyway."

At the time I liked his phrasing of "under sound" so much, that I didn't really pay any mind to the rest of the sentence. I just smiled and agreed, while I thought about the words "under sound" and how marvelous they were.

Jump ahead to yesterday, while we were playing videogames.

"I'm going to go kill Guan Ping" I said.

"*mumble* kill Guan Ping,"  Gabe said a minute later.

"What did you just say?"

"I asked if you were going to kill Guan Ping," he responded, "For goodness sake, from now on I'm just going to say 'hey' until I'm sure I have your attention."

"I just told you I was going to kill Guan Ping. That's why I was confused, plus I missed the first part of the sentence so I wasn't sure if you were saying YOU were going to kill Guan Ping or asking if I was."

"If you said you were going to kill Guan Ping, you must not have said it out loud, because I didn't hear anything."

"Oh, I said it out loud. I think it's me that's going to have to start saying 'hey' until I'm sure I have your attention."


It's no wonder the guy used to think he was going deaf, how can you possibly miss a whole sentence, I thought. Bastard. I was paying attention, he was just mumbling. I was probably mumbling too, but it's not like my mumbles were inaudible, I definitely said something out loud.

"Hey" Gabe said, and I waited for him to continue, wondering what the heck injustice he was hey-ing about. I looked at his portion of the game screen and saw nothing amiss. Then I remembered,


"The south gate is closed. If you have to leave the castle, you'll have to use the north gate."

"Ok, thanks."

*   *    *   *
Last Thursday Gabe's Chinese tandem came over. He helps the guy with English, and the guy helps him with Chinese. It makes Gabe happy, but it means that I've got to find stuff to do in my room on Thursdays. The first time he came over, he bought a bag of chinese snacks. The following exchange proved how distracted Gabe was:

"Hey Alix, do you want some Egg Sachima?" Gabe called from the other room.

"What are they called?" I answered, wondering if the words "Alix, do you want" and "egg" had really just left his lips in the same sentence. He knows better than anyone that I'm allergic to eggs.

"Egg Sachima, here!" and suddenly there was a package thrown into my room. Yup, it looked like some sort of egg thing.

"Thanks" I yelled back, the sarcasm lost on him.

Last Thursday though, he surprised me by being the opposite. I was sitting at my computer, trying to find stuff to do while I listened to Gabe and the chinese guy play videogames. I reached for something on my desk and accidentally knocked by glasses onto the floor. They made an extremely small "tink" sound, and I muttered "shit" under my breath (causing it to mainly sound like "sh").

"ARE YOU ALRIGHT?!" Gabe suddenly yelled from the other room.

"Wha? Yeah, I just knocked my glasses on the floor. Everything is fine." I responded, wondering how on earth he heard anything over the video game.


A few minutes later, I sneezed...quietly as usual.




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