Tuesday meetings are standard. Sure, bring your laptop. Will someone please take the minutes? Interoffice memorandum. To preserve employment, there will be no sugar, cream, lunch meat, or paychecks from here on out. White boards. Black boards. Anti-fungal cream for pent up toes. Quarterly summaries. Yearly reports. Snapping gum. Finger joints popping.
Before we get started, let’s begin with the weekend. How was the last one? Did you sing? Did you shimmy? How do you say “Saturday” in Khmer? What does Sunday look like from the moon? What about next weekend? Any plans? Dinners with cousins. Fathers in town. You know, zoo flamingoes.
It’s all deserved. It’s nice to see that everyone agrees they have earned exactly what they get on Saturdays and Sundays. All the days. Yours! Mine! Paper plates. Viral chicken sandwiches. The cozy mouth of the couch. Stonehenge manicures.
I’ll probably workout. Maybe run a mile longer. Do you have that app? The one that yells at you to get up, fucker? I can’t help but do what they say. I nod and go go go. Supposedly it keeps you from rolling to the bathroom. So much rolling these days. My hip flexers ache. No doughnuts for me. Only grass butter balls sprinkled in nutritional yeast.
Can someone outline a plan? What are we going to do with all this pent-up energy? Have any of you built a boat before, a yacht, a cruise liner? What is that smell? Tickets to Singapore are at an all-time low. Anyone interested in weaving a basket out of cow intestines? Let’s make a plan. Let’s make all the plans.
Meeting requirements include nodding and smiling while jabbing the sharp point of a number two pencil into your knee under the table. Please close your eyes for a minute, sniff the controlled air for any sign of freshness. Don’t be disappointed when it’s not there.
Feel the tug at your ankles. It pulls you down a bubblegum hole. Bubbles pop stick pop, softening your fall. Looking up you see Venus is a bit brighter than usual. The chins of your co-workers double and triple as they watch from above, snapping pictures of your splayed arms on their phones. You pass by plastic soda bottles, horse bones, silicon, diamonds until you reach the bottom finding a weekday dance inside a ring of oldtime sun.
Felicity Fenton’s stories and essays have been featured in Fanzine, Split Lip Press, Wigleaf, The Iowa Review, Pidgeonholes, The Denver Quarterly, The Masters Review, Passages North, X‑R-A‑Y (forthcoming), and others. Her book, User Not Found was published by Future Tense Books in December, 2018. She lives in Portland, Oregon.