Tuesday, April 19, 2011


55. We are working in complete silence. Our entire exchange over the few hours of this morning so far has been the bare minimum greetings, and me asking whether it was all right with her if I had a brief Skype meeting. It's my first day back to work, after the UK trip, but we don't do the usual "How was your trip?" and "How was Brussels when I was away?" thingy. I am normally a little more conversational with my officemates. Admittedly, the first one did abruptly move out of the office because I apparently had been as emotional as a brick; but I got along well with the other two. It is not my intention to come across as a brick again, but what with the writing of the grant proposal, I haven't talked much to Cassandra. 

As I am trying to figure out how to make my work sound tremendously important, she says, "Did you see? I ate all the oranges." For a few seconds, I stare at her. Five days of not being around me, and this is the first thing she wants to tell me? I want my imaginary friend back. The one that had to go to make space for Cassandra, that one. (The others are still around.) Reading my thoughts, she adds, "Because you told me to." Suddenly, I remember. On my last day at work, before leaving for badminton, I had specifically told Cassandra to eat my two oranges, the intended replacement for chocolate snacks. As chocolate trumps orange every time, the oranges had remained uneaten; hence my instruction for her. "Good," I tell Cassandra, "I like officemates who do what I tell them to." What I think but don't say is, "I like you more than my imaginary friend already."

56. Reason #72 why we are friends: Lily completely understands what I mean when, out of the blue, I say, "I have good news for you. Alexander's brother's kids are twins."

57. Potatoes, cream cheese, pineapples, mushrooms, bacon, onions. I am missing something that I can't quite put my finger on. I am at GB, getting ingredients for my flat's Tuesday dinner. What else did they always have for their baked-potatoes meals? I haven't seen them since leaving for Belgium, but their weekly dinners are not something I forget. Yummy food, good wine, the complete ease of being around them, and being insisted, after dessert, that I would have a glass of port, my favorite drink. "She's going to be driving," the weak protest would come, and then their reply would invariably be, "It's just one glass. We'll finish watching this in an hour, and then she could drive." Beetroots. Beetroots are what I am missing. And that glass of port. 

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