The phone receiver crashes down,
echoing urgency upon the desk.
Like a synchronized swimmer,
the chair pushes back, twirling,
my body twists,
my toes point, pushing down
through the carpet, down
on the foundation,
my legs finally pulling my body
out of the chair.
Exiting my room I take four steps
and enter her office.
She is large, puffed up,
steaming. She speaks,
forcing the words carefully
from between clenched teeth,
and tight lips.
“I’ve been trying…” she huffs,
“for hours, but it won’t….”
she can’t continue, pointing instead
at the humming offender
that lives two feet over
amidst the paper jungle on her desk.
It looked at me, its one red eye
proclaiming its very need. It hummed
and whirred, whining, wanting
what she had failed to give it.
I patted it once, then
popping it open,
stuffed it until it was full,
and slapped it shut.
She stared at me wide eyed, mouth
agape, as it erupted.
“Next time,” I said, leaving the room
“be sure to check the paper.”
Lovingly dedicated to Theresa Barton, my old boss, a mentor, and a friend