The Wax: My Coworker Stella

“Now you can get ya wax, girl!”

My coworker Stella is presumably hard of hearing. We’ve decided this fact because she talks in two volumes; so low we can’t hear her, and so loud the whole office can hear her.

Our company is being acquired. While we wait for news on absorption we chatter about what we’d like to spend money on but are afraid to spend money on, given current circumstances. One of our group was discussing a wax package earlier in the day and wishing she hadn’t gone ahead with it as now she is responsible for four payments on it without guaranteed income.

After receiving an email from the new CEO letting us know he’d need more time to decide on who stays and who goes, Stella took it upon herself to rationalize Candy’s purchase. To the entire team, at full volume.

Sigh.

The Naked Guy: An Introduction to My Coworker Stella

Stella leans over and whispers loudly in Landa’s ear, “Remind me to tell you about the naked guy!”

Whaaat????

 

This is a normal thing for my coworker Stella, one being that she doesn’t know how to whisper, the other being that we were supposed to be in our daily reports meeting, and this proclamation came out of nowhere. Stella is unusual. A late-20-something, she’s not very current with how the world works, but she tries, and is good at her job, so her team likes her.

In-between wondering why our China office is asking about pricing when our question was about artwork and questioning how exactly our samples fell off a truck and were now too dirty to send to us, little side conversations happen. The reports meeting is long, longer still now that the line plan is being put through to our overseas teams, and these little mind breaks are welcome. But a naked guy?

Apparently he was one of the crazy ones, as if a normal dude off the street would be dropping his pants on Broadway, and while he was fussing with his shirt he lost his pants. Stella went the other way after witnessing this. She’s good at avoidance.

and so, 5

“It’s good for you to get out of the house, even if it’s just to drive around for awhile.”

Josh looked over the steering wheel at his son, wrapped up in his coat and huddled deep into his seat. The kid was fast asleep. Dark shadows painted the skin under his lashes. Turning back to the road, Josh decided not to wake him. Christopher might be willing to trade stories with him, but he had heard the pacing last night and saw the look in his eyes when he found his son putting backyard toys away that afternoon. Blank eyes, mechanical movements. He almost wished for tears or fists instead. Almost.

Josh still wished he was home. A text from Jane Davis kept him in New York. He never thought he’d be the parent actually in contact with their son.

xxx

I don’t even know your name, but you were born tonight. I’m your dad, for better or worse, and your mom mentioned something about calling you Christopher, but I’m not sure. They say you’re healthy and have all ten toes and ten fingers and good lungs and I keep asking them to stop telling me about you and they won’t, they don’t understand. I don’t want this, can’t have this, and I told Jane not to put my name on the birth certificate and she said okay.

Grow up with your mom and be a good kid for her; I can’t be a good dad for you.

 

Hey Kid,

I blew out a candle for you tonight, happy first birthday.

 

Dear Kit, 

You’re four years old today. When I was four my mom told me I was going to go live with these people I sort of knew, but didn’t really. Next time I saw her she had her new kids with her, twins. I hope your fourth birthday present is better.

 

Dear Kit,

I’m a legal adult now. Twenty one is kind of a big deal, you’ll know one day. I won’t be there to warn you against jager bombs, but hopefully someone will.

 

Kit,

We got a deal, and we’re leaving for Europe today. Five guys all on their own in another country, trying for our big break. I made the right decision, I know I did. With the group, and with you. I can’t be there for you while I’m doing this. And I want to do this.

 

Kit,

I sound like an asshole in my last entry.

It’s been the fastest few years. I have crazy stories. I probably can’t tell you half of them. I wanted to write them down, tell you about them, but I’m afraid I’ll lose this notebook, or someone will see it, and they’ll know. This is the only way to talk to you and I can’t really do that well. But you’re nearing eleven now, a little human with thoughts and likes and dislikes all your own. Do you like music? It would be cool if you did, too.

 

Kit,

My folks were right. I haven’t told them that, but they know I know.

I never mentioned you to anyone, you know? Of course you don’t know. Do you ever ask about me? I’ve only written in here a handful of times. I didn’t think I’d ever feel this way, but I do. So I’ll say it now, put it down here in writing so I can’t take it back: I wish I knew you. Wish I had at least held you that first night. God, fifteen years old. What do you like, what do you do? Where can I send video games? Happy birthday, Kit. 

 

Jane Davis is an evil bitch. Records unlock at eighteen, did you know that? Jane Davis is the worst kind of mother for letting that happen to you.

 

Kit,

It’s been a few years and I had to hire someone, but now I have an address, a phone number, and an email. I’m told their yours. I’m told you responding positively could go either way. 

I’m told you’re gonna be okay.