Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Office

I don't think either one of us could work in an office, it would be far too respectable. But actually, I can imagine dee dee sue's office cubicle: plastered with pictures of bulls and bullfighters, a tiny shrine to San Fermin, empty agave bottles used as paper-weights, tall stacks of books on the floor, most of them read and ready to be given to me for consumption. Of course, if it really was her cubicle, or for that matter, even her corner executive suite, it wouldn't be hers unless she wasn't there. But that's another story.

Here's the quick and dirty on the office: It's a café bar that we've both frequented for at least 20 years (longer for her, even). In the beginning, I went in the mornings, taking my place on the corner stool, chatting up the barman, ordering more than one café-crème and spending a few hours scribbling in my journal. She was more of a night-time patron, drinking things stronger than coffee, but also chatting up the barman. And always with her eye on the same prize: the corner stool.

But we'd never been there together.

While all this was going on, a mutual friend, mother theresa, kept trying to introduce us - we were neighbors after all - and when she finally succeeded (it took 7 years) we realized we had a lot in common, including this little café.

It was about the same time that I rented my own writing studio, so I didn't need to go to the café every morning. And about that same time, I started having babies, so what I really needed was that late afternoon Leffe-break, or the coveted kitchen pass for an extended girls night out. My hours started to coincide with dee dee sue's.

Need I say more? We've spent a lot of time on those corner stools. Once, she counted how many hours she'd been there during the course of a week: 35 hours, the length of the official French work-week. Therefore, that made it official, this must be the office.

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