Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Valentine's Day Drive

The sound of rapping on my window made me jump and drop my phone. I looked up to see a familiar, but slightly grizzled face, peering at me through the passenger side. "Open up" it mouthed, and I reluctantly unlocked the door. He climbed in, gathering his trench coat over his knees and fastening the seat belt with a firm click.

"Drive," he said.

I put the car into drive and did as he said. It was all happening just as I had imagined a carjacking might. But I wasn't afraid. I glanced over at the graying, overgrown, hair and rolled my eyes. I shouldn't even be here right now. I should be on my way to...well...what did it matter? I had to do what I had to do. I changed the radio station from pop to country to oldies, then finally turned it off. Nothing seemed to sound right with him in my car.

"So, how's your Monday going?" I asked, trying to make conversation.

"Same shit, different day," he said. He typed something important into his Blackberry.

"It's Valentine's Day, you know. Did you remember to get your wife anything?" Oh God. I realized the error of my ways as soon as I had spoken.

"I don't know," he said. "Did I?"

"Of, of, course," I stammered. "The um, red roses with the teddy bear. Two dozen, actually." I gave him a reassuring smile and squirted a round of windshield washer fluid, just for something to do. Awkward silence ticked away as I drove.

"Did your boyfriend get you anything?"

I had been staring at a red light, willing it to turn green, when he spoke. The meaning in his words didn't quite fit with everything that I knew about the world. Interest in my personal life? I couldn't have been any more surprised if I was rear-ended by a Prius-driving Sasquatch.

"Well, I don't actually, um, I don't actually have anybody right now," I said. It figured that the one time he showed any interest in me as a human being, I had to reveal what a pathetic one I was.

"Pull over," he said, not looking up from his Blackberry. Confused, I did as he said, and waited while he hopped out and disappeared into a nearby Walgreens. I had checked my email, then Twitter, then Facebook , before he got back into my car.

"Drive," he said.

We rode in silence until we stopped outside our destination and he got out of my car. He tossed a plastic bag into my lap.

"Thanks for the lift" he said, ducking down to give me a quick wave.

I peeked inside the bag to find a small heart shaped box of chocolates - the words "My Hero" printed across the front. I watched as my boss headed into Hair & Now where I had scheduled him his 12:30 p.m. hair cut appointment. He'd be a new man when he came back out, though I wasn't quite sure if that was a good thing. I popped a chocolate in my mouth and put the car into drive. 

Finally, I could go to lunch.

Read this and other office humor posts at The Collared Sheep