The Wintrovert

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The time is 5:37 on a Wednesday evening, and I’m sitting alone at an empty dinner table eating my chicken paella and catching up on bills. The sun has bid me farewell nearly half an hour ago, leaving a blanket of darkness to cover my city. A bottle of wine sits in my kitchen and I consider opening it, pouring myself a glass, and snuggling on the couch to watch TV. Read More

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Christmas In The Office

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I’m never late for work because I have my morning routine down to a tee.

My alarm pulls me awake. Cold cereal and a splash of almond milk. My clothes wait for me, hanging in the closet. My keys are always where I last left them: on the key rack above the cordless phone, still collecting dust.

Yes, I’m never late for work, unless it’s snowed.

“Oops,” I whisper in the cold morning air,  allowing a few visible wisps of breath to escape my mouth.

Suppose I should get into the habit of checking not just the temp but the precipitation before I leave for work. Fresh powdery snow has blanketed the car entirely. I start up the engine, thankfully the engine keeps running, and begin wiping down the windows.

My little white ford focus rumbles down the road probably louder than the garbage truck that’s barreling toward me.  The rim of a coffee cup touches my lips and I sip the first of many coffees to come. Then I try desperately to wake up the heater. But the fan won’t budge; yes it’s frozen stuck.

“Damn it,”  I curse. The words hang sharply in the still air. Why do I only curse when I’m alone in the car: at my car, at myself, at my steering wheel when it’s jammed, at my brakes when they take longer to stop than I’d like. And I have no idea where the language comes from. These words just fly out of my mouth in a frenzy of anger or fear, and when all is well I think, “Where in heaven did I learn to curse like that?”

My fingers begin to numb and I race to work thinking about nothing else but getting back into my bed when this day is over.

I work for the State of Indiana. I have a little cubicle at a small agency down deep in the basement (Lower-level as we like to call it) of the South Government building. I slip through the door and see the little white head of our receptionist resting her face on a soft warm blanket on  her desk before the clock strikes eight and the work day commences. She’s adorable.

Winter in Indianapolis, that’s probably how I should have started this blog post. Winter before Christmas is very festive with lights and trees everywhere. But some people get carried away with the Christmas decorations. A tree went up right outside my cubicle and it gives a nice touch, especially with the lights.

But then strange appearances began. People were decking out their cubes with wrapping paper and candy canes. The smell of gingerbread cookies filled my nostrils on the way out to lunch. The aroma must have been from a scented candle warmer or an air freshener but it was so bizarre. “Merry Christmas” signs hang from doors and some people even have stockings hanging outside their offices with hand written names in green. What in the world? The weirdest thing yet was a woman who had a collection of Christmas plates fit for a Christmas castle sitting all spread out on her desk beside her computer.

Jeez Louis, is Santa coming in or something? I thought Christmas decorating stopped in college.

Guess not.

I love the traditional decorations: all the lamp posts on Meridian street tide red with bows, and the lights that hang from monument circle surrounded by an army of tin soldiers. But I’ll pass on the tacky lights and creepy Christmas decor. Please, keep that at home. 🙂