Christopher and the Ergonomic Chairs

Christopher parked his Nissan Sentra in the company’s CFO spot—walked into the empty building, and took his place at the Information Desk of the vacant building.

He checked and routed yesterday’s mail, checked and routed yesterday’s email and voicemails, and checked his email and schedule–nothing was for him.

It was March of 2020, and he was grateful that the company didn’t lay him off or request that he work from home–he had a laptop, but his cheap apartment did not have Wi-Fi; anyway, it was nice to get away from his annoying roommate who yelled why he Zoomed.

Most days, he brought a sack lunch; then, after his sandwich, he would belt out show tunes to the dozens of empty ergonomic chairs in the call center.

By March of 2021, the routine was getting old, and he craved human connection.

In May, the company was working in the building at half capacity; Christopher lost his convenient parking spot to his boss, and he had to stop singing to the ergonomic chairs; some of its occupants may not like Broadway songs.

Effervescent–Not!

Every time he spoke, a collection of bubbles would start to form in the right corner of his mouth.

It got to the point where I stopped listening to whatever he was talking about and focused on the bubbles.

He could have been talking about things we both were interested in: motorcycles, skiing, or Notre Damn football; all I was thinking about was that damn bubble machine in the corner of that kid’s mouth.

Whenever a bubble popped, a smaller one appeared deeper in the corner, only to grow and then expire, and the cycle would start over again.

I wouldn’t call this effervescent; at the time, I didn’t know of the word though I had seen what happens to a freshly opened bottle of Coke.

The right corner of Dave’s mouth was effervescent, only by the loosest and most unappealing definition, but while writing this short piece using the prompt “effervescent” that was the first and for a long while, the only thing I thought of: Dave’s bubble-making mouth and how I wanted him to cut that shit out!