Move your mouse over here!
Previous page

Not Pretty

I work with a bevy of women, and one other man. Is bevy the right word? The women certainly are beauties. They know how to dress and how to behave. Colours coordinated, tastefully provocative. Above all, kind, honest and loyal. Thatís just in the office, of course. Who knows what they get up to outside the office? It isnít my business. I only know what I get up to. And thatís not always so pretty.

Oh, the man dresses and behaves, too. Jacket, tie, the manly stuff. But for him the question is not rhetorical. Itís my wife of twenty odd years. She tells me what he is up to, and into. Not in so many words. It more like how pretty she looks and smells after watching the hockey players on TV. Itís a glow, an aura, something in the air. And the look on her face when I mention his name.

Itís really not good to know the private lives of fellow workers. It makes it hard to dress and to behave in the office, return the kindness to everyone. Hard, I mean, to keep things neat and separate. Hard to resist doing something one shouldnít, something like seeing the happiness on the faces of the women at morning coffee, their hope for the day, and feel only a dry, hollow tremor in my heart and a searing urge to crack, sob and rage red without restraint over my poor, poor life. Something, I know, that would not, if it were to happen, be pretty. Not be pretty at all.

Story by:

Alan Girling

submitted at 8:17am

12 July 2009