The overhead ventilation system, having provided a humming backdrop to the morning, suddenly cuts out, leaving my corner of 48 surprisingly quiet.
Female Intern, aka “Fi”, aka “Office Kitten”, is packing up the last of her desk. Having oncevowed to crush her cheerful little intern-ly heart, I now watch her prepare to leave with something akin to sorrow. Fi has accepted a job offer, a move up in the world, both literally and figuratively, from the workaday world of the 48th floor to the perfumed halls of the 49th.
Naturally, I am against it.
“What will I do without you?” she says, only half, I think, in jest. “Who will show me hairstyles done only with paperclips and Scotch Tape?”
I had been worried about that very same thing. “With whom will you discuss your smelly feet?” I say.
“What if I need a gas relief tablet?” Fi shakes her head, bewildered.
I, too, shake my head. “Who will watch you manage to eat one apple, all day long?”
“Who will teach me the ways of the Office People?
She smiles at me. Fi, a gleaming haired ocelot of a young woman offers the smile of the optimistic while stuffing the last of her old desk’s contents into a Macy’s bag. “You’re probably going to weep, aren’t you?”
I smile back. “I’m weeping now.”
“Will you write about me?”
She smiles. “When do the grief counselors come?”
“Right after they deliver the keg.”
“So you did manage to schedule the After Intern Dance after all then?”
“Right here in the Northwest corner, baby. We’ve bolstered Security for this one. This time, no gang colors.”
She throws up a hand sign. “I appreciate it.”
The last of her stuff in her bag, she wanders around to the outside of the double cubicle. “I’ll see you around,” she says.
“Lunch Monday?” I say.
“Set it up,” she confirms.
And Fi, straight-spined Future of America, bags of office paraphernalia in hand, walks away.
The ventilation system overhead kicks on again and fills the space she left with white noise.