“So what you’re gonna wanna do? Is you’re gonna wanna access the report? The report I sent you yesterday?”
I shouldn’t be listening in, but I can’t help it. Here on the Cube Farm – and just one row over – a young woman is on the phone and struggling with the declarative sentence.
My heart goes out to her.
And I grab a pen.
“Kaylee/Riley/Taylor/Xena’s language skirmish is giving me a headache? And I vacillate? Between telling her? And lobbing a paperclip torpedo at her head?”
She continues, despite my ardent and, so far, unexpressed desire that she shut up just the tiniest of bits. The sing-song, almost Valley Girl-like pattern of her speech has been wiggling into my brain for 12 minutes now.
This is not how good Minneapolitans speak.
“I sent it to you earlier? At, like, 2:00? If you sort? By “received”? You should be able to find it that way?”
I remove my glasses, press the heels of my hands into my eyeballs until I hallucinate exploding tapestries of red and black. “La la la la laaaaaa”.
My cube-mate, Tamra, looks at me sideways. “You’re going to hurt yourself,” she says.
“I’m sorry? My brain? Keeps sliding up a musical scale? Toward a sentence that sounds like a question but isn’t?”
Tamra makes a face I interpret to be commiseration.
“I’m going to contact HR,” I say. “I think my rights are being violated.”
Tamra grins, shakes her head, returns to her screen, returns to whatever it is that she does over there.
And I go back to discovering my inner curmudgeon.