If You Want To Stay Late.
Posted on January 29, 2016
Tell your boss you enjoy what he has you doing, about how you wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. You’d like more to do; you have time. He’ll laugh when you joke that you’re developing a loyalty habit that’s like a twitch. Stop before you admit you don’t want to go home.
Remember the details he’ll soon forget he mentioned. So when you say something he’s forgotten he told you, he’ll tap his forehead with a pen, and say, “Here you are again, Carly, inside my head.”
Be subtle, just a bit inappropriate. This requires balance. The world’s full of blatant need and honesty. All those handshakes that run a beat too long, footsie under the table. Avoid skin. Think of whispers, and how, when you want to hear one, you only adjust your head.
Elevator rides are great opportunities for intimacy. They’re like bed standing up. You step in front of the boss, lean back a little, and hope someone else gets on.
Stay late to help him put together his power point presentation.
Always know how you look. Lips slightly parted, hands alive as you talk. Know what your legs are doing, if they’re crossed or you’re bouncing your heel.
These things also work: Tuberose perfume. Nipples through black shirts. Hair in your eyes he’ll watch you brush away, wanting to do this.
Offer him one of the long neck beers you’ve stashed in the fridge in a grocery bag.
Walk slowly in and out of his office with corrections. Don’t be deferential anymore. Call him Albert often. Albert. Albert. Albert. Put the papers in front of Albert, who will take your wrist and pull you close to him. Kiss him back.
The desk is high and too hard.
Move to the rug. You don’t want this to be just one time, so set up a reason for the next time. Tell Albert how very close you are, just a minute away, when you know he can’t last seven more seconds. Tell Albert you’ve never had an orgasm fucking. “Watch me,” you say. He promises he’ll be the one who pushes you through the next time, who gets on your map.
After sex, tell him something pretty. How you were the kid who always stayed after school to erase the blackboard because it was so lovely to run through the day’s work. Forget that you don’t mean any of it, and that you stayed late not to help your teacher, but because you didn’t want to go home to your drunk parents, and that all you felt after you’d clapped the chalk out was dread.
The next day at work, stand beside his chair so he runs his fingers up your bare calf.
Bring him chocolate covered almonds. Spike his coffee with Amaretto.
After the security guard shows Albert’s boss the tape of the two of you fucking in the middle of the floor and you both get called up to the executive office to watch it, hesitate. Take a closer look. Say: “How do you know it’s me?” The guard will say you were signed in until 11 p.m. Have the guard rewind and replay, rewind and replay. It may look like you, or it may be the woman from the third floor you saw Albert talking to in the parking lot after he left you with a few more corrections to make, both of them in the open V of the door on the passenger side of her car, because he was considering the drink she’d offered. Say it isn’t you. You don’t have shoes with 4″ heels because your knee was screwed up in a car wreck. Point to a scar under your skirt and threaten to show your boss’s boss. He’ll shake his head and say that’s not necessary.
Leave the room.
Clean out your desk. Pitch all of your Albert’s notes and corrections and the power point zip disk into the trash. Pour what’s left of your Coke in there, too. Try not to look down at your sensible shoes.
Go into your Albert’s office. He’ll beg you to keep your voice down. Raise your voice. Fill every cubicle of the office with your voice. Rattle the windows. Make coffee jump out of mugs. Ask him this: “You fucked her after me?”
If you have to think of yourself as a trophy, don’t let it be the brassy thing you win at swim meets. Be the five-point deer head in the lodge. That’s funnier, don’t you think? The kill he made without his wife? The proof he hangs in his den — next to the smaller deer in heels — that she’ll put in the trash if he dies first.
When you wake at 4 a.m. and your brain’s on fire, pretend you’re swimming in a lake alone and the water’s cool. Slow down. Go easy now. The feeling that love’s a kind of home — well, it won’t go away, but you can put it away. Just dam it and trust the banks will hold once the water stills.
Read the newspaper the minute it hits your door. Notice bad days also happen to other people. Be grateful for that.
Find your next job in the want ads because you want to be seamless. Then you have a highway with no red lights. Just high speeds and miles of road. A place where you can drive all night. Texas. Those people in Texas care so much about their trucks that the roads are black velvet.