eye contact

October 4, 2010

In the morning, I see Jiang Ling standing up at her cubicle. Move away. I take the circuitous route and ranging back to my cubicle I see I have gone too far. I’m at CJ’s desk. Backtrack to my cubicle and say a sideways hello to Andre.

Lunch. I came back to the office and headed straight for Shwa Juan. Would anyone say hello? There was comfort in the familiarity of the office, the one I have been in for one and a half years. But I was determined never to see it again. Straight towards her, I fished out my name card holder, took out $2 and left it on the table. She looked up, and I started fishing for coins from my coin purse.

“Kelvin,” I said, by way of explanation. “What’s this about?”
“Oh, milk tea.”
“How much was it,” I concentrated on my coin pouch.
“Ah, 40 cents.”
“Thanks!”
“Yups.”

I strode furiously away. Liz at her desk, new grey blouse. Mmm.
She looked over. “Aren’t you supposed to be at green?”
“Yups, I’m here for a lunch special.” Studiously looking at Guna’s monitor.

Pacey, Guna, Tony came over with questions. I felt important again, but I wanted to leave this place for ever. I unplugged the hard disk, and walked away. This time, I mustered some cheerfulness. I looked at her and waved goodbye with a smile. She smiled and waved back.

Back to Green.

Meeting with Jimmy. The batchjob has a letter at the end to indicate the frequency. D is for daily…. I was so bored I started drumming my fingers according to the description in Flow, of how Leibniz would occupy his time. O is for … Outstanding? I volunteered. The room broke out with some encouraging giggles. Jiang Ling turned around to look. I studiously made a pained face. I scribble on my paper.

Andre: “How do you feel? … It’s not Praveen… Yeah, what’s wrong?”
“It’s systemic.”
“You didn’t exercise yesterday did you?”
“No, it’s not that…. I did actually.”
“What’s wrong with the system?”
“No there’s nothing wrong with the system. It’s systemic.”
“What does that mean?”
“It’s everything. Here see.” I googled the world.
“Maybe because it’s monday eh.”

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