Click below to hear Mr. Vinégar read this passage.
Love at Globes and Maps, By Mr. Vinégar
This morning love blossomed at Globes and Maps Inc., my place of employment. Ms. Graben, who usually wears a variety of sacks in muted colors, was clothed instead in a bright see-through dress with a plunging neck line that stopped just short of her knees. Aren’t you cold? Ms. Snickety asked, viewing Ms. Graben’s skimpy outfit with obvious disdain. Not at all, Ms. Graben replied cheerfully, though her arms and legs were covered with goose bumps the size of bee stings. I held my tongue because I wasn’t sure what to think – a middle-aged woman prancing around in her underwear while doing the books is hardly conducive to a workplace environment – but it was not my place to say so. Nothing more was made of the matter until mid-morning when we heard whistling in the hallway. A moment later, Winston the Aqua Water Man, strode into the office holding a huge bottle of water in each hand.
I would have gone back to work had Ms. Graben not pushed past me with such force that I almost fell off my chair. Hi Winston, Ms. Graben smiled. Tall and slender, Winston must be twenty years younger than Ms. Graben. He has long brown hair, a wispy mustache and beard and speaks in a voice better suited to a boy of twelve which is probably why he seldom speaks at all. You’re looking fit today, Ms. Graben said coquettishly. As if in reply, Winston took down the empty bottle from the stand and in one quick movement ripped the sealer off the new one, hoisted it in the air and plunged it dramatically down into the waiting mouth of the cooler. Oooo! Ms. Graben shivered. I love water. I could drink gallons of it, she continued, as the water gurgled down. It’s good for my complexion. It’s good for your figure too, Winston said, winking broadly. Ms. Graben giggled and smoothed her dress over her stomach with the flat of her hand.
Ms. Snickety tsked and rolled her eyes. Now everyone knew the reason for Ms. Graben’s attire, including Winston who was admiring her assets through the bubbling water. It’s such a funny sound, Ms. Graben laughed. By now all the water had finished draining into the receptacle. Winston picked up the empty bottle. I’ll leave you the extra one, he said to Ms. Graben. I’ll have to drink even more, she said, unnecessarily, as she accompanied Winston out the door. Oh please! Ms. Snickety said loudly. We heard Ms. Graben’s laughter in the hallway and then she reappeared, her cheeks flushed and her bosom heaving. She paused by the door for a brief moment and then, making a circuitous route to the restroom, casually knocked Ms. Snickety’s jar of pens and pencils onto the floor as she passed by her desk. I thanked my stars I had remained silent for I was holding a hot cup of coffee when she passed by me. I do not know how this tryst will play out but from Ms. Graben’s heavy breathing it appears to be a volcano in the making. On the other hand, Jonesy and Mami’s relationship seems positively tranquil in comparison.
Click below to hear Jonesy read this passage.
Love at Globes and Maps, by Jonesy
Tranquil? Are you kidding me? It’s one long whine. I can’t even go behind a bush to do my business before Mami’s, Where did you go? Who did you see? What did you talk about? She can go about the neighborhood all day long if she wants, it wouldn’t bother me. But she never goes anywhere! She just stays in and watches TV.
The other day I saw Blackie across the street. I went over and nudged her just to say hello, and when I came back there was Mami waiting for me. What did you say to her? She asked. Nothing, I said. Yes, you did. I saw you. I just said hello. Yeah, right! Well, if you’re not going to believe me why did you even ask? And then she smacked me in the face and stalked off!
The next day my face blew up like a balloon. Mr. Vinégar had to take me to the vet. As I got a shot, I thought to myself, I’m done. I’m over her. Mr. Vinégar took me home and who do I see sitting outside the door waiting for me, Mami. Come out, she said, like nothing had happened. I can’t, I said, I have to stay inside for a couple of days. Why? She said. Why? Look at my face! Oh, she said, That’s nothing. You’ll get over it. It was just a love tap.
If that was a love tap I don’t want to be around when she gets mad. As it was I had to stay inside for three whole days. The strange thing was that by the third day I missed her! Now what’s up with that?