After a very rare rainstorm in the Bay Area, all of my fellow commuters were thoroughly frightened away from the freeways. This made for a fantastic drive in to work. I got to drive. Forward. At a steady speed. Wheeee!
Due to the lack of traffic I reached the office in record time. I was the first one there. It was a Friday. Before a holiday week. I thought I was quite literally the first person there.
As I am relatively new to my day job, I have no idea where the light switch on my floor is. (As later discovered, neither does my boss who’s been with the company more than five years. In his defense, he hasn’t spent all five of said years in the aforementioned building. But I digress…)
I decided to suck it up and huddle in my cube using the dim backlight of my Macbook and the motion-sensor light under the shelf at the back of the cube, which startles me by turning itself on every time I roll by in my chair. How very IT of me. (The information technology department always seems to like working in the dark.)
My deep dark quiet concentration was quickly interrupted by an overhead scratching. Suddenly a ceiling tile rose from its square resting place just due north of my head and scooted itself aside.
A man emerged from the ceiling.
I frantically spun around searching the remaining ceiling bits for the Dark Mark – because foul sorcery was obviously afoot.
The light under the shelf at the back of the cube immediately recognized the motion of my wheely chair and blinked itself on – shining a glowing backlit halo around a larger-than-life black and white portrait of Frankenstein’s monster glowering down upon me.
I was no longer certain that this was reality vs. a work dream. I mean, come on, there was no traffic on the way in… Had to be a dream, right?
I blindly made my way over to the break room, where the coffee carafe’s lived.
The House Blend and French Roast stood empty, awaiting the gods drowned beans. They sat next to a freshly brewed decaf canister.
The dream became a nightmare. Decaf only? Who does that?! (Other than men who drop out of ceilings.)
I set about brewing a pot of delicious dark French Roast. Although my hands were a little shaky. I kind of filled the cup super full. Welp, this was a morning that called for a strong cup anyway.
The smart industrial machine blinked at me, telling me my delectable drink would be ready in five minutes.
Five minutes?! I did not have this kind of time. I took two steps to my left and caressed the espresso machine shining back at me.
I smiled. What the hell. I hit the double shot button.
By this time, others had begun arriving at the office. A coworker saw me concocting my double espresso and laughed, “Boy, that’s enough caffeine for your whole day!” Whew, thanks man, I needed that full belly laugh.
I wasn’t really a coffee person until I kicked off my professional career with a west coast job requiring me to work east coast hours. Then I had tiny twins.
Even strangers descending from on high doesn’t keep get my adrenaline going hard enough to get me through the day.
Shortly after downing my dopio, I returned for the French Roast.
Once again, I almost found myself with a mug of decaf. The three coffee carafes were no longer in the setup in which I’d left them earlier. Who the hell was playing three-card monte with the coffee? (It was the ceiling sorcerer, wasn’t it?)
The French Roast was already empty. I made a new carafe. Alas, some of the ground beans apparently wedged their way under the filter.
I took a swig of what turned out to be a mouthful of grainy grounds just as my phone rang.
As I attempted to subtly spit out the crunchy bits, a voice on the other end of the line was sharing that my son had just arfed on his teacher and would I please let the school know how soon I could retrieve Pukey the Feverish.
So much for the hope I was actually still asleep. Nope. This is real life.
P.S. It turns out the ceiling sorcerer was actually an infrastructure guy pulling cables.