Girls kissing girls

October 24, 2010

Since that fateful day (the one when I spotted the Boss and the HR girl canoodling in that girly sort of way), I have tried to work from home a bit more often. Occasionally though, I have to pop in and make an appearance. Grab a hot desk. Log in to the system. Phone that nice boy Ollie in IT because I’ve forgotten my password. That sort of thing.

It is especially hard being in the office because I can’t bear to catch the Boss’s eye (let alone her seamed calf). The L word is spinning around my head. I don’t know any lesbians, but the Peacock wife did. She knew quite a lot of them, for some reason. Not that any of them looked like the Boss. I remember them being the dungaree, Old Holborn, nicotine stained fingers sort. It was the 80s, Greenham Common and all that. You know, the type with pierced noses and pink streaks in their cropped hair. Things have clearly changed since then, though. Didn’t Britney Spears snog a girl once? Actually, I think it was Madonna (although I am not sure you could call her a girl).  Regardless, it is clear that  relatively attractive girls now snog other relatively atttractive girls. And I think the Boss might be one of them.

Anyway, the contents of the biscuit tin are proving to be a great comfort as I ponder on the Boss’s  possible lesbianism.  I miss biscuit dunking when I am in the office and have to survive on black coffee instead (an office full of women and gay men means it is either Krispy Kremes every day or famine, depending on the fatness indicator). At the moment the fatness indicator has swung 360 degrees, so it is famine.

I thought the state of famine might be the reason why Susie – you remember, the one with the boyfriend who had been attacked by an alligator in Florida – sat slumped at her desk in tears. I remember that hunger made the Peacock wife more hormonally challenged than usual so I assumed the tears were due to a lack of calories and ignored her for a fair while. I don’t know about you, but I find sniffing very irritating and the constant sniff, sniff, sniff eventually made me turn around and hand her a tissue.

Susie, all watery eyed and blotchy, took it (rather ungraciously I felt) and blew her nose loudly. I tried to avoid conversation by turning around quickly but she spoke before I could get my hot desk swiveless chair to swivel.

‘I tried to take compassionate leave but the Witch made me come in.’

‘The Witch?’

She nodded towards the Boss’s office.

‘Oh.’

‘Yes,’ she said, ‘breaking up with my boyfriend didn’t count as compassionate leave. She said it wasn’t as if… as if (sob)… he’d died.’

‘No.’ I wished I hadn’t said anything.  Death makes me more uncomfortable than lesbians.

‘But I wish he had, the bastard.’ She blew her nose loudly.

That’s the problem with women. They get so, well, emotional, so … visceral about these things.

I really didn’t want to know any more, but, having a degree of emotional intelligence, I offered her a cup of tea.

‘I can’t eat,’ she sobbed. ‘I’m too upset.’

I said that tea was a liquid, not food, and she might find it easier to see things more clearly after some sweet caffeine but she glared at me and carried on:

”I should have let that alligator rip off his balls. He doesn’t deserve to be alive.’

I wondered what had happened. The Peacock wife was fairly vicious when we were divorcing, but I don’t recall her wanting my man parts fed to the lions. Or alligators, for that matter.

‘Do you know what he did?’ she asked, as if reading my mind. I shook my head.

‘He kissed a boy. A boy! Not even a fucking girl. I could have coped – just –  if it was a girl, but for him to kiss Brendan. God, Brendan! He’s not even attractive. He looks like… well, like … God, he’s so unattractive I can’t even compare him to anything. A turd. Yes, a turd.’

Her voice had got progressively shriller and people were turning around and whispering.

‘Look at me, Alan. Look at me. Am I attractive, or.. or… do you think he kissed Brendan because he looks like me? You know, the way Prince Harry’s girlfriends are all blondes with big teeth.’

I shrugged.  She glared. I shrugged again. I really didn’t know what to say. Then I thought that, given the circumstances, I would be honest and give her a bit of an ego boost at the same time. I smiled. ‘You’ve got lovely hair and a nice face and… well, yes,’ (and I blurted out this last bit) ‘I’ve often thought I would if I could.’

The room fell silent, broken only by the sound of a phone vibrating in a handbag somewhere. Susie’s upper lip curled in what appeared to be disdain.

‘God, that’s disgusting. Jenny said you were a pervert, but I didn’t think you were that bad.’

‘Jenny? Jenny who?’

But Susie had suddenly been surrounded by caring colleagues, some of whom were squeezing her hand and hugging her. I wasn’t sure what to say. I shrugged again, at the two or three young people who were glaring at me.

Girls kissing girls. Boys kissing boys. Sometimes I feel a bit old.

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