Holiday pizza

I don’t know who suggested it or why management listened, but instead of an office Christmas party and gift exchange (hypocrisy in wrapping paper) this year, everyone on the eighth floor chipped in, and we ‘adopted’ two needy families. The company matched all donations, which — all snark aside — was decent of them. Both families will be getting a big collection of gifts.

Babs will be Babs, though, so we had an office party anyway, to celebrate whatever’s being celebrated. It was smaller than last year’s party, and it wasn’t too awful by the standards of such events, at least not at first. There was holiday pizza, and even some cross-rank intermingling — senior execs, junior execs, workers, and temps were all sitting at the same tables, uncomfortably talking with each other.

Until, ten minutes into the awkward event, Babs’ boss came into the room, and all fake festivity ceased. Within minutes, only workers and temps were at our table, as one-by-one all the managers and executives had gotten up, ostensibly to get more pizza or pop or whatever ... but they all ended up crowded around the big boss at the other table, the better to suck up.

At our table, only Kallie and I and three temps remained, which allowed us to freely make fun of all the Xmas ass-smooching at the other table.

A noteworthy or perhaps ominous event: For the first time, Babs’ boss made eye contact with me, and even said a few words to me. Always before, on the rare occasions when we’ve been in the same room for quarterly counterproductivity meetings or his stupid birthday party (8/24), he’s had X-ray vision and looked right through me. Today, though, the man who’ll decide when my unemployment begins actually gazed upon me, and said, “Merry Christmas, Dan.”

♦ ♦ ♦

Meanwhile, all day long the sick got sicker and some of yesterday’s un-sick started coughing. One of the temps said she was hot and sweaty but stayed, one of the junior executives went home sick, Peter was sneezing every few minutes, and since Peter is sleeping with Anne she’ll be the next to start showing symptoms. Kallie said she’s feeling better, though she sounded awful.

I’ve tried to construct a protective wall of Ascorbic Acid around me, by taking another 500mg Vitamin C tablet every time anyone sneezes or coughs.

♦ ♦ ♦

If anyone should be on nobody's list for Christmas cards, it’s me, since discarding every friend and all the family a few years back. The cards keep coming, though. I've received several from family, and old friends I didn't know knew my address, and from people behind zines I like, and from readers of this zine.

Whatever compels anyone to send such season’s bleatings, I’ll say thank you, for lack of anything better to say. If it’s not too late, though, let me also say, please don’t.

Among today's cards was one from Margaret, a woman I’ve maybe loved, and definitely cared for, slept with, and wanted near me — but please note the use of past tense. After her visit in June, I slowly and numbly came to realize that she’s too crazy even for me. She has brains and a sense of humor, but also oceanic mood swings, violent tendencies, and sometimes suicidal urges.

The card says, “Not a day goes by without a thought of you,” and that’s true here, too, but it’s usually along the lines of, Breaking up with her was the best thing for both of us.

“Are you happy?”, she asks. As I'm gonna be, yeah.

“Would you be happier if you were living with me?” No, dear. If we were living together we’d both be suicidal.

When she visited, and when we shared a house all those years ago, and whenever we’ve seen each other for even a cup of coffee, it’s never been what a couple should be. That’s why we’re not a couple.

Her daughter is growing up in the bay area, so Maggie and I will probably see each other once in a great while when she flies down to visit the kid. That might be nice. Other than that and for the foreseeable future, it’s best that we’re a thousand miles apart. 

Merry Christmas, though, Maggie, and thanks for the card.

 From Pathetic Life #7
Tuesday, December 20, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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  1. >Today, though, the man who’ll decide when my unemployment begins actually gazed upon me, and said, “Merry Christmas, Dan.

    Did he use your correct name, or is "Dan" an accurate transcript?

    1. I don't remember what he called me, but it wasn't my name.


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