Miss Bianca’s Lab Day
Out here in the fields
I fight for my meals
I get my back into my living.
He felt free in the car to be emotional. He remembered the dorm at the conservation corps camp roaring out Dylan songs with Jered and Steve. Idiot Wind was their favorite. They wrote new lyrics to vent their frustration at the “powers that be” at the camp:
Idiot wind blowin’ every time you move your teeth.
You’re an idiot, babe.
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.
They had separated themselves out into their own cynics club. Jered and Steve were definitely more pure in this. Random made some connections with the more conventional elements, while Jered and Steve connected with Jan and Ellen the cynical element in the women’s dorm.
But, where was this thread taking him? Back to Mexico again. Again Random tried to make the connection between Mexico and Essie’s sudden flight. The circuit failed and he returned to The Who.
He arrived at work a little late and cursed the lock on the door as his key refused to come out while the box of equipment and the bag over his shoulder began to slide in opposite directions. The key suddenly came free as did everything else.
“Goddam Fucking Freakin’ Asshole!” he shouted at nothing in particular.
He checked the equipment as he put it back in the box. It looked OK. He picked it all up again and headed down the narrow hallway to the office, which he had to unlock while propping the box against the wall with his hip. This time he was successful.
The office was a square room about 20 by 20 filled with 4 desks each with its own solid white I Mac hunched in the middle like a toy TV, the keyboards hidden in trays underneath. There where tall filing cabinets and a storage locker against one wall. There where no windows. The walls that weren’t covered with filing cabinets had bulletin boards and one large white board with a calendar with notes written in the numbered squares.
Miss Bianca’s Lab Day was written in bold letters in one of the little squares.
“Oh, crap!” he thought, “I forgot the fucking papers for the lab!”
He hated letting Bianca down. She would not be mad or even disappointed, but she was one of the people he wanted to do his best for. She was one of the ones that had a genuine passion for the work and yet was able to treat people around her with compassion. He put the box down on his desk, flipped the light switch and reached around the side of the monitor pushing the little circle that brought it humming and clicking to life. He dropped his bag, flopped in the black padded swivel chair and stared while the I Mac booted up.
He checked his Email. Nothing worthwhile, the usual unsolicited ads for penis enlargement and prescription drugs.
“The Girls Will Gaze In AmaZement AT YOUr Largesse!”
He chuckled thinking of Essie’s comments in bed.
“Oh, the leetle man ees so sad and droopy, lets pep eem up.”
She always called it “the Leetle Man” and it always made him laugh.
He snapped out of the thought when he heard the outside door open and Bianca’s cheerful voice drift in. She always sang a little when she talked.
“Hello, who is here? Is that my lovely assistant?” she crooned as she made her way down the hall.
He did not answer.
“Mr. Random? Why do you ignore me when I have nothing but love for you,” She said as her broad smiling face appeared in the doorway.
“Because, I am a depressed idiot,” Random answered glumly. “Essie left me, and I forgot your papers at the Office.”
Her face fell into instant empathy.
“How can you even be here on such a day? She is gone for good or just for a little while? And what do you mean you forgot my papers?”
“I have to be here. She took all her clothes, and I left the papers in my box at the office.”
Their conversations often went like this.
“Well, I’m sorry about Essie, but if we don’t have the papers, we can’t do the lab.”
“I know. I’ll just have to go get them. If you can set up, I can get back in time.”
“That sounds like a plan.”
“You don’t mind setting up? Do you know where everything is?”
“Don’t you worry Mr. Random. I know this center like I know my own house. Go get the papers. I’ll have it all ready.”
“At least I remembered the hardware.”
Random apologized with a look as he handed her the box.
“It’s OK! I’ll set up. You get going.” Bianca pulled herself up in mock stoic attitude. “After all we are professionals; little obstacles are what we live for.”
Random chuckled and checked for his keys as he went through the door.
“Sorry again! Don’t start without me,” he shouted as trotted down the hall.