Sharing home office

Friday, March 13 at 9:19 AM

‘Denial is the most predictable of all human responses-.


A has been just told not to go to the office and work from until further notice and I don’t think I have seen this man smile as much in the 20 years of his financial career at 6.30am in the morning. He is the least suit guy of the suit guys. He is also deep inside an introvert. So he is thriving right now. Trading in sweatpants, complaining about my old Macbook Air because he was rushed out of the building and somehow could not get a spare piece of Corporate America tech.

I feel a little violated by weird scrolling screens with zillions of red and green lines of numbers and abbreviations. Hard to believe I did once advanced mathematics. All this feels very ‘The Matrix’ to me: I cannot understand a damn thing and people talk in robotic voices. After eavesdropping for a couple of hours, without any doubt in my mind, I can say that I have no idea what Antoine does for a living. NO BLOODY IDEA. 

I have been living with the man for 20 years and nope. Don’t get it, can’t get it. It occurs to me that I have been chit chatting about A’s job for years at his work drinks and Christmas parties and that his colleagues were very way too polite, nodding at some credit derivative BS coming out my mouth. It occurs to me that they may have thought : ‘she must be good at sex and be a good cook’. Oh well…

I look at A. sideways because he is smiling way too much. It is very unsettling. He looks like this new colleague who keeps smiling at you so much that you feel that you should really invite him to join your lunch break – the lunch break you planned a week ago that was going to be a “Friday let’s get hammered’ lunch with my girlfriends who work nearby aka besties who are already working from home today. 

Eventually, my ‘new colleague’ skips off for lunch and the girls’ lunch is back on. It is strange because we don’t get to hug each other and instead we do those kiddie side magic hands. We ponder whether we should be using environment destroying straws or not for our wine and Prosecco. We share our french fries, feeling somewhat naughtier than a Halloween naughty nurse, because are we even supposed to share anything now?

We are pouring our souls out, lamenting our shortcomings as mothers. And I go something like this:

‘Total meltdown the other day. I just blanked out. Did not know what to do.’ 

Two fries chuffed in. Two sips of Prosecco.

‘I don’t know if  I like them most days but I am pretty sure they hate me most days’. 

Three fries chuffed in. Four sips of Prosecco. 

‘I suck; I really do. I am failing this. Fuck, kids’ therapy; I am the one who needs therapy. Do I need therapy?’ 

Five fries chuffed in. Ordering another Prosecco.

‘They are talking about closing schools. It is a joke, right? Because I cannot stay home with them. I cannot.’ 

No fries left. Downing bottom up the second Prosecco.

We say our ‘I love yous’ and ‘You Are Not Alones’. It feels good but when I leave, I have a strange feeling. We say bye to each other – still with the jazzy hands – and joke ‘well, we see each other (LONGEST PAUSE)…soon?’ But it echoes pitch less. Yeah, soon does not sound the right word far from it.


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