Cambodia at the Office

     Today as I arrive to work I find our giant glass door all fogged over, and I know the office inside is an icebox. Condensation rolls down the large window as the cool glass tries to fight off the Louisiana morning heat. I open the door and am hit with what feels like a gust of arctic wind and my boss’ voice. “I’m shaking!” He yells from his office. I crane my head around the doorway and see him squeezing his arms close to his body. “If I’m cold, you know it’s bad.” My boss has the core body temperature of an active volcano. The longer I sit in my chair, the stiller my blood gets. My typing becomes more rigid as my fingers begin to freeze up. “My nails are icing over!” I think, and then realize it’s only nail polish. I feel like a toy I used to have; it was a plastic ice cube with a fake beetle inside, meant for putting in people’s (i.e. mom’s) drinks as a prank. I now feel for the beetle.
     My boss, Steve, leaves the office and heads for the studio. Fifty typos later I decide I can’t take anymore, and prop open the office door with a small, maroon chair. As I stand securing it against the door, I instantly feel the heat begin to creep over the threshold. I feel like meat being pulled out of the freezer. Happily enough, I sit back down at my desk, fingers slowly finding their ground again as blood  flow returns to them. And then I sense it; a stickiness on my keyboard, a slight *stick, stick, stick* each time I hit a key. My computer screen slowly becomes fuzzy and wet. The humidity is setting in. I feel it between my fingers, feel my baby hairs rebelling in a wild dance of frizz. Suddenly everything is heavy with hot, wet air.
     My office is a Cambodian jungle, there are vines tracing their way around my ankle, swallowing my computer screen with brush, the glass door now laden with wet growth, dimming the sunlight from outside. Poisonous plant life disguised as deep purple flowers spit up around me, and the roots are thickening around my ankles and arms. I see the ice cube beetle, black and red, skirting along my mouse pad which is now a bright mossy patch. “Help!” I scream, but the studio walls are too thick, and my boss can’t hear me through the open door. I muster my strength, rip my feet from their lush shackles, each root popping as a yank my feet forwards. As I move through the vegetation, I spy a Spitting Cobra hiding upright among the tall weeds, keeping a close eye on me. I skirt past him, tripping over  the roots of a Strangler Fig Tree, but recovering as I grasp the leafy door handle. I yank the chair away and push the door shut!
     When I turn around, my office is it’s boring self again, with khaki walls and grey popcorn carpet. Everything is dry and freezing. “Better than the alternative,” I think as I make my way back to my leather rolly chair. As I sit down and face my computer, my legs are already regaining their goosebumps. I open up my email and start sending out my reminders. As I reach for the mouse to send them on their way, I barely see him: the red and black beetle scuttling off the edge of my desk.
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2 thoughts on “Cambodia at the Office

  1. The is so great! O my gosh! Maddie, Katie, and I are going through a poetry book, learning about description using imagery and dense words that pack in the meaning… We're going to read this post aloud in 'class' tomorrow! What a great example of what we're learning. So many funny things…poisonous plants disguised as deep purple flowers, ha!

  2. Oh yay!!! That makes me so happy!!! I need to work on this more, I tend to use a lot of shortcuts when writing, mainly because I assume the reader knows my mind. Nice to know someone is reading! 🙂 Also, read your post about Aunt Lori, it broke my heart!!!!! One of those childhood regrets that others would say is no big deal, but we feel it is and could never be convinced otherwise!

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