i never eat breakfast. this is partly because i don’t have much time in the mornings, partly because i have little interest in standard breakfast foods, and partly because coffee with milk tends to tide me over until lunch. years of drinking coffee for breakfast have cultivated my ability to stand said coffee on an empty stomach. it’s an ability i’m quite proud of, which begs the question: why don’t i have more interesting things to be proud of?
monday morning my mug of coffee and i got in the car to go to work like usual. i started the car and put my hand on the gearshift, and then a funny feeling came over me. the feeling was so funny i had to open the car door and throw up right there in the parking lot. the nausea came on so quickly i didn’t even have time to run back inside, so there i was, seatbelt on, car running, holding the doorframe with one hand and my hair with the other. my car’s pretty low to the ground, so my face was inches from the asphalt. when the throwing up stopped i stayed there for a second, staring at the ground. only then did i look up to see if anyone had been watching me. if anyone had, they weren’t there anymore. the parking lot was empty.
i felt better instantly, so after a brief trip back to my apartment for tissues and a teeth-brushing, i went on to work. i was all settled in at my desk when i noticed a post-it note stuck to the edge of my monitor. it read:
i see you. yes, i see you there picking your nose…hehehe
since i was already in a bad mood from the throwing-up, the note made me angry. who was SAL? was this SAL actually claiming to have seen me picking my nose, or was it a joke? if it was a joke, was it a friendly one or a malicious one? was this to be the first note in a series of notes from SAL? i told a coworker about it, and we spent awhile trying to figure out who might have left me the note. we didn’t come up with anything, though, as none of our coworkers are named SAL or have those initials.
that afternoon i heard my coworker dusty answer his phone in the cubicle across from me. “hello?” he said, his voice taking the softer tone it does when his fiancee calls. his fiancee, sharlee! her initials are SAL! it was her handwriting on the post-it, and it was her sense of humor, too. they must have been in the office over the weekend. i sent dusty an IM. “tell sharlee i can hear her picking her nose from here.”
jokes are strange that way. i was angry when i didn’t know who the note was from, and amused when i knew it was from a friend. the post-it, once crumpled in my pocket, is now tacked to my cubicle wall next to one warning me that side effects of kittens may include erectile dysfunction.