I’m fascinated by a woman who works in the lobby of my office building. The color of her hair is not in nature, but if an eggplant was on a collision course with a burnt, red tomato, you’d get the idea. For the eight years I’ve worked here she’s always had grey/white roots that cap a third of her head.
Whether she’s walking across the lobby, or to an elevator, or to the gift shop, or the mailbox, she travels at a speed that deserves a movie sound effect – like a big, WHOOOSH or some super-sonic jet blasting off an aircraft carrier. She’s racing with a clock that’s in her head and one that I desperately would love to see. It’s the kind of walk/run you see when someone is frantically looking for a bathroom with none in sight; the look on her face is a blank stare.
Everywhere she goes – be it ten feet or two blocks -- she carries her black, patent leather clasp purse on a bended arm. I want to know what’s in that purse. In the gift shop, I’ve seen her buy scratch-off lottery tickets, which she scratches off inside the gift shop. If she wins, she gets more tickets; if she loses, she pops the spent tickets in her patent leather clasp purse and growls.
But more importantly, she’s a front desk or back hallway lion. You don’t get anywhere unless you come through her. She’s a wall of strength. She’s an immoveable brick of procedure and protocol. She’s all business, baby, and you better have your shit together before you step up to her.
Today, for the first time in eight years, I heard someone call her name out: “Hey, Joy.”
I stopped in my tracks. Joy? Really? I looked at her. Joy? I stared for too long. And now I have a whole other set of fantasies and dramatic events to begin playing with.