A teacher walks into my office
“I looked all over for that questionnaire you asked me to fill out…”
“Oh—I got it from the counselor.”
“What!? I was searching for weeks, trying to find that form for you!”
“Sorry,” I said.
She came unglued—but then I pasted her with charm. It’s easy for me to make others mad. I don’t even try. It’s a gift.
“Say, why don’t you keep your blinds open? Then people can see you.”
“I don’t like to feel like a goldfish,” I said. “They stare at me, like a celebrity, or something distasteful, or with no emotion at all, like, ‘Hey, there’s a man in there, staring at a computer screen. Why does he do it?’ Darned if I know. Survival has me reduced to cubical time—hours spent inside a box.”
“But people want to see you,” she said.
“You’re interesting. Personally, I don’t think so, but someone said you are.”
I ate lunch in the teacher’s lounge. I was invited again.
It was nice.
Of course, I try to stir-up controversy, but nobody bites. You have to win their confidence, first. Then, appear normal. Second, a little abnormal. If they don’t react negatively, you can be yourself.
Otherwise, you have to listen, and nod, and say something in a similar vein, like “Yes—I will be going under my house for the break. Oh—you’re going to Florida—that’s nice.”
It might be good to laugh at their jokes too, if they’re funny.
It’s the eternal comedy.