Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Death Takes a Parking Space

I make it into the office by 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, so around 7, when most people are smacking the snooze button and going back to sleep, I'm on my third cup of coffee and needing a cigarette. I'm walking through the lobby on my way out to the smoking area when this woman, visibly agitated, stops me.

"Do you work here?" she asks.

"Um, yes, I do," I respond cautiously.

"There's a lady in her car, up in the parking garage," she says. "And she might just be asleep, but she doesn't look asleep, and I'm worried that something... you know... happened to her, and maybe someone who works here should go check on her."

Okay, so I'm a Witch. I move freely through the liminal space between this world and the next. But I'm also struggling to understand how this woman's inability to deal with the cold reality of Death is in any way my problem. Plus, I don't want to start my day off with a dead body. I just don't.

But I'm also thinking that we have a number of elderly employees, several of whom have gone through some dicey health issues. If one of them did shuffle off this mortal coil at the end of their morning commute, then we've got a situation that needs to be handled post haste. And the woman looks like she's about to scream, so I tell her I'll take care of it and head towards the concrete stairs of the garage.

It's like every bad horror movie you've ever seen. The walls of the stairwell feel like they're closing in as I slowly ascend, and I swear I can hear creepy organ music playing softly in the background. I reach the second floor landing and turn the corner, where I see one of our older commissionable salespeople kind of flopped against the front seat of her car, eyes closed, mouth ajar, head at a weird angle... overall, she looks pretty dead.

Willing myself not to panic, I inch towards her car and peek through the window, because I want to confirm that she's not breathing before I call 911. I'm counting seconds and trying to see if her chest is moving, when her eyes pop open and she sits up.

Despite the waves of vertigo provided by the heart attack I'm currently experiencing, I can tell that she's wondering why a middle manager is hunched against her car and staring at her breasts. I smile weakly, offer a little wave, and flee back down the stairs.

Later, I learn from other employees that she usually arrives at work early to catch a few extra winks before facing the day. This is apparently common knowledge around the office, and I'm glad to be clued in. Regardless, her perception of me as a pervert, along with my perception of her as a zombie, will probably add an awkward slant to any future interactions.


Jack said...

I KNEW it. You're a breast man!

Evn said...

You caught me. This whole "homosexuality" thing is just a scam to see boobies.

Anonymous said...


You COULD just tell her what happened and that you're glad she's okay. *smile*

Evn said...

Yeah, that would have been better. But you try thinking straight when the alleged dead come back to life and then look at you funny.

Anne Johnson said...

I'd have gotten up real close and yelled, "HEY, ARE YOU DEAD?"

Now you'll understand my checkered employment record.

Evn said...

Anne, I love how you think. If I ever find myself in Snobville, I'm taking you to brunch.