Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Week 21 ( Week 19 on sheet) A Cold Where You....Instead of Sneeze

A cold where you (fill in the blank) instead of sneeze.

My Creativity
I woke up and could feel the start of a cold tickling the back of my throat, and clogging up my sinuses. Even though I hadn't slept well that night, I knew that I needed to go to work. I'd taken too many sick days already. This was my year for catching ever cold or flu that was going around. Before heading out the door, I took a swig of DayQuill, grabbed my purse, and headed out the door.

I didn't mind that the traffic was moving slowly this morning. Usually I'd be cursing under my breath or mumbling rude comments. Not today. Today, I enjoy listening to the radio. Today, I enjoyed the long pauses in traffic. It gave my dry eyes a break.

I parked in my assigned spot and walked towards the elevator. I knew I was too late to make the mild- run morning stops. Part of me felt like pressing extra buttons just to get some extra stop on my way to the 25th floor. Unfortunately, I wasn't alone. I didn't think the stranger would appreciate that sort of child-like behaviour.

We'd just passed the fourth floor when I felt a sneeze building up. I was hoping to contain it. I am known for my perpetual sneezing chains. Not one or two sneeze, generally four. I brought my elbow up to cover the blow, but an odd thing happened. Instead of the normal "a-cho", a loud whistle, almost like a train, echoed around the tiny space. As if one wasn't bad enough, it was followed by three more. I kept my head down, knowing that the stranger was staring at me while trying to contain his laughter. Thankfully he got off at the 20th floor.

On the 27th floor I dragged myself to my office, still trying to figure out what had happened. I'd just taken off my coat and flopped down into my blue-swirly chair, when my assistant knocked on the door.

"Did you forget about the budget meeting this morning?" She questioned politely.

Of course I had, "No no, ran into nothing but silly obstacles this morning. To top it off traffic was slow".

"Shall I let them know you are on your way?" She was still new. A student intern. Very polite and professional, but also very shy. Sometimes she spoke so softly it was hard to make out words.

I stood up and grabbed a stack of papers, which were perched on the corner of my desk, "No, No. I'll head straight there."

Just as I was heading out the door another strange train-like whistle escaped my nose. My assistant was so caught of guard that a small chuckle easily escaped her mouth. As soon as I looked at her she blushed and looked towards the ground.

"Send any calls to voice mail," I half snapped. I turned before leaving her alone in my office,"please". I tried to be calm. It wasn't her fault that I was making strange noises. If I was on the other side of things, I would likely have a hard time containing my laugh as well. Not just because it is somewhat funny, but also because of the strange newly created awkwardness. All I could do now was hope that I'd be able to make it through the budget meeting without sneezing.

The team had already finished the breakfast and were now sharing quick weekly progress reports. Trying not to make a scene I quietly grabbed my coffee and went to my usual spot by the window. I loved looking out at the city from this head. Of course on the way to my chair, my quiet entrance turned into a major production as the whistle escaped my nose. Instantly the room went quiet. I looked at the coffee now decorating my blows and sat down. Just as my bum hit the chair out came the second, third, and forth new version of my sneeze.

Instead of silence the room burst out laughing. Was it shock, awkwardness, or an attempt to make me feel less embraced. "Um," I paused. "Isn't anyone going to say bless you". Confusion. I'm sure they were all trying to figure out how a loud, echoing whistle was a sneeze.

As I looked around the room a strong scent of someone's perfume waffled over. Great, here it came. Another whistle. Again laughter.

Today was going to be a long, long day.

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