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Journal of Distraction - by Michael Kelly

Week 3 - Tuesday

My fantasy about R. who works in a room on the first floor:

But no I can't, they're private and precious and none of your business. She's like springtime itself, she gladdens my heart like bluebells and cherry-blossoms... My fantasies about R. are all to do with desert islands and snowed-in mountain lodges and sunny meadows and running across the tops of speeding trains saving her from assassins and lifting bridal veils and decorating houses and arguments about what to call our seventh child. (Mervyn.)

She has some sort of adorable little trace of a foreign accent, Spanish I think, possibly French, I don't know, something exotic (strange, isn't it, how female foreigners trying to talk English sound unbearably hot while the men just sound comical and retarded). What the hell is she doing here? The fact of her moving from somewhere sunny and nice to a shithole like this argues a masochism or depressed indifference to external reality I must be able to exploit sexually.

Every time we meet I make an arse of myself. She must think I'm educationally sub-normal. Our conversations always go something like this:

She: Good morning.

Me: Guh! Yes! It's... isn't it. Ha!

She: _____ is in a strange mood today

Me: Tuh! Yeah, he's... like a... Huh!

She: Well, see you later

Me: Buh! Yes! I hope so. Oh, let me get the door... Oh, sorry... Let me pick those up... Oh, did I get your elbow, Christ, sorry... rub it better...

She: [obscure foreign malediction I am glad I can't translate]

This is nothing to do with lack of sleep but just the effect she has on me. The time I made her a cup of tea with no teabag in was pure sleeplessness though.

Still... Among other duties she's in charge of our payroll. I think she paid me fifteen minutes too much last week. I think she rounded an odd 45 minutes I'd worked up to the nearest hour. That must mean something. I vow I will never spend that 1.20 unless it is on a ring for her.

No, no, no, this has to stop though. I am absolutely not going to get a workplace crush again. Nothing ever comes of it. It only alarms them and leads to heartbreak and industrial accidents for me. I have found out the hard way that love and staple-guns don't mix.

To say nothing of the times when the object of my affection is the one who gets injured. R can count herself lucky, frankly, to have got off with a whanged elbow so far. Last time I was there...but no. Jeremiah isn't paying me enough to tell that story. It isn't one of those 'I can laugh about it now' things. It's an 'I can still curl up into a foetal ball and whimper to be put out of my misery now' thing. It wasn't really my fault, though. Maybe if I run short of material, or if I find a distributor for my book or something else happens to make me feel good about myself - but no, absolutely not. Suffice it to say, it's been three years now and every time I pick up an umbrella I still get a hot blush. The girl made a full recovery, however.

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