A bit of relief after a bad week.
| Dancing In The Doorway With Lina
Lina Hebl stared at the computer, waiting for the machine to execute her commands. She sighed deeply and tapped her fingers on the desk, her perfectly manicured, French-cut fingernails drumming out a rhythmical click-clack-clack–clack-clack.
“Oh come on already,” she pleaded and pursed her lips. “Stupid computer.”
“I know,” replied a familiar voice from the other side of her cubicle wall. “It’s been really slow for me too.”
“We’re all slow,” added another familiar voice from behind an adjacent wall. “I got an email saying part of the mainframe is down. It’s gonna be awhile before they get it fixed.”
Lina sighed again. “I don’t know how they expect us to get any work done around here if the system keeps dying in usevery day.” She stared at her screen, still waiting for a response. Her fingers tapped on the desk, click-clack-clack-clack-clack.
“That’s it,” Lina blurted, unable to contain her frustration any longer. She stood up and grabbed her purse. “I’m gonna go get some coffee.”
At least its Friday, Lina thought as she walked out of the office to the cafeteria across the hall. The week had been particularly frustrating for her. Not only were there ongoing problems with the computers at work since the installation of the “new and improved” system, but earlier that week the hot water heater in her home had sprung a leak. It took her an hour to mop up the puddle of water in the basement. The water heater was damaged so badly they were not able to get any hot water at all. And even though she was able to wash her hair and clean herself with a washcloth, she had not had a shower for three days and felt dirty and greasy. To make matters worse, they were not able to get a new water heater until Saturday; because they had no money budgeted for it until her husband was paid today.
Lina paid for her large black coffee and found a seat at an unoccupied table. She pulled open the newspapers lying on the table in front of her and pretended to read as she sipped her coffee. At least it’s Friday, she thought to herself again. I’ll be able to take a long, hot shower tomorrow.
She sighed again, knowing that after work today she and her husband would go out for fish fry at their favorite tavern, just as they had done every Friday night for the past two years. She took a sip of her coffee and tried to think of another restaurant to go to for supper. A few places came to mind, but she ultimately decided to keep with the routine of their Friday night fish fry. It seemed to be the only thing she could rely on week.
“I’ll be glad to have this week behind me,” she said softly to herself. “I would be happy to just forget all about it.”
A headline about two soldiers from the area caught her attention. She sighed, shook her head and turned the page once she realized they had both been killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. She tipped up the end of her cup and drained the last sips of coffee before starting back to her cubicle, hoping the computers were working so the afternoon would pass faster.
As she arrived at the doorway, the door was open and another co-worker, Dan, arrived from the opposite side at the same time as Lina. As Lina stepped to her right to pass, Dan stepped to his left. Then Lina stepped to her left at the same time Dan stepped to his right. They both stopped and stood still as they began to laugh lightly.
“Shall we dance?” Lina joked.
Without warning Dan stepped into her taking her right hand in his left and gently placing his right hand on her hip. Lina instinctively followed and laughed out loud as Dan led her in a series of steps that ended in a turn which left each of them on the opposite side of the threshold from which they started. Dan released his grip and walked off to the cafeteria as Lina continued to laugh her way to her cubicle.
Lina sat at her desk still chuckling lightly to herself. She read an email stating the mainframe of the system was down and there was no estimated time as to when it would be up again. Lina smiled and shook her head. She sat back in her chair and began shopping for shoes on the internet.
When her shift was over, Lina casually walked out to her car, happy to have the work week come to an end. She drove a short way, taking her time in rush hour traffic, to her husband’s office. She pulled up to the front steps where he was standing. He hopped into the passenger seat and tossed his briefcase into the back seat.
“Hi sweetie,” he greeted and kissed her. “How was your day?”
“It was alright. The system was down for a good part of the afternoon, so I shopped for shoes.” She smiled and decided keep her dance with Dan private.
Their small talk continued as they made their way through the bustling rush hour traffic to the tavern.
As Lina pulled into the parking lot she saw an available parking space near the front door. The parking lot was evidently full otherwise. She slowed to a stop as an older couple with white hair flagged her down pointing to the open space.
“We’ve been saving it for you,” the old man shouted with a joking smile. “We’re drinking Miller Lite.”
Lina grinned and waited for the couple to pass before claiming the open space.
Inside, the tavern was crowed and loud with polka music, chatter and laughter. As they waited for the hostess, Lina saw the older couple sitting at a table with some friends.
“Do you want to eat in the bar or the dining room?” her husband asked. Lina could sense the impatience in his voice. They would be seated sooner if they sat in the bar, but Lina did not care. He would have to wait to be seated.
“It’s too loud in here,” Lina replied. “Let’s eat in the dining room.”
A few moments later the hostess appeared.
“How many,” she asked.
“Two,” Lina replied.
The hostess scanned her map of the dining room. “Okay, come with me,” she instructed.
As the hostess stepped around the podium, Lina stopped her.
“You see that couple at that table over there?” Lina asked as she pointed out the white haired couple to the hostess.
“Would you get each of them a Miller Lite for me please?” Lina asked with a sly smile.
“Those two there?” the hostess pointed to confirm.
“Sure, I’ll do that right after I get you seated.”
As the hostess led them to their table, Lina’s husband said, “You know he was joking around hon.”
“I know,” replied Lina with a grin. “So am I.”