These shoes are awful. I give them one star. They look great, but after standing in them for a few hours on the most boring date of my life, my toes were literally falling off. Very uncomfortable!”
I submit the review and sigh. There I go again, maligning a product because of my foul mood. Poor Amazon seller.
The office is cramped, the desks squeezed between a large and wheezing printer, and a small fridge.
Mrs. K.’s desk is as neat as a pin, the surface empty except for a monitor at a 90°-angle and a keyboard. Not so for mine; for some reason, clutter follows me around from my bedroom to my purse. My desk is strewn with sticky notes scrawled with reminders and important numbers, pens buried underneath, leading me on a frantic search when I need one, as well as printouts and diagrams. As for my monitor, it is always bent at an odd angle to accommodate my constantly changing position.
Mrs. K. is clicking away; surely the woman types a thousand words a minute.
But my work is done, invoices in order, phone calls returned, and I am waiting for the next assignment from my boss.
I text Meira. Bad reviews. Again.
That bad a date?
I smile. She gets it.
Worse. Meet you for lunch?
The little café is warm, smelling of cinnamon and chocolate, the heady aroma welcome after the blustery Brooklyn outdoors. Meira is seated on a lacquered red stool at a corner table covered with a checkered tablecloth, sipping coffee.
I sit down and sigh deeply. Meira laughs.
“Already? And you haven’t even begun to tell me about last night!”
I shrug. “I can sigh again when we get there. Trust me, I have plenty of reasons to sigh these days.”
“So tell me,” she says, leaning forward.
I tell her. It was a bad date. He slouched. His smiled was crooked. We walked too much and my feet hurt in the sky-high heels.
“Can you imagine, suggesting that we go for a walk when I’m wearing heels?” I shudder. “What was he thinking? He must be a monster to inflict such torture.”
“I don’t think that indicates anything close to that,” Meira responds mildly. “I mean, what does he know about heels?”
She is too logical. It sometimes annoys me to the high heavens. In my opinion, a girl has to be able to vent without having reality pushed at her.
I wave to the waitress, hovering at the periphery as if listening to our conversation without being obvious about it. She scurries over and takes out her pad and pen, poised for our order. I vacillate for a millisecond.
“I’d like some fortune cookies. And a hot chocolate. With oodles of whipped cream, please.”
Across the table Meira’s eyebrows go up. I shake my head vigorously.
“No, you will not remind me about the diet I promised I would stick to. It’s my pity party, and I get to decide the calorie count.”
“Why did you order fortune cookies?” she asks.
“Because I could use some good mazel.”
She cocks her head. “You know we don’t believe in those things.”
“I know, but they’re good for a laugh.”
A minute later my order arrives, a huge mug of guilty pleasure, decadent and creamy. I inhale deeply, letting it relax me.
Meira swipes a fortune cookie. “Okay, here goes,” she says cracking it open and pulling out a slip of paper. “Be careful of your friends,” she reads. “Their intentions can be evil.”