Okay, I’m not a PowerPoint pro, so bear with me. There we go… SECTION ONE: FIRST QUARTER METRICS.” I want to talk a little bit about our sales performance, where we can improve our numbers. I also want to update everyone on corporate’s visit this spring.

Quick side note: I’ve done some incredible shit on a dare, mostly when I was younger. Stole a car. I’m kind of going off-book here in my presentation –– doing the jazz version for you guys –– but, yeah, fucking poured Coleman camp-stove fuel all over the tires and set them on fire, then ghost rode it into the front windows of a Payless ShoeSource. Because Richard from Whiskey Tango’s by the new mall said I was a pussy. The car belonged to my parents, but… still technically stolen. They sure as hell didn’t give me permission to light the wheels up, race it towards a shoe store and bail out at the last second before it crashed into it. Who’s the pussy now, Richard?

(Long pause while I shuffle my papers and let fellow employees catch up with the way my brain works.)


Staff reviews went pretty well, everyone was pretty realistic about their goals for the coming year. I think I’ve literally developed a medication. It’s a long story, but I’ve mixed a handful of things together from the cabinet in the kitchen next to the safety posters and fire extinguisher. I didn’t do it as a party thing or whatever — in other words, I didn’t do it to get high. I did it in order to address my fear of people, and the low-grade hum of anxiety in my head, which feels like a thickening chorus of voices singing a joyless refrain about compromise and sensibility; it’s like out of tune bluegrass played by walking dead men. Like today, for instance: I don’t see everyone here at the regional office as my colleagues, I see you as this weird little tight knot of hermit crabs pestering me and eventually winning at some competition I’m convinced that we’re all having as adults. Other people feel like these barnacle crustacean things just moving slowly, maybe with stinging tentacles, you’re all barely inching over me, knowing that victory is yours eventually even at this glacial pace of slow, incremental, polite torture. Every single time I click “reply all” I am fucking tense and triple guessing every goddamn thing I’ve typed. Why? You know what I’m saying?

(Another awkward pause because everyone at the regional office looks like they can’t understand a simple employee presentation.)

Okay, what else do I have here, let’s see… SECTION THREE: SUMMARY.” Okay, well, as the PowerPoint slide behind me says, this is the summary, so: I’m not a pussy, I know how to make drugs, and you people seem like hermit crabs or Portuguese man-o-wars with paralyzing stinging tentacles or claws or something.

Thank you.

For what, I don’t know. I guess for the feeling that I’ve finished another little stupid thing and now deserve a little reward, like candy or muffins or a sugary coffee drink for, like, nine dollars.

Quit staring at me, Susan.