The Revolt of Dorothy
Having moved away from the family farm, and finished college, Dorothy Gail knew that she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. She was living in a small apartment in Brooklyn trying to get started as an interior decorator. She lived alone and still got letters from back home, but didn’t feel like she had very much to write home about. Her little dog was run over by a tractor. The job search hadn’t gone as smoothly as Dorothy would have liked, and she took a position as a secretary at a law firm to help her pay the rent.
While typing up a letter for her boss, Dorothy sipped quickly on a small glass of water. “Wasn’t this plant over next to the door?” her boss said, as he walked in.
Dorothy looked up, “Yes but I thought that it created more space by being next to the couch.”
Her boss tightened his tie and looked down. “Dorothy I don’t care what you aspire to be or even studied, in this office you are my secretary and you will stay focused on getting the tasks that I give you. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes Mr. Winter.”
“Thank you, now get that plant back over by the door.”
Mr. Winter went into his office and closed the door. Dorothy dragged the large plant pot back over next to the door, letting a little bit of dirt spill out onto the floor. She stood back and looked at the plant next to the door, leaving the dirt on the rug.
Dorothy went back to her typewriter, and gulped down the rest of her glass of water, banging at the keys of her typewriter. The door opened and Mr. Winter stepped out.
“Dorothy, I want you to re-type this letter it’s…” Mr. Winter began. He looked down at the rug.
“Yes,” said Dorothy, “…Mr. Winter.”
“What is this?”
“No,” he snapped, “this! This on the rug in the middle of lobby of our firm.”
Dorothy stood up and leaned forward, looking down at where he was pointing. “Oh, well, that looks like, uh, dirt.”
“Yes, absolutely, dirt. Get it cleaned up, then re-type this letter. I’ve written my comments up here. Oh, and get me a cup of coffee, not the filtered kind.”
“Of course, Mr. Winter.”
He dropped the letter on her desk. Dorothy took a small broom from the closet and swept up the dirt into a dustpan. She examined the broomstick carefully, noting the grooves in the wooden handle. She picked up the dustpan with the dirt and carried it over to her desk, dropping the dirt into her wastebasket, leaving the dustpan propped up next to the wastebasket. She picked up the broomstick and waved it in the air triumphantly.
The door opened. Mr. Winter stopped and stared. “What are you doing?” he snapped.
“Nothing, sorry Mr. Winter,” she said, and she walked over toward the broom closet. Gripping the broom handle she spun around and glared at Mr. Winter. “That’s it!”
“Dorothy put that broom away!”
“No, Mr. Winter I’m not afraid of you!” She stepped closer, holding the broom in front of her.
“Dorothy I don’t know what’s gotten into you.”
“Mr. Winter you are sucking all the soul from my body, and I am sick of it.” She raised up the broom in the air.
Dorothy looked around. She looked up to see her outstretched arm, raising the broom high above her.
“Dorothy, stop your little daydreams and get focused. This is a law office, not a pizzeria. Now put that broom away and get to work on this letter.”
He dropped the letter down on her desk. Dorothy quietly placed the broom back in the closet. She sat down at her desk, rolled a fresh sheet of paper into her typewriter and started to type up the letter.
The door opened. “And get me that cup of coffee.”
Dorothy looked up from her typewriter. She smiled.
She stepped into the small kitchen. She was alone. She picked up a white mug, and took a few spoonfuls of freeze-dried coffee into the mug. She poured in hot water from the kettle. She examined the cup like a potion with steam rising over the cup and filling the room. Then she took a small spoonful of sugar and let it sprinkle into the cup of coffee. She took another one and let it sprinkle in. Then she picked up the sugar jar and tipped it over, generously pouring out sugar into the cup without restraint. She stirred it up, and picked up the cup by its handle.
She walked over to her the door and opened it. Her boss sat behind his desk, examining a set of papers.
“Mr. Winter,” said Dorothy, “your coffee.”
She put it down on his desk. He didn’t look up.
“Did you put in sugar?”
“Of course, 2 spoons.”
Dorothy walked out and went back to her desk. She continued to type up the letter.
Hearing the scream from the office, she jumped up from her desk. A smile appeared across her face.
She opened the door and peered inside. “Is everything Ok?”
Mr. Winter looked at her. “Yes fine, this coffee was just so hot, burned my tongue. Get me a glass of water.”
Dorothy went back to the kitchen and opened the tap to fill up a glass of water. She popped in a couple of ice cubes. She opened the door to Mr. Winter’s office, charging toward his table, and then tripped.
The water flew out of glass and fell across Mr. Winter’s arm and desktop.
Dorothy watched as Mr. Winter’s arm sizzled under the impact of the water.
“Dorothy wake up!” yelled Mr. Winter. “Get me some tissue and clean this mess up.”
She went to get tissue, and came back to wipe up Mr. Winter’s desk.
“Now finish typing up that letter, I need it ready by noon.” He slammed his door.
Dorothy stood in front of her desk, clicking the heals of her shoes together.
Dorothy's a bit off kilter, in a cool way. It would be neat to see how this very amusing story plays out. For some reason, as I was reading this, Bartelby the Scrivener by Herman Melville came to mind.ReplyDelete