Near Epiphany

Thomas O’Connell

It’s the first day back at work after the Christmas, sorry Seasonal, break and everyone is wearing a new sweater. Janice, Marlene, Ana, Stacey and Denise are gathered in Janice’s cube. It seems they all got engaged over the holidays. Rumor has it that Stephanie downstairs in bookkeeping got married. There is silence in Janice’s, and then laughter. They’ve been at it a while, and show no signs of letting up. Not that there’s much work to do anyway; most of our clients are still closed. I’ve spent the morning watching hockey fights on YouTube and deleting Christmas songs I’d ripped to my computer.

Remembering that I want to make a copy of the warranty for a humidifier I purchased, I walk to the copier. A few thin plastic cups sit on a desk, left over from the pre-break party. The liquid has evaporated and the foam from the punch has left spider webs along the insides of the cups. In the copier’s output tray, there is a piece of paper. It’s a printout of a man’s face, presumably taken while his head was squashed between the glass and the copier’s lid. The man’s eyes are closed and he has a big ol’ grin on his face. He looks like the happiest person in the world, full of promise and hope. I can’t place him though. For the life of me, I cannot figure out who the man is.