It was painfully bright I thought to myself, though I kept any remarks to that effect to myself. I should have said something to her, after all, Charity sat straight across from me at our intimate lunch table of twelve. She was so animated and eager to tell all of her morning it surely would have popped her enthusiasm – perhaps, I should have not thought of the verb ‘pop’ at the moment either – if I would have pointed out the distraction that I was squarely facing at that moment. I would have been more avid to interrupt her if I hadn’t noticed that the brow of her roundish face hadn’t had two distinctive shades of colour to them. She had taken the time to try to mask what was currently holding my attention for ransom and I had a certain disdain to impede the illusion that she had, I was quite certain, taken more than a few moments to try to create before she had come to work that morning.
The way I rationalized my decision to be a mute on the subject was that I really had no position that I could broach it with Charity in a relatively sincere and friendly manner. I had only begun working at the plant two weeks prior. It had been my first lunch break when Charity had first invited herself to be my table mate; I did not know why, and currently still hadn’t the foggiest idea why, but she had provided a half hour long dissertation for the past ten days without fail. I don’t think she even knew what my name was to tell the truth but that proved to be a non-issue on her part. For my part, I just liked the idea that with Charity constantly chattering it ran interference for anyone who had any notion of trying to start up a conversation with me. I wasn’t there to make friends, I was there to work and the arrangement for lunch seemed to work out in my favor so I never discouraged Charity from plumping her bottom down across from me. Until today, there had been no downside to the one-sidedness of our situation and I knew that I was in too deep to just simply get up and walk away or grab a splash guard of some sort.
So agog was Charity in her oration of the morn’s activities she was perspiring from her cherry-hued hair line. So intense was her emotional response that the pound or so of cover up she must have used ceded territory to the salty droplets that had beaded in a zig zagged pattern along her forehead down the side of her nose along the laugh lines that crested around the sides of her mouth and down to her chin.
I should have been distracted by how her slim gold ring jiggled as she talked, or perhaps the gold stud in the right side of her nose convexed and concaved as she inhaled through it to fuel the exhalation of her oral tornado. Yet the candy apple red blemish just above the space between her hazel eyes blazed nova like ever more so as the cover-up drizzled like a mud slide slowly downward.
“…Then Jen said, ‘If you shave it close then you won’t get so hot down there!’” Charity finally ended with a snort.
“Isn’t that just the rudest thing to say?” she asked, leaning in slightly as I back away ever so slightly to avoid any movement on her part that may detonate her puss bomb.
I looked at my coffee mug, my right hand slightly covering the lip of the mug to protect it from any fluid insurgents that I was positive would be attempting to invade at any moment. I brought the cup to my mouth and mumbled as I took a drink, “Oh, I could think of something ruder at this moment”…