My roommate came home about an hour later than he had predicted last night. I had bought him sushi, and was hoping it would still taste good. He was supposed to finish work, go to the gym, and then be home by 9.
He showed up instead around 10:30. I was in the living room, flipping through a book. He leaned against the wall, the one that separates the kitchen from the living room.
"Hi," I said. I looked up and smiled. "There's some California roll in the fridge, and some miso, too."
"I'm so drunk, Jame," he said. He shook his head and laughed.
That got my attention. My roommate rarely drinks. I snapped my book shut.
"Ooh, did you go out after work?" Was someone, somewhere, having some fun?
"No, it was in the office. It was the Jack Daniels."
My roommate keeps a bottle of Jack Daniels in both the Boston and New York offices for emergency co-worker situations. It's not so much for him, but for others.
"What happened? Did you run out of funding or something?"
"No, not yet on that one." He shot me a look. "There was a catfight at work." He started giggling.
"What? A catfight? Are you serious?"
And then he was laughing so hard he couldn't quite get the words out. All I heard was the word "twat" for a few minutes. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the "t" word, but I guess if I can deal with the "c" word, I should be able to handle anything.
Finally the story came out. Two of the travel agents in his office - one a black woman, and one a Puerto Rican woman - got into a fight. The Puerto Rican woman was working really hard, and didn't feel that the black woman was pulling her weight. There were many dirty stares and curses under breath and bumping of hips as they passed in the hall, and then, finally, they burst out at each other yesterday, screaming, and rising from their seats.
"I'm going to cut off her fucking twat," said one woman.
"You let that Puerto Rican girl come over here, and I'll show her what the bottom line is."
And more cursing, and so forth, until Sunil's boss calmed them down.
"Were they fired?" I asked.
"Nah, they just needed to calm down. They're both good workers," he said.
I tried to picture someone threatening to cut off someone's twat in one of the offices I've worked at in the past three years. Actually, it wasn't too out of reach. People can get pretty stressed out in this city. I also wondered what would have happened if it had been two men in that situtation. They certainly wouldn't have been using the word twat.
"We finished off the first bottle, and I went out and got a second," said Sunil. "And now I'm drunk."
We watched television later, agreeing that the seasons with Chris Noth and Michael Moriarty were really the salad days of Law and Order. You can't really get a better cast than that, now can you?