May 2, 2005

Sans Exoneration

 

Opening my email has become a burdensome task, pouring through the freebie ads, promises of titillating voyeurism, enhanced sexual vigor, cheap drugs, and fantastic investment opportunities.  Hidden between the spate of spams lie a few valid communications from family and friends, which must be gleaned from the chaff that surrounds them.

 

Yesterday I received an email from a personal friend that offered a visual portrayal of bouquet of beautiful roses on the computer screen with a “scratch and sniff” feature. Upon “scratching” a prescribed area of the screen with the mouse pointer to release the scent of roses, the bouquet becomes displaced by a bare human arse which then emits a loud fart. 

 

The email was a modern play on “The Miller’s Tale,” wherein Chaucer chronicles the plight of Absalon, the latter exploited by Nicholas in similar circumstances.  In spite of such scholarly basis, the missive remains tasteless, sub-humorless, and base by any standard.  The item being, however, of such pertinence to a private aspect of my marriage, I felt compelled to forward it to my wife at her place of work.

 

As others quietly performed the bank’s work, crunching numbers, filling out reams of forms, and reading balance sheets, she opened the mail, and the grand climax took place at full volume.

 

Mrs. Cheever's office is an angled vignette off the President's office, open on one side to the hallway.  Along the hallway are offices and a desk in the adjacent bullpen.  All are within earshot of the vignette, but Mary Lynn's desk is around a corner and out of sight to all but the President who was absent on that day. 

 

When the electronic poo-poo cushion thundered over her speakers it resounded throughout the compact labyrinth of offices.  Her first impulse was to quickly explain to all that the sound came from the computer, but she paused to rethink the matter.  The office fell silent.  Should she explain loudly enough for all to hear, or should she meet with them individually?   Should she show them the email? 

 

She chose to do nothing.

 

Alas, now victim of the silence, and she has yet to admit or deny any personal association with the sounds emanating from her office.  At this writing she writhes in the fog of this matter while her co-workers harbor their own conclusions, lacking knowledge of the event beyond what they heard.  Hearsay, but nonetheless heard.

 

She returns to work today where she will face her fellow workers.  Each will smile and greet her, holding an extra split second of eye contact implying that one might be excused, should pardon be begged.  Such knowing looks pierce to the marrow.

 

Again silence.  No refuge beckons from the ill-founded presumptions that must remain  unexplained.  Innocently I have condemned my beloved wife, for the near term at least, to a silent hell.  Silent, that is, but for the noises that come from her office.