SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I don't like Mondays

It was Monday, the first day of September. My holidays were officially over at 9:00AM.

The alarm clock went at 7:00AM. I jumped on the bed and put it off. My heart was beating fast. The company doc explained it to me very well when I had my last check-up:

- Everything’s fine, Q, but your heart beats a little fast. –he said, giving me a tranquilizer-
- Thanks, but I don’t need one of those. I’m only a bit stressed. –I said-

Fear not; I will survive. This guy is picking his nose all day long and he needs to remind the world he actually works from time to time. Just like everyone else does at Dumbass Industries, the home of avid nose-pickers and the place where I’ve been working like a Trojan for the last four years.

I took a quick shower. I was soaping my belly when Bob Geldof and his Boomtown Rats started shouting into my ears they didn’t like Mondays. Oh boy, and who did?

I prepared breakfast in the kitchen: squeezed oranges; burnt my fingers struggling with the toaster’s manual ejector, removing two slices of bread from the inside. My Italian coffee pot gurgled and a cup of milk boiled in the microwave oven.

I turned the TV on: Same shit, different day. Some local jerk spoke about the government. Pretty big subject, but not for me. I quickly lost interest and turned it off.

I sipped my coffee as I remembered Ed’s words when we said goodbye at the Seashells airport the day before, on my way back to South Sandwich:

- Have a good start at work tomorrow. Get ready for a lot of trouble after such a long holiday and try not to get upset.

I brought my laptop to the kitchen, switched it on and checked my e-mails.

“Sweet princess: I’m still waiting to hear you say you-know-what. Ed”

Eew. Yeah, he was right: He still wanted to know if I had the guts to say I didn’t love him. Would he be assuming that I did? Probably, yes.

I was not particularly proud of myself for what I had done the night before and felt very strange: Shagging someone who was not my more-than-one-month-missing careless boyfriend. Nevertheless… I regretted nothing.

How could I possibly break all the rules with Ed is something I’m still unable to explain. There was a whole world of understated feelings hidden behind rethorical effects between us. And no, that was not platonic anymore.

Platonic. That word triggered a sudden flashback in my mind that struck me like lightning and brought back to my memory a short conversation we had the night before, right after we made love for the first time.

- Let's write together again, please –I begged, for the third time that day-
- I’m sorry. I can’t for the moment, honey. I need to work on the launching of Misty McGwire’s new book. –he said-
- Who’s Misty McGwire? –I asked, very intrigued-

He smiled and rolled his eyes.

- Misty is the most successful and brilliant writer publishing with Kynkybooks… and sort of platonic love of mine. We feel something special for each other since we met, some twenty years ago. The feeling is still there, probably because we never followed our desire… -he said-
- Why not? Why have you restrained your desire for twenty years? –I asked in amazement-

I suddenly realised I was snooping inadvertently into his private life and felt very awkward. So I quickly backtracked.

- Sorry Ed, that’s none of my business… please, forget the question.
- Oh, never mind, it’s harmless to talk about unfulfilled loves. We both had relationships at the time and were not free. But still nowadays we like to play with these feelings. Yet we’re always faithful
. –he said, staring into my eyes-

Oh, faithfulness. The amazing art of cheating on our significant others only with our mind. Desire is to want something we don't have and everybody knows that the best dreams happen when we’re awake.

So I just broke down when I heard him say that. I vaguely remembered having heard about Misty McGwire before, and had seen some of her best-sellers at the bookstores. I was not surprised to hear he would be temporarily putting my book aside. I could understand it. After all, Misty McGwire was an acclaimed writer and Leni Qinan was an unpublished amateurish. It was easy to decide.

Good thing he couldn’t see the quiet tears stream down my face. I silently cried for no good reason, just like a spoiled child would. My primary mind and mental factors refused to understand. That didn’t match at all our recent overwhelming display of physical attraction and passionate feelings. But business is business. All I could do was stand the painful sting of jealousy and pretend it was only a bad dream. So yes, I got the blues there. And I hated myself for that.

But I had to pull myself together, forced my mind to go blank and scrolled down the page with the mouse to read the next e-mail.

“Hey Len! I’m back from a long journey to Denmarkland! Would love to seeya if you’re about, baby. Are you okay? Bob.”

This one made me smile. What nerve! So he had not been abducted by an alien spacecraft after all. Nice to hear from him again after one month! I hated that weirdo. I loved him too. But he exhausted me with simply taking and not giving.

So I was torn between two lovers. It had never happened to me before in my whole life. Why it always had to be either feast or famine?

Eventually, I had to go back to reality; I switched the laptop off; washed my teeth; put some gloss on my lips and left my flat. I said hello to the girl next door, who was waiting for the elevator at the staircase landing, with her two-year old twins sitting next to each other in their double stroller.

- Hi Leni, back to work? –she asked-
- Yeah… you too? And you kids, back to day care? - I answered-

They smiled and nodded ‘Yes’.

- Have a nice day –I said, waving goodbye-

I headed to my car; started the engine and listened to some random music. Cocteau Twins. John Cale. Elvis Costello.

I stopped at the red traffic lights. Benicio del Toro, in the shape of a modern Che, winked at me from the poster on the bus stop shelter. A bit farther, Giovanni Arnolfini and pregnant wife waved goodbye from the gates of the renaissance painting exhibition, at the Classic Art Museum. An endless crowd of Sandwichians left the train station in a hurry.

It was peak hour in Grytviken.

Twenty minutes later, I faced Dumbass Industries’ premises. The crossing-gate was lifted to let me in, as the security guys waved hello. I drove to the manager’s parking lot, where I had my own park space. Some people hated me for being allowed to park there and enjoy what they considered as 'certain undeserved privileges'. Envy and greed were common sins there. I was the first and easiest target to hit when it came to criticise Big Cheese or Big Shot. But strong enough to stand that and much more in my gilded cage.

That morning I even smiled at the union guys, who were spying on me from their windows, while taking a nose-picking break. So peace… until further notice.

I chilled out. Big Cheese and Big Shot were on a business trip for the whole week. I could take it easy. I walked down the marble corridor to my office. Said hello to the assistants. Saved a brief moment for kisses and welcome back greetings from colleagues and sycophants before reviewing the press summary; endless e-mails and phonecall lists; snail mail; signature folders; non-disclosure agreements; contracts; future events; invites; official trips; meetings.

I was having a cup of coffee on my own, in my office, totally absorbed in work, when an office boy knocked on my door and showed me a beautiful huge flower basket.

- The flower shop just delivered this for you, Miss Qinan –he said-
- Oh, thanks, put it there, please –I said, pointing at the small conference table in my office-

The card said: “Welcome back, sweety. Have a nice day. Ed”

That made me smile. In spite of Misty McGwire.

The hours passed unnoticed. My working day ended and nothing remarkable happened. That was cool.
At 7:00 PM I walked to my car carrying the flower basket, smelling the scent of Ed’s flowers. Daydreaming.

There was bird mess on the car hood and someone had painted on the windshield with white chalk: “Q = POSH”. Hello Dumbass Industries, and thanks for the warm welcome.

Yeah, there was life after the summer holidays, and it moved on.






"I don't like Mondays" (Tori Amos)



31 comments:

moonlover said...

Waw! Leni, I loved to read this ;^)
I just could stop inspite I had to start working,
I loved the text, the photos you choose and the music,
Fantastic!

have a great week,
kiss,
moon

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Moon, nice to hear from you again! Welcome!

Thanks for your comment, dear. I'm happy to know you loved the post.

I must admit it's hard to be back to work... I'm a bit bluesy these days. But it will pass soon.

Hugs & XXXs

max said...

I don’t like Mondays either, Leni. Especially after the summer holidays. It’s tough the first week. Then… it passes. You'll be okay in a few days.

Dumbass Industries looks like a very big corporation, but the employees seem to be very crappy. I'm curious about that.

I loved your interesting reflections about faithfulness, love and desire. Sometimes it’s hard to draw a line, isn’t it?

I see why you’re getting so blue. You’re neither used to Bob’s silly disappearances nor to Ed’s honesty displays. Love is a very special thing, but it hurts sometimes. It’s a price everybody who loves pays for it.

I hope you take the right decision about these two above. Take care.

Big kiss.

Donnnnn said...

Your writing totally rings true to me. It's so real that I feel like a Peeping Tom..don't notify the authorities.

My fave Boomtown Rats song will always be I Never Loved Eva Braun...
((na na na na-na na-na-na))
Greatest opening line in a song too..
"Is she really going out with Adolf?"

Nahuatl said...

I could have been the first to write here... :)


But somehow I skipped that moment and waited till now. Good for me because now I know that you have a beautiful taste in music. :) Very desirable ;)

Awww.. you feeling blue? :)
Hugs and kisses from this little heart....... (and yes, I am a big time dreamer .. even days don't stop me :P)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Donn! Welcome back!

You’re invited to spy on me, lol, I promise I won’t tell the authorities.

This time it was quite an introspective and emotional post about feelings. I thought you readerships would like to share a bit of those.

I’m playing now 'I Never Loved Eva Braun' on Youtube –unfortunately, ‘I don’t like Mondays’ was the only hit I knew of The Boomtown Rats (thanks for expanding my mind to the music of the eighties). That opening line ("Is she really going out with Adolf?") reminds me to Joe Jackson’s ‘Is she really going out with him?’ –another fave here…-
But my fave of the faves is ‘Breaking us in two’. I’m pretty sure that you like this one too. ;)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Nayan!

Looks like it's invite day today: You’re nominated as Dangerous Writer's Early Guy, lol, and you're invited to be the first one to write here ;) –you’re some hours ahead of me, so… it won’t be hard to do. The only thing is you might find me sleeping, but we could always meet in a dream. I have already done that before and it was amazing ;)

But –just like you- days don’t stop me either and I daydream a lot.

I’m very happy to know you enjoy the music here and I like to get your feedback.

So yes… feeling a bit bluesy today. It must be the post holiday blues, or the Monday blues, but Friday is approaching and I start feeling better.

Of course, your hugs’n’XXX helped a lot. ;))

Big kiss.

Leni Qinan said...

This is for Hanny:

I didn't realise you had left some comments in old posts. I'll be happy to answer you, I only need a couple of days to find them all, ok?

Thanks a lot for reading and for commenting.

XXX.

hanny said...

Hi Leni, it's always a bummer to get back to work after holidays and vacation and it doesn't on what day. I hate it! My Monday was good though since it was Labor Day weekend here. We also had my daughter's 3rd birthday party so it a a blast!

Anyway, sorry to hear on your situation between Ed & Bob. Like Max said, hope you'd make the right choice-whatever would make you happy!

How's your book coming along?

hanny said...

I saw your message for me right after I posted my comment:))

Don't worry about finding my posts, I don't remember where I posted them so I don't know where to go back to check your response. Bummer! But maybe you can just post your response here hehe.

So you must be awake right now? It's 9am on Thursday here. Not sure what the time difference is. Hope today is better for you!

Hugs..

Nahuatl said...

Oh thank you for the title! :)
"The early worm gets eaten by the early bird" :P

Hmm.. meeting in dreams.. hemm.. you know, I would be waiting for you everywhere.. dreams (cuz I will sleep first) and your blog (cuz I'll wake up first) =D

About music, I wud say, its personal and meaningful. Hence no feedback.. only sharing :)

Take care!
xx

tom909 said...

Wow, nice post Leni, really pulled me in to all the drama there. I felt like I could almost see how your mind works mixing the reality with your imagination - pretty far out, as we used to say in the 60s.

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Hanny!

1st and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your 3-yr-old little daughter. What a cute age! I hope she had a nice party, lots of presents and a very nice day -and you too-.

Yeah, the first day is so bad! Good thing this Monday it was holiday for you (strange, Labor Day is 1st of May over here).

About my situation with Ed+Bob, it's a bit difficult indeed, but I hope this will develop into a funny and nice story. And yes, I hope one day I make the right choice!

The book: We have 10 chapters now, and the writing halted for a while -my co-writer is quite busy now and hasn't been able to write for the last 2 weeks, but will be on holidays in 2 weeks and promised to continue his part. I am reviewing the story -checking the language and all (can't help laughing, I'm not even a native speaker) and preparing the work to get the copyrights before posting it-.

We are considering 2 possibilities:

1) Posting it in this blog, or
2) Posting it in another different blog linked to this one. I already worked on the layout and settings, you may have a look if wou whish, it's called THE UNBELIEVABLE MAGIC BOX (you can find it in my blogroll, at left).

Maybe you readerships could help with that difficult decision. Any sugestions will be welcome.

About your comments,lol, ok, no worries, i'll find them and answer to all your questions about Bob+Ed here, ok? :)
(you're keeping me busy Hanny, lol).

The time difference between you and me is 10 hours behind for you. Yet I feel as if you would be living next door to mine, lol.

I had a better day today, thanks. Big Cheese and Big Shot made it safe and sound back home (they have considerable jet lag and are a bit sleepy, but they're being nice to me for the moment, so I'm okay, thanks dear).

And the weekend is just around the corner!

Big hug!

Leni Qinan said...

Hey, my early guy is back! (I hope you play early bird, Nayan, wouldn't like to see a bird eating you alive, including your fashionable sun glasses, hahaha).

Aww.. no music feedback? I thought you would be delighting the audience with your sweet songs (*nearly falls off her chair laughing*). So sharing. ;)

Okok. I'll behave.

Meeting in dreams is such a wonderful place to meet for dreamers, so it could be an amazing experience. Blogs are great places to meet as well, don't you think?

Big hug'n'XXX!

Leni Qinan said...

OOOOOOOOOh! I can't believe this!
(*has eyes like saucers*)

I am very honoured by your unexpected visit, Tom (*chuckles and then cracks up laughing*). Now you may get my comment. Quid pro quo.

I knew you would like this post, Tom.

I think this time I could write some touching paragraphs -I felt the empathy and emotions very deeply as I wrote-. I already have some practice mixing rl/vl and imagination. This is what I mean when I tell my readerships there's always an element of truth in my stories, like a jigsaw puzzle. You may know a part, another commenter knows a different part, but I'm the only one who knows everything.

Pretty far out? I'm not good at hippy idioms (will try to catch you later and you tell me what it means).

Big kiss, and don't be that late next time, lol.

Anonymous said...

Hola Leni!

La vuelta al trabajo suele ser bastante dura....=(

Mucha merde=)

Pía/Ro

Leni Qinan said...

Eeeeh Ro!!! Cuanto bueno por aquí!!!

Síii, MUCHA MUCHA MERDE. Así son las cosas reales en el lugar donde me gano la vida, aunque esta semana no me quejo: he tenido un aterrizaje suave.

Y si la vida sentimental es un caos, la cosa se complica un poco.

Al menos, espero aclararme en el futuro.

¿Cómo te va la vida? ¿Y ese viaje por Europa que pensabas hacer?

Un beso y me alegro mucho de verte de nuevo por aquí.

PS.- ¿Servirá de algo si otra vez te ruego que reconsideres abrir de nuevo tu maravilloso blog? :))

Me voy a trabajar, grrrr....

Nahuatl said...

Oh damn! I wish I had learnt Spanish.. properly. sigh!
:)

Leni Qinan said...

LEARN SPANISH WITH LENI QINAN:

Ok Nayan, I get the message, lol.

This is a multilingual blog and I'm happy to translate for you, as I've been doing in the past. I will be doing the same from now on.

Everyone is welcome to comment in their own language, as long as I can understand it and translate for the rest -basically, Spanish and French, I'm fluent-

I've had French and Portuguese commenters in the past, and I translated for those who asked for.

Meet my friend Ro: she's a very nice girl from Argentina, who reads and comments here from time to time. I hadn't heard from her since the beginning of the summer.

So there you go, Nayan:

Ro said:

Hi Leni!
Going back to work usually is very hard... =(

Mucha merde=)
(NOTE: That's a Spanish idiom meaning "lots of luck", which is what the actors wish to each other before going on stage (to say good luck gives bad luck)

And my reply:

Leni Qinan said:

Eeeeh Ro!!! Nice to see you again!
Yeah, LOADS OF MERDE. This is how real things are where I make my living, though I won't complain this week: I'm having a soft comeback.

But personal life is chaotic, so things get more complicated. I hope at least I can make up my mind in the future.

How is it going with you? What about that trip around Europe you were planning to do?

Big kiss. I'm very happy to see you again here.

PS.- Is it gonna work if I ask you to reconsider the reopening of your wonderful blog? :))

I'm off to work, grrrr....

Nahuatl said...

hehehe... Leni, you are really sweet =)

No, I wasn't my intention to poke into the comments section to read all the messages. If I can't read that language, maybe translation sites can help - if I really need to know :)

"LEARN SPANISH WITH LENI QINAN"
Hmm.. I really like the sound of it :)
When do we start officially? :D

SpanishGoth said...

We should have exchanged places.

You went to Spain, I didn't

My first day back, my boss said "blah, blahblah, blahblah, blah" or something and

I replied

"Fuck off, I need coffee"

he cowered.

I wasn't really going to kill him but, I wasn't in a very goog mood

hanny said...

Oh my, so much traffic here!

Thank you for the birthday greetings for Kate. Her birthday is actually on the 2nd of Sep but we celebrated early because of holiday so most of the family made it. Yes, she had lots of presents! I also get excited on the presents she gets because it means savings for us especially on clothes. She's been growing fast like weeds.

About on posting your book, I go for option 2: put in on separate link (blogroll) so people won't have to come here on your main one, which gets so busy, but just go there directly to check it out. Make sense?

I know it would be more fun for you if I keep throwing lots of questions at you! LOL

Have a good weekend! :XX

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Nayan,

My pleasure to translate for my readerships. You're welcome to read the comments -they're public, commenters know they can e-mail me for private stuff, so feel free to read-.

It's not hard for me to translate -I've spent my whole life doing it for work and I like it, I just apologize in advance for the mistakes (I'm not a native speaker, as you know)-. I'll do my best to improve communication here, so no worries.

Anyway, for those who prefer a translation, there's a google translation button somewhere at left.

Lol "LEARN SPANISH WITH LENI QINAN"
When do we start officially??? We have already started, Nayan. :))

Leni Qinan said...

WOW, Monsieur Goth!
Long time no see! À quoi dois-je l'honneur? (*smirks*)

Seriously, I love to see you back (in my blog, not at work, lol)

If we had exchanged places you would probably be back home with a nice golden suntan on your delicate skin and I would be back to Spain with a Welsh bf. (*laughs loud*), so I better stay here, lol.

First day back to work is hard, eh? (Man, you're really brave to say that to your boss on your first day back! Don't upset him/her or he won't give you your bonus next year, lol).

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Hanny!

Yeah, I'm really glad to see this post sooooo busy. Thank you all for your response, it makes me very happy.

Nice to know you had a nice birthday celebration! She's becoming a big girl, eh? (*sends a kiss*)

Thanks for your suggestions about the book. Actually I agree with you, still discussing that with my co-writer friend. Of course it makes sense, Hanny, and I appreciate your reply on that.

You can ask as much as you want here, lol. Still hunting for your questions in old posts, lol. Answers coming up soon, promise (lol).

Big hug & XXX.

Grass said...

Hi sis! I'm back and I know I deserve to be killed for not telling everyone exactly why I was gone for a long time! LOL I wanted to read this blog but I just arrived and I really need my beauty sleep but I promise I will read thoroughly all your entries I missed out while I was on a one-month hiatus..hehehe!

Take care! Will be back here as soon as I wake up!


xxx Grassy

Leni Qinan said...

KA-BOOM!!! MY SIS IS BACK!!!

You better sleep fast Grassy, we missed you like hell here and were really looking forward to hear from you!

You don't deserve to be killed, sweety, lol. I hope you had a very nice summer holiday! Now get your beauty sleep asap and come back here, ok? lol.

Big big big kiss.

Ghost Particle said...

Leni...ur amazing. ur serialization of the day, of the story is so alive, feel like im there in it, watching the moments, listening to you. :)

//After all, Misty McGwire was an acclaimed writer and Leni Qinan was an unpublished amateurish. // --- are u sure? :P

Grass said...

Torn between two lovers! and surprise surprise, your Bob is back from his vacation like me! I hope you don't think I was with him the whole time I was away.. LOL kidding sis!

Monday blues, who hasn't experienced that? Every young urban professionals like us hate Mondays! Especially if you were away from work for too long. I dread this coming Monday too. :-<

As for Ed, he's sweet sending you flowers like that. My dear, it's not nice to know that you have coworkers there that aren't nice to you.. Envy does mess things up! I have had my own problems at work too, with my coworkers but they were usually minor. :)

It's nice to be back here, commenting! I'm going to check out for your other entries...

xxx

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Ghosty and thanks for your sweet comment!

That’s the not-so-surrealistic part of my life, lol. And not so nice, of course. But I try to get by the best I can.

I’m glad that you can feel it so vividly –sometimes I like to drag you guys into hyperreality and unveil some reality shots-.

Misty McGwire is a best selling author, and for the moment the center of the editor’s attention –which makes me mad, as you can see-. That was the reason for my stupid/jealous feelings. You’re very kind doubting the comparison I draw between Misty and me… very nice, Ghosty and I really appreciate that. :)

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Grassy!

Yeah, torn between two lovers. Bob disappeared for the whole month without even saying he was leaving –as usual- and Ed is seizing the opportunity –as an experienced man (he knows how to treat women), he is light years ahead of Bob, who in turn is also nice but quite careless, as you know-.

No, I don’t think you were with Bob the whole time you were away (hm… unless you went to visit his mom and dad in Zeewland and to Denmarkland in august, did you???), hahaha.

I hope you had a hell of a good time while you were on vacation, and I cross my fingers to wish you a nice Monday tomorrow. Take it easy, dearie. It passes soon. I’m almost used to and the summer holidays seem to be veeeeery far now.

I have some nice colleagues at work, but unfortunately a few nasty coworkers too –it’s a consequence of my kind of work and there’s nothing I can to about it: isolation and pressure is the prize I have to pay, but I can put up with that very well, I’m used to-. I know you’ve had a few problems too, I hope you solved them all.

I’m really glad to see you’re back, Grass, you’re the darling of this blog!

XXX.