I was leaning against the chic stainless steel sink and staring at myself in the mirror – mid pep talk. “Alright, you’ve got this.” You just have to go out there and socialize, like a normal human being. It can’t be that hard. Everyone out there is doing it.” I took a deep breath, and was about to give myself one last affirmation, when the sound a toilet flushing interrupted me. I hadn’t realized there was someone else in the bathroom.
The gentlemen opened the stall door and my stomach immediately dropped. The man was dressed to the 9’s and he looked exactly like what I would assume the love child of Bradley Cooper and Jamie Foxx would look like. In other words, this guy was effortlessly cool, and I was entirely ill equipped to carry on a conversation with him. The man offered up a casual smile as he went to wash his hands. I just went back to looking in the mirror.
“Hey, so,” I began to explain.
“Don’t sweat it, man. I get it.”
“Somehow I doubt that.” I said trying to discreetly check out the guy’s shoes... Not a single scuff!
“Look,” The guy turned to me, “I know it’s none of my business, but why are so stressed? It’s a party.”
“Right, well, the thing is...” I trailed off in embarrassment, “I don’t actually... work for this company. I’m crashing.”
“Uh huh... And why would someone who’s afraid of socializing crash a party?”
“Well, I am actually trying to get a word in with the CTO. I’ve tried getting an interview with her for weeks, but she hasn’t responded.”
“And so you thought bombarding her at an office party was the best way to get in her good graces?”
“Right, well, it’s cool. I won’t rat you out. I don’t work here either. I’m just a plus one.” The guy said as he dried his hands.
“Thanks, but you’re probably right. This is a bad idea. I should just go home.” I went to leave, when the guy caught my arm.
“Hold up,” he said with a flick of a smirk, “I might be able to help you. I have a little something to take the edge off, if you’re interested.”
I raised my eyebrows in surprise and the guy pulled a plastic bag from his pocket. He stuck it into my jacket pocket, winked, and left – remembering to place a lighter on the bathroom sink as he did. Once alone, I patted my chest, and felt a small joint.
Ten minutes later I pushed open the bathroom door with a bit more gruff than necessary, and plunged my introverted self into the center of the lively office party. I bumped around for a while, looking for the bar, or a drinking fountain, but eventually just ended up sitting in a dark corner, trying not to freak out. I sat staring at the pattern in the carpet for another fifteen minutes, when I felt a soft hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see the friendly, freckled face of the CTO, Ms. Lydia Dodge herself.
“Are you alright? You seemed lonely over here all by yourself. Can I get you a drink?” She asked politely.
“I, uh, no, that’s fine. I’m fine. All good in the hood.” I responded awkwardly.
Lydia sat down in the seat next to mine.
“I’m Lydia, and you must be someone’s date.”
“Um, actually...” I was starting to feel really paranoid and nervous. I looked around the room, trying to see if I could find my bathroom buddy, but to no avail. “Look, I’m in no position to lie right now. I am not a plus one, I’m crashing. And I’m really freaking high.”
Lydia drew back in alarm and gave me an angry look.
“But listen,” I continued, “I have to talk to you. I know you are looking to expand from individual computer security to company-wide, large scale security systems.”
“How did you –“
“You have a very talkative secretary. But that’s not the point. The point is, you will need better coders if that’s your plan.” The pot had completely abolished any filter sober me would have had. “I’ve seen the product your people churn out, and that workmanship just won’t cut it on a large scale. I’m sorry, but it’s true.”
“And you think you can do better?”
“I know I can do better.”
Lydia eyed me suspiciously for a while, and then smiled at me coyly.
“Alright,” Lydia said lowing her voice, “You have my attention. But before I hear anymore, please tell me you have enough of that kush to share.
I smiled and relaxed a little. I pulled the leftover half join out of my pocket and she motioned for me to follow her out to the patio.
-Written by Sawyer Smith
Sawyer is a creative writer, bookworm, and movie-nerd. Sawyer attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and has years of experience writing creative, academic, and marketing pieces. Sawyer recently wrote a play that was picked up by several Fringe Festivals across the country.