February 18, 2010

The Passing Winds of Time

I never got along with the landlady at my office building. From the moment when I was forced to work with her--coordinating a complex (which shouldn't have been complex at all) transfer between suites--and we got into a very loud, very heated spat. Since that day, we have barely spoken at all, and when we were forced to, we used as few words as possible.

So I was surprised when she came into my office one day, a couple months ago, a big smile lighting up her evil face. She wanted to talk about construction changes. I wanted her to leave. I was cold but polite, waiting for her to finish talking though. Instead, she walked around my desk to stand by me.

Whoa! Intrusion of personal space! She stood less than a foot from me, much closer than we had ever been (and ever hoped to be, in my mind). But she didn't say anything. She awkwardly smiled at me, as if waiting for me to say something instead of "okay, okay, I'll talk to George, then get back to you." But I wanted her to leave. More than anything. Just go already.

Finally, she turned to leave.

And farted.

Right in my face.

As if she had sighted the target before firing her gaseous missile.

It was a horrendously direct hit.

Enemy was down.

She said "Excuse me," in her I'm-just-a-sweet-old-lady-voice, then kept walking. I was left dumb-struck in her wake. In a haze, I lurched out of my office where I immediately told all my coworkers what had just happened. By the end of the day, we had all decided it was the funniest thing to ever hit our office.

The next morning, I was greeted by the morose face of my boss. "We've had some bad news," he said. "The landlady passed away last night." The implications of what he said hit me even harder than her fart the day before.

She was dead?

When I told him what happened, Keene said, "Do you think the fart was actually her soul leaving her body?" I peed my pants a bit at that.

I had never been around someone just hours from their death. It felt strange. I might have been one of the last people she talked to, and she farted in my face.

Keene then said, "Maybe she thought, 'There. I've farted in that little bitch's face. Now I can die happy.'" He has a strange way of dealing with death.

One night, shortly after, The Dude took the opportunity to fart on me, as little boys like to do. Keene said to him with a face oh-so-serious, "Uh-oh, you know what happened to the last person that farted on your mom..."

Days passed quickly and quietly, much like the gas itself from the poor lady's buttocks. The landlady's memory has lived on. But it is a happier memory. It is the way she should be remembered. Not as the tyrant who roamed the hallways with a scowl and a copy of the lease in hand. But the lovable cad who stole into an office just long enough to have her fun.

She will be missed.

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