"Oh, he's a fucker," Karen said.
We were in the office with the door closed. The oscillating fan on the floor was set on high to drown out our hoarse conspiratorial whisperings.
"Fucker," Karen said. She kept swiping at the strands of white-blonde hair that blew in her face. "He's just a fucker."
Because of her MS, Karen's voice was having problems. The words were broken and oscillatingly reedy.
Fucker sounded like fuuuhh-er. Other times it sounded like fffukr.
"Just a fuug-her."
We were talking about Ed's book-projectile crime spree. It turned out the spree wasn't heinous enough as Ed was due back the next day. With no consequences at all--other than Karen's ten-million suns of rage. She hunched forward closer to me.
"You know what that fucking fucker said?"
"No. What did the fucking fucker say?"
Karen had just been at a pre-disciplinary hearing downtown with Ed and HR people.
"He said he had..." Karen took up the official papers and read. "He said he had 'softly tossed the CD underhand.' Softly! And he said he'd expected Todd to catch it."
A few days ago HR had emailed me (subject: CONFIDENTIAL) and asked for additional details about The Throw. How far away had the two combatants been standing? And was it possible that it was a CD hurled and not a book? I had returned to the scene of the crime and with Jonah I measured out the distance. Probably 6-8 feet. But the lab was still working on the fiber samples.
"I was standing right there. It was a book, not a CD. And it wasn't a soft toss. Not hard, either. More like a medium-hard with hints of softness."
"Mindy [the HR lady] said she thinks Ed has a drinking problem. His hands were shaking."
I had a revelation. "Maybe," I said, "that's why he was so impatient to leave on Saturday. He needed to get home and hit the bottle. And Todd was in his way. We were all in his way. Maybe he thought hurling a book would get him to his sweet booze faster?"
"But Todd should have never called him a horse dick."
"Ha ha. Sorry. Did he say that?"
"He's too hostile. That has to stop. HR knows about it. He's been on Ed's case for years. But..." Karen looked to the ceiling. She swiped at her hair. "That's like saying since Todd was wearing a skimpy outfit he deserved to get raped!"
"I'm so sick of this, Greg. SO FUCKING SICK. AND NO ONE IS HELPING ME."
She stamped her boots and clenched her teeth, fists, sphincter. Her desk was covered with papers.
"NO ONE SHOULD BE FUCKING THROWING BOOKS AT ANYONE! NEVER!!! THIS IS SO FUCKING WRONG THEY NEVER SHOULD LET HIM BACK BUT HE'S COMING BACK AND HE THREW A BOOK AT SOMEONE AND FUCKING THOSE FUCKERS WON'T DO ANYTHING THAT FUCKER WHO FUCKING THREW THAT FUCKING FUCK BOOK."
Karen violently threw papers up in the air. Her phone hit the floor--she had thrown her phone with the papers.
The glass on the phone was cracked.
"I think you need to take control of your futility."
A few weeks ago Karen told me she'd seen a book with the title Taking Control of Your Fertility and instead saw it as Taking Control of Your Futility.
Karen laughed. "You're right." She nodded and laughed some more. "You're so right."
I relaxed a little. She had hit my knee during her berserk tirade.
"But I'm going to get that fucker. I'm going to see his country ass gone if it's the last thing I do before I'm in my grave."
"Ha ha. Great."
To be continued?