It’s his Prada cologne that gets me. The other reason I’m drawn to Denny is that I can’t tell if he’s gay or not. His mannerisms say ‘no’, but his fitted Express shirts whisper ‘maybe’. He looks like an Italian version of Lip on ‘Shameless’.
He has big gorgeous eyes that never seem to blink, framed by long dark lashes that make me want to pressure my doctor into prescribing me Latisse. Denny has a strong jawline, sharp features, and a very masculine face. Plus, like I said, he smells fucking delicious.
I flirt with him relentlessly, mostly because my new job at the Evil Corporation is so easy, and my coworkers are so stupid. This frees me up to focus on bigger issues, like my growing, and often crippling loneliness.
Jess, the only person I like at the firm, calls me a couple weeks after we start while she’s outside smoking.
“Dude, you’re never going to guess what I just found out,” she says while exhaling into the speaker.
“That God is real, and we get to go to hell tomorrow instead of work?”
There’s a long silence as she tries to figure out what I just said and if she should respond. Jess smokes a shit ton of pot which is why she’s the only coworker I can stand.
She must decide to ignore me because all she says is “No dude, Denny is gay!”
My heart starts beating fast, but I’m skeptical.
“How do you know for sure…. did you see him with a dick in his mouth?”
I light my own Camel on the other end. It’s just hard to trust someone who can never remember where she parked her car, or which bank she uses.
“I heard him arguing really loudly with a guy on the phone in one of the conference rooms, and when he came out I asked him if everything was ok”
“He said yeah, my ex is just such a dickhead”
“This is excellent work Jess, really I couldn’t be more pleased”
“Yeah, but maybe you shouldn’t do anything with him since he is part of management…”
“Ummm, we hate this job remember?”
Jess goes back in, probably to smoke pot in the cafeteria bathroom, and I head into the sober trap house I share with Ashton. I grab my laptop, pop open G-mail, and use my impeccable memory to type in Denny’s work email.
‘Hey this is Nick, I’m new, I have a real quick work-related question. Text me when you get home please’.
Then I leave my number.
Not three minutes later I have a text from an unknown number, and of course, it’s him. I knew he liked me, if not he would have waited until he got home that evening.
We text endlessly, and I mean endlessly for a week about nothing and absolutely everything.
It’s late evening the first time it happens. I often work late since I have the peculiar inability to tell people ‘no’ even when I don’t respect them. We’re supposed to meet in the conference room by leasing at 8pm.
It’s 7:55 and I’m tingling with anticipation, trying to get a drunk property manager from California off the phone. Jess’s desk is next to mine, but she’s already been briefed on my covert meeting. I am worried about walking past LaTisha’s desk though.
At 7:59 I walk quietly to the East side of the enormous tower and steal a glance at LaTisha who is painting her long fake fingernails while somehow managing to simultaneously shove red-hot Cheetos into her mouth. Personally, I love all of the minority hires because they are always much more colorful than the sad drones that make up most of our group.
Although, I am a little concerned that LaTisha is going to need one of those special office chairs that looks like a love seat on wheels if she doesn’t lay off the Cheetos, but I digress.
Denny is already in the dark conference room when I slip through the door. I start to make a witty joke about needing overtime pay but he puts a finger to his lips, and I take the hint as he locks the door.
I’m not going to get into specifics because this is not THAT kind of blog, but let’s just say it’s one of the most intense experiences of my life. (And if you’ve been reading for awhile I’m sure you can gather there are many, many, many up for comparison).
Before putting our clothes back on we both stand at the floor to ceiling windows, high above the streets, and admire the lights from the city’s skyline. It must have started snowing while we were on the floor, the first of the season. We stand there for ten minutes, both trying to catch our breath before Denny has to get back to his desk.
Outside on Fifth Avenue, I light a cigarette and head for the parking garage. The city is barren, and the snow is starting to stick to the dirty sidewalks.
I laugh out loud into the darkness as I pull headphones out of my bag, in love with my life for the first time in years.