Sunday, January 13, 2008

Someone Else's Drama

There's a bank I often go to that's is actually tucked into a corner of a supermarket, but I prefer it to the more sterile atmosphere of a standalone retail bank. The branch is staffed by an array of young employees of the bank -- let's call it Behemoth Finance Corp. -- because, it seems, such lowly outposts are reserved for those under 30. Some young bankers come and go, but I know about three of them by name.

Including P, a fetching young woman of more cheer than a bank job deserves. Young Behemoth employees, and grocery store workers as well, sometimes take breaks in an outdoor alcove not far from one of the main entrances to the store. It's partly obscured, but as you walk through the parking lot, you can see workers sitting on the alcove's bench, often smoking. Some months ago I noted that P, among all the young bankers, also smokes, but that's not the gist of this anecdote.

After dark one day recently, when it was really cold, I spotted P in the alcove as I crossed the parking lot toward the store's entrance. She was talking on her cell phone. I couldn't hear anything until right before I got to the door, and then only a few seconds' worth of unavoidable eavesdropping (not that I would have tried to avoid it, or stopped for more either).

So I caught just this fragment: "What I'm saying," P said in a tone of someone having to explain something one too many times, "is that I want you out of my life."


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