In Times of Cold Rain
“I’m sorry I missed your call, I had a problem with the car this morning,” he explained into the phone, twirling a pen through his fingers and idly clicking at the keypad. “It’s nothing, really, I’m sure. I’ll get it into the shop and I’ll be back on the road in no time.” He listened to her reply, nodding with his face frozen into an impassive glare. “No, I know, I was going to be home, but I need to get take care of the shop in Champaign,” he paused again, waiting for her to finish. “It’s not a big deal,” he argued, “I’ll be back next week.” Her voice sounded like a screech through the earpiece. “That’s bullshit, Erin, and you know it.” He held the phone away from his face and mimicked her piercing cries.
“What are you doing?” Josh said, standing in the doorway. “The conference call is starting.”
Fuck off, he mouthed to Josh, then returned the phone to his ear. He cupped the receiver and mouthed to his assistant, pick up the call, and I’ll join in a few minutes, trying to mime his instructions with his free hand.
Josh couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of his boss acting like he was playing charades at the home of a developmentally-disabled twelve year old. “You got it, boss,” he said, and set the coffee down before heading to his own desk to join the conference call.
“Are you done, yet?” he said into the phone. “I’ve got an important call I need to be on.”
He stood up, sliding the chair back to the wall. “I know, babe, I know, it’s hard for me, too. I’ll call you back later and we’ll talk some more about it,” he said, “all right? I’m going to go. I miss you,” he finished and set the receiver back in its cradle. He picked up the coffee and took a sip.
“God damn it, Josh,” he hollered. “This tastes worse than your girlfriend’s asshole.”
Outside the room Josh just shrugged, he hadn’t made the coffee. “Yes sir,” he said into the phone, “he’ll be right on.”
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