I gum up my calendar with nonsense and dreck to throw my colleagues off the scent. Keep the goody-goody Rottweilers sniffing, wondering where the hell I am, wondering why the hell I’m so busy. No, I’m not free for a quick call at two; no, I’m not open Thursday between three and five; we need to cancel the weekly, and next week’s, go ahead and cancel the series because my calendar is bogged with brine and gristle. Can you not see these calendar events drowning me? I’m gurgling for a minute of air beneath this turgid mud. Look at my calendar. Look at it! I am buried under those overlapped layers of gunk and yuck, screaming in the peat from dawn until night. Who is in these meetings? Colleagues you do not know. Senior management. VPs. The gunge is sardined with executioners who demand my presence now. No, we cannot speak for five minutes about the assignments I was supposed to do four weeks ago that are causing significant delays for the rest of the team. I am late for three simultaneous meetings and must hold my breath as I submerge myself in the slop.
I spin away from my boss violently, flounce out of her office and down the hallway, then the next, backtracking to launder my movements and confuse the Rottweilers until I enter the restroom and lock myself in a stall, where I sit for the remainder of the day with my pants at my ankles, eavesdropping on the comradery and bonuses and promotions happening at the team party on the other side of the vent. My legs tingle and sting then go dead numb as I scroll the orange and blue shingles on my oozed-up calendar. My beautiful meetings with phantoms, this quilt I pull over myself, the warm sludge into which I sink, my muck and goo in the gears.