Heart Shaped Box

At the beginning it was the maddening fluidity of her walk and the way she made you breathlessly silent just by her presence alone. She never spoke to anyone. And together we felt the imprisonment of being a boy and how our job was to merely create a noise that might fascinate her.

With her soulful blue eyes and ripe, pert and desirable mouth, I felt a strange unison with my anonymous colleagues. Well I did until she turned into the kitchen and the shrill ping of the microwave crushed any lingering feeling of desire. For the anticipation lay in her walk and how with every step she took she was a heartbeat closer to my own.

As you might have already gathered by now, offices can be notoriously dull places to earn a living. If you spend the lion’s share of the Gregorian calendar sitting in front of computer, then inevitably the mind will begin to wander. Sometimes I have tried to fancy virtually anyone just to escape the menial wonders of Microsoft Excel.

Spending up to eight hours per day in the same allocated spot, usually performing the same tasks without thinking, is almost asking for you to fall in love for 16 seconds. Albeit with someone wildly out of your league, grossly inappropriate, engaged or the intern with phosphorescent eyes and probably still in her early twenties.

Spending so much time in the same place with the same people will inevitably rouse the most dangerous of human emotions – curiosity. As a result most people will develop a crush on a work colleague at some point in their lives. Even if it is someone you wouldn’t ordinarily find attractive in real life.

Never advisable and almost certainly best avoided, office liaisons usually end in disaster and whether it’s excruciatingly embarrassing or incredibly painful. The bitter ending will provide a malnourished office with juicy scraps of gossip for years to come.

Curiosity is a curse that has afflicted even some of the most intelligent men and women in the workplace. As anyone engaged in a secret romantic tryst can usually see the tsunami galloping in the distance. But like the stupid footballers who have sexual affairs with reality TV contestants, they continue to believe in the self-inflicted illusion that no one will find out. Although no one will fail to spot the tell-tail signs of you arriving together at the same time, usually late with a sheepish grin and ruffled unwashed hair.

All it takes is one perceptive mind and the keyboards will be rattling out scandal until even the cleaner finds out. Usually such childish behaviour is fueled by jealously at how their previously anonymous colleagues could be having such an exhilaratingly good time without them. The lovers inbox will be a ripe treat and they won’t give a damn about what anyone else thinks. Until it all goes wrong that is.

For silent curiosity is always more exciting than the real thing. As like the regal beauty that left her male colleagues twitching in synchronised admiration, the attraction ultimately lay in enigmatic silence and how difficult she was to attain. Expectation usually kills a party and broadening your horizons away from your desk is probably wiser than aimlessly seeking a distraction from it.

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