(First printed in Walking Slow, Lazara Press, 1985)
Once in a while I check with my publisher
to find out if I’m rich and famous yet.
I figure the publisher would know before I would
but he’s rather absent-minded
and might forget to mention it to me
so once in a while I phone
and he always says he doesn’t know anything abut it
and I’ll hear before he does
which is probably true
but it might happen during a mail strike
or I might have been on holiday
or otherwise unavailable
so it’s best to check.
I have this rich and famous daydream
where I’ve already been rich and famous for quite a while
but I just keep on as normal
as if it was no big deal.
Then one day my boss
whichever one he should happen to be at the time,
asks me to do something real stupid
or dictates a real stupid letter
or something like that.
All bosses do that
and most often one just types the stupid letter
or makes the stupid phone call
or phones the stupid restaurant
for his stupid reservation
or something like that.
But this day I tell him
I don’t feel like doing anything stupid today
and he should type his own letter
or make his own phone call
or whatever stupid thing it is he asked me to do.
So he goes purple and starts yelling
and I’m really upset –
I mean, everyone gets upset when their boss
turns purple and starts yelling.
But then I remember!
Wait a minute! I say,
I don’t have to take this shit any more;
I’m rich and famous now.
So then I cover up the typewriter
and put away the carbon paper
and close the credenza where all the paper is
and put all the pens and pencils in the cup
which is used for that purpose
and I put away the whiteout and the blueout
and I cover the dictating machine
and I put away the stapler and the staple remover
and I put away my notebook and the telephone message pad
and I take off the wall my sign that says
“I type like I live – fast with a lot of mistakes”
and I take my comb and headache pills out of the desk
and put them in an envelope along with the
Then I make a luncheon date for the following week
with the woman I work with.
They’re pretty uptight about me deserting them
to an angry boss
but they agree to lunch anyway
because really, they’re pleased to know someone
rich and famous.
Then I go outside and get on the Hastings Express
and ask for a transfer
and probably I get to sit down all the way to the Loop
because it isn’t the rush hour yet.
Copyright 2009, Helen Potrebenko. For permissions please visit http://helenpotrebenko.icopyright.com