Monday, September 23, 2002

The sunlight streaming through my window hardly made me alacritous to go to work this morning. Since I crawled from my bed the haze over my mind has not lifted, transporting me places against my will throughout the day -- work, home, Nairobi, Washington.
One of the higher-ups in our office is leaving. Wow. Today when she announced it, we all just sat there and stared, like babies being weaned, just stared and wondered. My first thought: We're so screwed.
She really gave us a month's notice, but that doesn't seem to make much of a difference in light of her years of experience. The budget's messed up, we've lost two key people in the office and counting, the director's going nuts trying to figure it all out, and our hope, our glue, the one person in our office that we could always count on for answers is off to the northwest with her husband. Wow.
So I sat there and stared at my computer screen. Helped a couple of students. I mean, seriously, how bad can it be? (I told myself). The whole place can't go down! (I told myself).

More than half of our office is female. I'm convinced that's an earth thing. I've never been to a school where there are more guys than girls. Supposedly such places exist, but they float somewhere on the fringe of my existence like Plato and his Republic, or those monkeys and their Shakespeare script, or Brobdingnag and Lilliput, a supposed contingency in reality, but nothing more than probability. The women in our office aren't even all married, an accentuation of my suspicions. It's the same story next door - one guy, thirteen women, not all of whom are married. This subset of society is unreal.
But south of Washington and west of New York, in my cubicle, I sat this afternoon and wondered how much of my reality is tainted by such caricatures; probability says that you flip a coin 100 times and the likelihood is that about 50 of them will be heads. But if you've had a good run of things you start to have a favorite, even if there's a 50% chance you'll be wrong -- my favorite is tails. My question as I vacated my mind: Any coins?

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