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Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Nancy suggested that I write about the Stone.

The Stone sat two feet to my left for about two weeks. He was a freelancer hired to help us through a stressful period. During his first week, he didn’t say a word. He worked steadily, head down, tap-tapping away.

His first utterances were nervous, stammering, awkward comments. He hardly smiled. He was preppy and pale. He knew a lot of random trivia. He scared me a little, because he seemed from another planet and he was so unapologetically himself.

Meanwhile, the gay men in the office swarmed about, trying to get a good whiff, but the Stone’s scent was never strong enough in any direction. My coworker Jim, had drinks with the Stone and reported a live-in Japanese girlfriend. All at once, he became much more interesting.

The most flamboyant gay man in my office was smitten. ‘He’s so quiet. He’s unassuming. He’s like Clark Kent with something smoldering inside.’

I squinted, trying to understand how we were talking about the same person. ‘Uh, you mean, he’s Superman?’

‘I bet you two hundred bucks that he is gay as gay can be.’

‘He freaks me out. He’s like a dead person.’

Flamboyant One looked me in the eye. ‘That’s why I like him.’

After just two weeks, the Stone decided not to come into work one morning. We received word that he’d resigned. No notice, just like that. It was the worst possible time; we had deadlines on multiple projects and an overworked skeleton crew.

I suppose the Stone had enough of the desk job, and had to get back to saving the world.