Two Half Moons

#1354, 6th Floor

“Margie, your cornflakes are soggy.”

“What could this mean?” Dr. Sponge asked the others.

“I’m not sure,” commented Dr. Spatts, eyeing the pink blob on the patient’s left cheek.

“We certainly have a mystery on our hands, don’t we,” Sponge smeared a bit of clear jelly into his hands and waited for it to soak in.

“Are you sure you haven’t any idea?” Spatts said turning to Margie.

And this was the routine. Five weeks now, the doctors and nurses had been trying to figure out this particular patient. They had even brought in Margie, the secretary from downstairs in Geriatrics, to see if she could shed some light on the situation, but even she couldn’t help.

Dr. Sponge had found him lying face-down, on the orange and green tiled floor of the waiting room. He and Dr. Spatts had then arranged him so that he was sitting upright in one of the more uncomfortable armless chairs. He seemed to be in some kind of eternal breakfast state. Sometimes he would tell Margie (though apparently not the one from downstairs) that her “cornflakes were soggy,” other times he would say that he had “spilled the orange juice,” or “the hotcakes were no longer hot.” He only had breakfast with Margie.

#2, 9th Floor

WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT?

Thus stated the poster on the heavy swinging door to the hall in office building 520. The people on the top floor were always keeping close watch on the ones below them.

Posters and flyers mysteriously appeared on the doors, desks, and on the sweaty toilet tanks in the ladies’ room. Some of the women, on reconnaissance, reported that there were none in the men’s room.

Marsha and Jim pushed through the heavy door to the hall, laughed, and said that they “won a free game at the Jolly Roger,” then “went back and ‘did it’ underneath the flaming volcano of the fifth hole.” Marsha still felt the burn from the Astro Turf.

Frank saw the poster on the fuzzy side of his cubical and grabbed the inch of flab under his navel to silence the gurgling from his coffee-filled stomach. That glazed ham certainly was marvelous.

Janet kicked open the stall door, ripped the soggy poster off the tank, and flushed it.

The toilet behind the dented stall door of the ladies’ room was clogged for three weeks.

#Q, 25th Floor

“Look at my cast! Hey! Look! I got a cast!”

“Big deal Clayton, like I care that you got a cast. Look at my cast, and this foot’s three times the size of the other one—sissy,” Sheldon said bumping his head on the underside of his desk as he struggled to sit up.

Clayton and Sheldon worked across the room from each other in wing 17.

Peter Worthy stepped out of the elevator humming a sweet little tune and tapping on his briefcase with his thumb. This was his first time in this particular wing of the building, and he was pleased to see that it had a tan floor. He thought that a tan floor was the sign of hard work and honest people. “Mmmhmm,” he approvingly mumbled under his breath.

Clayton rolled over onto his stomach and noted how hard and scratchy the carpeting was. “Sheldon! Rub your face on the carpet, I bet it’ll give you a good burn!” Across the room, Sheldon eyed the carpet, then proceeded to ferociously rub his face on it.

“Yeah, this’ll be the best one yet!” he called.

Peter Worthy spotted the empty cubicle and assumed it was his new home. Suddenly, out of it shot a roll of used bandage. “What is this?” Peter Worthy thought to himself. “Perhaps I’m in the wrong wing.”

Sheldon caught the bandage. “Thanks man, but this is from that toe surgery you had last week, I couldn’t take it from you.”

“Hey, I’m just glad that I have this new cast, I don’t need souvenirs,” Clayton lifted his leg over the top of the cube.

“What is going on here? Is this the accounting wing?” Peter Worthy asked the lifted leg.

“Huh? What’s that?” Clayton put his leg down and sat up with some difficulty. “The accounting wing, eh? Yeah, you’re in the right place, what do you need?”

“I’m Peter Worthy. I’m supposed to start work today…”

“Sheldon! You know any Peter Worthy?”

“Yeah, he’s the new guy. Send him to that big office in the back.”

“You heard the man.”

Peter Worthy thought about the tan carpet and gave it a little kick as he made his way to the back office.

#76, 1st Floor

“And you have five minutes! Remember, the more expensive, the better. GO!”

Fortunately Linda was wearing her rubber-soled lace-ups. She most likely would not win if she had worn her nice beaded moccasins even though they went much better with her outfit and perfectly matched her beaded hair clips.

She knew exactly where she was headed, grabbing the most expensive piece of veal lying in the ice as she flew by the meat section. She didn’t have time for second thoughts—she was already in aisle nine with the household cleansers, and still had to get to the international foods section. She should have planned out her route more carefully.

#PX-7, 3rd Floor

Travis fell off the leather rolling chair immediately after waking up.

“Maynard! You get those copies made?” Mr. Fackle blurted as he came over to the teacher-designated section of his office.

“Hey man, Maynard’s in the lounge, I’m just keeping his seat warm ‘til he comes back with my peanuts,” Travis said still in the process of waking up.

“Right Travis, since we have a lounge. How long have you been there? And why are there peanuts all over the floor?” Maynard had walked in carrying a stack of worksheets that read, “Boos, Booze, Serial, Cereal.”

“Huh, peanuts?” Travis was having trouble understanding what was going on.

#76, 1st Floor

“Ice cream!” Five dollars for half a gallon, and she almost forgot. The fresh bread counter was directly in front of her. Linda couldn’t decide which end of it to drive around. On the left there was an enormous tower of freshly cooked rotisserie chickens. On the right there was only a barrel of baguettes. The left was closer to the ice cream and would save her precious seconds, so she decided to tempt the more dangerous chicken path.

#2, 9th Floor

Janet held two flyers. One said:

DON’T FLUSH PAPER

And the other said:

WHY DO YOU HATE US?

Her face felt hot. She decided to take action.

#1354, 6th Floor

Saturday the patient said to Margie, “There are no forks in the drain.” Notes were taken.

#PX-7, 3rd Floor

“Travis,” Maynard whispered as Mr. Fackle left the office, “Ken Fackle is the principal, don’t be an idiot.”

Mr. Fackle returned wiping his nose with an embroidered hanky. Travis bent to tidy his peanuts when the bell rang.

“RECESS!” Mr. Fackle shouted, ran to Maynard’s worksheets, ripped them up, then knocked Travis out of the leather chair and onto the nuts.

#Q, 25th Floor

Peter Worthy came out of the office in back with a relieved look on his face. He started to sing that sweet little tune again.

“Hey man! Where’d they send you?” Clayton was standing on the top of his cube balancing on his good leg.

“Section 56, cube 13 dash 34,” he said smiling.

“You got it good,” came a voice from across the room.

“Yes, I know. They told me about the trees and all the wicker baskets.”

“What? You got the wicker baskets? I can’t believe it! They must be kidding,” Sheldon’s burned face peered over the wall of his cubicle.

“No Sir!” Peter Worthy flipped open his briefcase and slipped a four-pack of gray underpants into the pocket behind a row of ballpoint pens. “Gray is my favorite color!” He entered the elevator and pressed “Forty-something.”

“I’m glad that guy’s out of here. I don’t care if he got the wicker baskets, he smelled funny.”

“Yeah Clayton, and so do you. So are you gonna break the other one or not?” Clayton waved his arms until he fell off the cube and onto his good leg.

#76, 1st Floor

“DING DING DING DING!” A loud meaty voice called from above. “The secret deal of the day!”

She held the steaming chicken in the air. “But it wasn’t even in the cart yet! That’s not fair!” She thought she’d better take it anyway. “Damn.” Some of the rotisserie juices started to leak onto the particularly expensive toilet and drain declogger. She certainly was glad about her shoes—they would be especially crucial in these last two minutes of running down freshly waxed aisles and dodging puddles of spilled pink soda.

#PX-7, 3rd Floor

“You ready?”

“Oh I’m ready, you bastard, you’d better believe it.” Mr. Fackle and Travis had a line of peanuts under the back wheels of their leather chairs.

“Don’t you dare scoot up over the line before Maynard says go,” Travis pointed to the crushed peanut under the wheel of Mr. Fackle’s chair.

“Like hell man, you’re scootin’ as we speak.”

“Maynard! He’s scooting.”

“You’re both scooting at the same rate, so it’s OK,” Maynard was holding a whistle. “On your marks, get set, GO!” He threw the whistle across the room. The peanuts ground into the splotchy tan carpet as they backed over them. Ten feet past the peanuts Mr. Fackle threw his sock at Travis.

“You think your nasty sock’s gonna stop me?” Travis called, out of breath, as he tossed the sock onto the floor.

“Your candy’s gonna spoil for sure,” Mr. Fackle shouted over his shoulder as he passed the brown drippy machine.

“Oh yeah? Well, you don’t even know what you smell like!”

#1354, 6th Floor

At 2:36 in the afternoon, the patient opened his eyes and mouth as wide as they could go and pointed to an orange tile on the floor. “Margie, this tea has the perfect amount of sugar in it!” The woman twirling her hair on the tweed couch suddenly looked up at him, her eyes just as wide as his. She moved to the other side of the waiting room next to the fish tank. Doctors Sponge and Spatts ran in to examine the orange tile.

#2, 9th Floor

Janet crumpled the flyers and flushed them down the toilet. She splashed her face with cold water.

“You’re never going to get it out of me,” she mumbled.

Storming out, she bumped into the chest of a very tall man. Janet’s face print stained his crisp blue shirt as he entered the ladies’ room.

#PX-7, 3rd Floor

The bell rang. Mr. Fackle and Travis looked up at Maynard.

“You guys, I have work to do. Can we just call it a draw?” Maynard pulled a bag of tobacco from his pocket and picked up the pieces of “Boos, Booze, Serial, Cereal.”

#76, 1st Floor

“TIME’S UP! DING DING DING! Please take your cart to aisle one to be calculated, do not touch anything.”

She looked at the last two items she had put into the cart: avocados and artichokes. She should have spent more time in the fancy meats section.  

#Q, 25th Floor

“Ohhh, I think I got it good this time!”

Sheldon leaned his rug-burned cheek onto the cold metal rod of his cubicle. “Did the bone pop through this time?”

“Yeah it went all the way through my pants!”

“Finally.”

#2, 9th Floor

Janet was in the photocopy lounge. Sue, pretending to collate the monthly office survey, watched her from the corner of her eye. Janet filled the machine with bright yellow paper then stuck her middle finger to the glass and copied it 50 times.

#76, 1st Floor

“Linda Crumsky! You have 395 dollars worth of groceries in your Mad Dash Shopper cart. Not bad for a first-timer, but I’m sorry to say, since you picked up the daily deal you missed the qualifying mark by—OH NO!—five dollars. Try again next time and take this delicious Number One Quality brand rotisserie chicken with you as a consolation. Congratulations!”

#1354, 6th Floor

Wednesday morning, 10:01. The waiting room was empty. There was a dent in the patient’s seat cushion in the shape of two half moons. Dr. Sponge bent down and smelled it.

“Vinyl. That’s what it is, and it’s all that’s left.”

 

Amanda Yonkers is a graduate of The New School and Maryland Institute College of Art. She makes cut paper and pen and ink illustrations; she writes screenplays and fiction. Amanda lives in Los Angeles.

Amanda Yonkers
Amanda Yonkers is a graduate of The New School and Maryland Institute College of Art. She makes cut paper and pen and ink illustrations; she writes screenplays and fiction. Amanda lives in Los Angeles.

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