In front of the guys who spend hours hunched over their desks, crunching the numbers in claustrophobic cubicles, Mr. McPhee is always hot under the collar and reminding them of the bottom line. But behind closed doors, he hollers for an entirely different reason, and it is my dubious pleasure to witness it. In his office, the bottom he loves watching does not concern dollars. There in his lair, he likes using lotion. This I know, for whenever I walk into his office — my stockinged thighs swishing beneath my pinstriped micromini skirt and causing minute electric sparks with every stiletto-sharp motion forward — I hear him roll out his desk drawer and fumble for the lotion. His ritual is unstoppable, so I figure I’d better walk back to the door to secure the lock.
With my back to him, I wait for that zing to pierce the silence of his office. Not the zing of a bandoneón, but the sweep of his zipper. A minimalist whistling sound like a lone catcall in the still of the night. All the while his eyes are pinned on a rearview mirror pruriently positioned on a front wall in his office. I bat my bedroom eyes at him and put on a crooked smile only to feel a bout of seasickness wash over me as I watch his muskmelon head seesaw sideways.
After taking a seat in the chair in front of his massive cherry wood desk, I absentmindedly begin fiddling with its brass knobs. He is excited, which I can discern from his wheezing, not to mention the flushing of his wide forehead. If he had a neck, I could gaze at his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down. But he is a shuddering, gasping mess. I hold back a chortle upon seeing his dome reflected in the impeccably polished wood of the desk. Then I hear squishing from his tube of lotion.
The scent, pungent with his musk, wafts into my nostrils and stings the back of my throat. It’s an earthy yet sickly sweet aroma like ganja, and its effect on me is similar to the contact high I used to get from inhaling the herb’s lingering stench while using the stairwell between classes at my high school in Hell’s Kitchen. Just as I used to recline in my orange hard-plastic chair in the classroom, at first fighting against and then succumbing to Mary Jane’s seduction, now I lean back as far as possible in one of Mr. McPhee’s ergonomically correct swivel chairs and splay my legs and kick off my “fuck me” heels.