I had only been working at my new job for seven weeks but I was already dreading going to work. Every day I grew increasingly depressed. It wasn’t the job itself that depressed me—I corrected billing statements, boring and repetitious and stupid billing statements, for a big law firm—but the woman I worked with, Debbie Peterson, who shared my office cubicle, and who seemed to be slowly, steadily, scarily, going mad.
Each morning’s elevator ride up to our office was stressful: sometimes Debbie would show up early to answer the phones until the receptionist arrived, and the doors would slide open and Debbie would be behind the reception desk grinning at the doors, at me, grinning happily but with cold blue glittering eyes. I hated that. I so much preferred to start my day calmly, to step off the elevator into an empty, quiet room.
And on my last day at work, I got what I wanted—got that much, at least….
The first time I read this in public, a woman in the audience asked, “So, did that really happen?”
I was an inexperienced performer then. I was surprised and thrown off by her question.
“What?” I asked. “No, not really.”
“Well, how really? Is that crazy woman based on somebody?”
“Uh…I’ve known a lot of crazy people.”
Some crazier than others, some crazy like this bat in the audience, right?
“But are any of them the inspiration for the woman in the story?”
Fuck no, crazy! I thought with an exclamation point, but I answered with a mumble.
I handle some things better now—I hope….