She actually had to go out of her way to talk to me, because my desk is set back from the main throughway on the floor. I'd like to emphasize that: Margo Thompson had to actually go out of her way to talk to me.
Wearing a 3/4 sleeve black V-neck sweater and a pleated white skirt, Margo strolled into my cube with some print outs and an Odwalla. She spun and did a little backwards hop, landing her perfect butt on my filing cabinet. She kicked up her feet in a charming, youthful gesture.
I probably gasped. Seriously, every time I see Margo, my stomach drops or my heart skips. I know that sounds corny, but I literally have a physiological reaction whenever I see her. If she suddenly appears in front of me -- say she steps out of the copy room or something -- I actually jump, startled. I wonder if she can tell sometimes. It seems so obvious to me.
Margo flashes me her Margo Grin and says, "Morning, Mackenzie."
"Hey Margo," I manage. I feel dizzy. It's like fighting Vertigo-Go.
"Nice outfit. That's a good color for you."
My ears are buzzing. What did she say? My outfit? I'm wearing chinos and a green bowling shirt and these kick ass black Prada sneakers. "Oh, uh, this old thing?" I actually say that. God, what an absolute wanker I am.
Mistaking my idiocy for wit, she laughs a little. She sort of crinkles her nose when she laughs.
"Hey, you ever been to Turbine City?" she asks.
"Yeah, two years ago I tracked a vampire to Turbine City and killed it in a sewer," I say. Actually, that's what I think of saying. Instead, I just kind of make a strangled affirmative noise.
"Is that a yes?" She cocks here eyebrow like Dr McCoy.
"Yeah, Turbine City. Love it. Hate the Turbos, though."
"Oh my God, they suck, don't they? I hate those guys." If possible, I love her even more now. I happen to know for a fact that the Turbos' quarterback Bret Convy has low range super agility; it just doesn't show up on blood tests. Turbos: worse team in the league.
"Well, their suckiness aside, how'd you like to go to Turbine City and do some of your presentation voodoo next week?"
"Care to elaborate?" I say. I'm trying to be nonchalant. Is she going too?
"We got the green light for Delphi," she says, beaming. Delphi is her baby, I'm just one of the marketing/packaging guys. "InterBionics wants to take a look, and they want us to fly out!"
"Hey, that's great! I'd high five you, but I'd look like a geek."
"No, no, high five me!" she says, jumping up, giddy.
We high five, laughing. It's like a moment.
"So are you in?" she says.
"I'm in. So, uhh, who all's going?" Smooth.
"Well, me of course, and Loretta and Keith. And you! I know you haven't worked with our group much, but we're actually really horrible human beings."
There's an awkward moment when we kind of don't say anything, and I feel my face getting hot. "So when are we leaving, what's the schedule? Can I go to the Midnight Rambler Museum?"
"We leave on the 8th, come back on the 10th. Meal expenses and everything. I'll email you the details." She gathers her paper and Odwalla and says, "Nice to have you onboard, Mackenzie."
"Yeah, great!" I say lamely, and then she's gone with a swish of pleated skirt.
I'm going to Turbine City with Margo.