Office Space

connected to the NSA leaks that had Anka so flustered. And partly because I wasn't sure how to pronounce 'Colineive.' I mean, what is that? French? German?
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Ed didn’t leave me with much to go on. And now he was trying to make things worse between Anka and me. Not cool man. I still didn’t know if I wanted to tell her about the secret files and my contact with Colineive. Partly because I wasn’t sure what was in them and I didn’t have any assurance that Ed was connected to the NSA leaks that had Anka so flustered. And partly because I wasn’t sure how to pronounce ‘Colineive.’ I mean, what is that? French? German? Spanish? How am I supposed to figure that stuff out? Super not-cool, Ed. Look, I know it’s not a good idea to keep secrets from the person I’m in a relationship with. To quote the great and powerful Birbiglia, “I’m in the future too.” But knowing now how terrible the idea was doesn’t change the choices I made in the past. Stick with me here. Bad choices make for good stories. Am I right? Am I right? Anyway, if I’m honest, a lot of my anxiety had to do with my relationship with Anka. Whatever was left of it. When we got together things were great. But it didn’t take long for things like toilet paper replacement and dishwasher loading to turn into fights. One of the biggest and baddest fights we ever had was about how to put the groceries on the conveyor belt at Safeway. I, being the logical person that I am, started rearranging the groceries she’d put on the belt to be in the right order. You know cans first, then other heavy stuff and finally the light and breakable things. That way the trained-monkey of a cashier doesn’t crush the eggs with a can of chili. Unfortunately Anka was unable to see my logic and got really mad about it. We didn’t go grocery shopping together after that. Remember those people who make relationships look easy? You know who I’m talking about. Those schmucks who are all giggles and smiles with their partner all the time. Yeah, they need a punch in the face. Hard. I’ll admit that my relationship with Anka was about the first real, adult relationship I’ve had, but I don’t think we’re that far off from the norm. Or maybe I just tell myself that so I feel better. I think we were starting to get the hang of things but then the NSA shipped her off to Montana. That made things so much worse. I really do love Anka, but not being in the same room with her makes it a lot more difficult to keep acting like it. I only see and hear her, so when it’s great it’s less than awesome and when it’s bad there’s no making up. At least not the good kind. On top of all that we both hated our jobs. I hated being a lab rat with no purpose and she hated being in Montana away from all the action. Sure the NSA said that she did a good job standing up to Stephenson, but they still gave her a crap assignment right after it all went down. It felt like punishment for trying to do the right thing. But of course she took it as a compliment. They gave her a promotion. That assuaged her. It made me think — just for a second — about creating a rank system within our relationship so that I could promote her when I needed to make her happy. Good job, Anka, now you’re a Second-Level Girlfriend with college-sweater benefits. In the midst of all this garbage I had to figure out if I trusted her enough to let her know about Ed’s files. She’d saved my life, but she still worked for the NSA. I guess I did too, but that’s not really the point I’m trying to make. Stay focused here. Or don’t, I’m not the boss of you. After letting my thoughts run in a loop for the hundredth time, I decided to get up and get ready for “work.” For all the banality of sitting in a lab and being tested all day it was my first

ready for “work.” For all the banality of sitting in a lab and being tested all day it was my first job where I needed to get dressed up. That’s something, right? With my polo and khakis in place I strolled into the office. In a nondescript business park in a nondescript neighborhood in a nondescript suburb of Seattle the NSA has set up an office with nondescript cubicles where nondescript people sit all day. It’s like my own version of hell. Cubicle hell. At least I got there ea