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Di Needs to Debrief


Good Lord! What the heck just happened? I’ve seen it in movies and on tv a million times, but who knew it could happen here, in the offices of Buena Beach Parks & Beaches Recreation Division? Too bad it was over so quickly – this place is just begging for a little drama. But, really – what could Calvin have done to get himself…fired?

I mean, I’ve been here for almost three years and I’ve seen some pretty insane stuff. Okay, okay – maybe I’ve even done some pretty insane stuff. “Fire me” stuff? I don’t know… Using sick time to get a pedicure (hey – preventive medicine, I say, with all the exposure we have to infectious agents along the beach); accepting gifts from vendors (technically, they were delivered to the office after closing hours, so they don’t count); or camping out in Danny’s office overnight while my apartment was being fumigated. But, those aren’t really “fireable” offenses, are they?

Calvin must have done something horrific, unthinkable – even Machiavellian (I don’t quite recall what that word means, but from what I remember from high school it’s pretty bad). So, I’ll have to get the scoop. And that means one thing.

“Sandy, what are you doing for lunch?”

She looks up from her computer screen, happy to break away from the rigorous task of table formatting. “Nothing yet, but I’m starving,” she tells me. “Actually, I was going to ask you the same thing. Crazy morning, huh? And, what’s up with you and Calvin? I’ve been dying! I didn’t want to come by, though, with Danny around.”

“There is nothing between me and Calvin,” I declare, adamantly, although that kiss he gave me earlier this morning mere seconds after Danny fired him did make me a tad bit lightheaded. But I’ve moved those 2.4 seconds to my memory coffin, the same place I put the great prom night fiasco and recollections of my fashion sense from the early nineties. “So, please, don’t ever, ever bring that up again. Especially in front of Jonathan, okay?”

“Of course. Whatever you say,” she tells me, still with a hint of suspicion in her voice. “You want to go to the Buena Beach Café?”

“Cool. Let’s go.”

I exit her cubicle only to bump into Sandy’s boss, Mario, who I’m sure has been lingering nearby for a while, with his nosy ass.

“Hello, Diane,” he says, regarding me simply out of respect before moving on. “Sandy, are you busy?”

She gives me a hesitant eye. “Oh…, well Diane and I were just headed out to lunch.”

Mario rubs his lush black hair with his hands, holding back a frown. Perhaps even pouting. “Oh. Okay, alright.”

I take a few steps but notice that Sandy isn’t right behind me. Turning around, I see she’s still sitting with her purse in her lap. “You ready?”

“Oh, well – um. Mario, did you need me to do something, or…?”

“No, no. Not really. I was just hoping someone could work on those letters before my meeting. It got moved up to 2:00,” he tells us, like we’re supposed to care. That’s his problem.

But apparently, Sandy thinks otherwise. Her putting her purse down on the floor tells me I’ll be having lunch alone, which sucks because I really want to “debrief” (since I don’t gossip anymore) about Calvin and Danny and the scene this morning. And, the fact that there is now an open Coordinator opportunity available, a position that pays almost twice what I eke out as Danny’s assistant. I really wanted to ask if she thinks I should be completely formal, leaving my cover letter and résumé on his chair, or just barge right into his office and give him a passionate, moving speech on how he’d be a fool not to hire me for the job.

Mario’s sort of a hard one to read. The two of us have never hit it off, mostly because I don’t trust him. And he knows it. Now’s not the time, however, to piss anyone off. If I question Mario’s motives – because I know there’s no urgency about any letters – he’ll probably get all butt-hurt; and this isn’t the time to make waves around here, even if he and Danny aren’t so tight. So I smile and tell Sandy, “That’s cool. Maybe tomorrow?”

Mario is still hovering at the edge of Sandy’s cubicle with his back to me, but I can see her face clearly as her eyes lift to meet with his, where they linger just a bit too long, like she’s…afraid? Or perhaps I’m just overanalyzing.

“Alright, Di. We’ll talk. Later.”

Well, fine. Maybe this is God’s way of keeping me away from a thousand calories in carbs. Guess it’ll have to be a Diet soda and one of the Lean Cuisines I have stocked up in the freezer. Perhaps if Mario keeps it up with the lunch blocking, I’ll lose a couple pounds by the summer.

Disgusting. The people in this office need some home training. I guess they think their mamas work up in here after hours with the maintenance crew. Look at all this expired milk, crusty creamer, and that ketchup looks like it’s turning blue. I’m gonna have to rinse off my can of cola with soap and hot water ‘cause there’s no telling what sort of bacteria are walking around the rim. Just getting to it – at the back of the refrigerator behind a tub of potato salad, a greasy paper bag, and a shriveled up apple – is akin to an Indiana Jones adventure. Well, at least it’s nice and cold.

Now for my delicious microwaveable meal that I’ll eat alone in the comfort of my 5 by 5 cubicle, right under the air vent. Shall I have the panini or the Mediterranean chicken pas-

Wait, they have to be here somewhere. I just bought them last week. I wrote my name on them in permanent red ink and put them right here and… and they’re gone. Gone.

Maybe God thinks I need to lose more than just a couple pounds. Darn. No food. No debriefing. No advice. These fools up in here are lucky a sister went to church on Sunday. And that I want Calvin’s position… Or else I’d have to go off.

Created by Diane Brown, Buena Beach is an online soap opera, giving up all the juicy details of some of the hottest guys and gals of Buena Beach, a small town in Southern California. Check back everyday for a new episode here on

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