Drew leant back in his chair and looked out of his office window on the 11th floor, overlooking the Swan River and Kings Park, perched on the cliff on the periphery of the city. The sun was shining, the river was sparkling, the trees were lush and green and revitalised with the season, and the songbirds were singing. Drew just knew they were and the perfect picture both elated and depressed him. It was confusing. Drew always felt energised when he was greeted by the Spring-Time Sun, however he felt so hopeless being cooped up in the glass prison, forever peering down at the paradise beyond his reach. Drew smiled in acquiescence, thankful for the view that projected his mind to another universe, where he was lying in the sun in the fields of green.
Drew’s whimsical day dream was interrupted with the sounds of women’s laughter. It was coming from the passageway. Besieged by the desire to be distracted, Drew went to investigate. Drew found the Tiffany, Joan and Penny huddled over some paperwork at one of the PA’s stations.
“What are you girls giggling at?”
Penny looked up at Drew whilst Tiffany and Joan read on.
“So I am acting on this professional negligence claims for one of our insurers. The insured is a forensic accountant. He got busted for cooking the books. Anyway, the insured is quite young – in his mid-twenties – and thinks of himself as quite a catch. Turns out, his claims aren’t completely baseless.”
“I’ve gotta see this.”
Drew squeezed between the girls to see a print out of an email from a claims officer at the insurance company. She had forwarded some kind of profile on the insured. However, it wasn’t a professional profile. At least, Drew assumed it wasn’t a professional profile, given there was a picture of the guy shirtless, staring off in the distance, his arms outstretched and flexing his abs. Drew was impressed.
“What on Earth is this?”
“The guy was nominated for Cleo Bachelor of the Year.”
“Ha! This. Is. Amazing!”
Tiffany and Joan were in hysterics. Drew picked up the sheet and began to read the rest of the profile. His opinion began to dip.
“Oh God, this guy is so humble isn’t he: ‘My life motto is: try everything twice. The last time I cried was: watching The Notebook. In the bedroom I’m: a quiet achiever.’ Ugh, this guy is a LOSER, haha.”
“Absolutely! But look at him: I’d still go there!”
Drew and the girls had a laugh for a good five minutes, before dissipating back to the work areas. Drew felt refreshed and ready to power on through his work for the rest of the afternoon. However, moments after commencing a letter to one of his client’s, Drew was interrupted by a knock on his office door. Drew turned to see him at his door way.
“Hey man. What’s up?”
Drew was feeling particularly cheery.
“Not much, man. Not much.”
Drew looked at him and smiled, waiting for a question. Drew expected that he needed a bit of help with some of his work. He returned with a shy half-smile and then looked at his feet, before shuffling into Drew’s office. As he reached the window, he looked up and peered out into the sun.
“Wow, you have a pretty great view, don’t you?”
“Can’t complain. Although, I sometimes get a little depressed looking down at all the people out there, enjoying the sun.”
“You must be pretty great at your job to get this office. Or maybe you just did some really big favours for the boss…”
Silence. Drew was confused. He looked back at Drew at laughed. Drew relaxed and laughed with him. It was a joke. He looked over Drew’s shoulder and pointed to a legal textbook that was by Drew’s computer.
“That’s quite a good book.”
“I used to use that a lot at my old firm.”
Drew was wondering where this was going. Did he just come in to make statements of fact? Or was he trying to be friendly? This was the longest that he had ever been in Drew’s office and the first time that he had ever had an extended conversation. Drew tried to remain open-minded, but couldn’t help but feel exposed. Drew needed to move this along.
“Soooooo anyway, is there something that…”
“I overheard that conversation you were having in the hall way earlier.”
“With the girl.”
Now Drew was really confused. Where was this going?
“I couldn’t help but hear… Well what I heard…”
He peered down at his fumbling hands.
“Are you… gay?”
Drew froze, thinking back to the earlier conversation. Sure, Drew was talking to the girls about a Cleo Bachelor, but he didn’t remember saying anything about the guy’s appearance. Drew wondered what difference it made to him, in any event. Was he about to spurn his Scientological teachings of the homosexual wrongs? Drew decided he had long been comfortable with his sexuality and decided to just answer the question.
“What’s your… situation?”
“You know, what… how are… are you…”
“No, I don’t know.”
“What is… are you single?”
He looked up at Drew’s perplexed expression and retreated a step, with his hands up in defence.
“Oh, oh, oh. I’m straight by the way!”
Drew rolled his eyes and groaned. Gross. Drew hadn’t even contemplated that he was coming on to Drew until he painfully brought attention to the awkwardness of the question.
“That’s great. So, why are you asking if I am a single gay man?”
He smiled, sheepishly.
“I was just asking because, you see, one of my friends from my old firm is gay and, he is a really great guy, he LOVES Glee, and I think he is good looking I guess, and….”
Drew wanted to melt into the floor, embarrassed in disbelief. Drew had never socially conversed with him before and now he though it was appropriate to set Drew up on a date? What if Drew had not been gay? Drew was ready to shut this down.
“Oh I’ll stop you there. I’m not looking.”
“Oh, you have a boyfriend?”
“I’m just not available. It’s complicated.”
“Oh yeah. I get you. Complicated. Like, you’re seeing a guy, but you’re fighting? Or you just broke up, but you don’t want to hurt his feelings? Or you think you might get back together?”
Drew sighed, audibly.
“Something like that. Is there anything else?”
“No, no, no. I’ll let you go.”
He started walking out of the office and Drew turned back to his computer. However, he stopped at the door and turned back to Drew, sending shivers down Drew’s spine:
“You know, if you need help making your ex jealous, I’m sure I could sort something out!”
This is the Chronicles of Creepy Pants.
Stay tuned for Episode 25: Online Profiling