So on Wednesday, I was sitting with a group of people from work, and they were recounting that some people at the secret agency had actually gone to high school or university together, and that was how they knew each other. One of the guys said, “That’s right—there was me, Frank, Jim, and Jeffrey.” And I was like, “Oh, who’s Jeffrey?” because there was no one at the secret agency named that. My colleague replied, “He doesn’t work with us anymore. You’d like Jeffrey—you two are a lot alike.” And my first thought was “A lot alike? Did Jeffrey just change his favourite bathroom stall from number five to number four?” and my second thought, which came IMMEDIATELY on the heels of the first was “Would Jeffrey give voice to that first thought?” Because if Jeffrey was really like me, the answer to the first question would be ”Obviously” and the answer to the second question would be “Absolutely not” , so based on the second answer, I didn’t say anything—I just smiled and said, “Yeah?” By the time it occurred to me to ask why, the conversation had moved on, and it would have been awkward to drag it back.
But if you know anything about me at all, I spent the rest of the day literally obsessing over IN WHAT WAY EXACTLY I was like the mysterious and elusive Jeffrey. But first, I should explain about the bathroom stalls because I know you are DYING to hear this. If you remember from My Week 177: My Favourite Bathroom Stall and Other Questions, number five was pretty close to my heart, and other parts of my anatomy that shall remain nameless. Lately, however, I’ve noticed that the toilet paper in number five runs out not long after lunch while the other stalls have their full complement. Which led me to the inevitable conclusion that number five was also the favourite bathroom stall of a whole lot of other people. And I don’t want to use the same bathroom stall as everyone else because I like to imagine that when I sit down, I’m sitting on a pristine seat, and that’s impossible to do when you know that it’s being overused compared to the other stalls. Hence my decision to change to number four. So 1) if Jeffrey can write a whole paragraph about his favourite bathroom stall, then he’s my f*cking doppelganger.
Other Ways Jeffrey and I Might Be Alike:
2) Is Jeffrey the King of Worst Case Scenarios?
Continuing on the bathroom theme for a second, we were working offsite when the inciting conversation happened. And if you think I have an issue with sharing 5 stalls with about 30 women, imagine how I feel about sharing a public washroom of ten stalls with around 500 of them. Luckily, there was a trailer on site with portable toilets. The last time we were there, the trailers were the fancy “wedding bathrooms”, all kitted out with wood trim, soft music, and scented hand soap, so I was quite excited to foray out into the parking lot. I was in for a nasty shock though, when I went in and it was just a single, rather bland stall, but there WAS a lot of toilet paper. Anyway, as I was sitting there, I realized that the whole trailer was on a slant, with the front leaning a bit more forward than it should, and that the only window and door were on that wall, and if the trailer fell over, they would be flat on the ground. I had a horrible vision then of the whole thing toppling and I started looking for a roof hatch and whatnot so that I could plan my escape from a sewage-y demise. And I wished that Jeffrey was there with me—not actually IN the bathroom, but available for advice. I’m sure between the two of us, we could have come up with a terrific plan.
3) Is Jeffrey afraid of demons?
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how I learned that I’m not the only one to do certain things. This was the one idiosyncrasy that I forgot about, even though I had made note of it in my phone. Like many people, apparently, I can’t dangle any part of my body off the edge of my bed because I’m secretly worried that a demon, or a ghost, or a serial killer might be hiding under it, and will grab said body part and tear it off. Or lick it, like the urban myth where the woman thinks it’s her dog but it’s not. When I was about 13 years old, I read Stephen King’s novel Salem’s Lot, and became so terrified of vampires that I hung my late great-grandmother’s cross on my headboard. Every night, I would leap into bed from the middle of the room, as one does, avoiding whatever might be under the bed (later it was the clown with the wind-up nose from Poltergeist that I was worried about), and then touch the cross to ward off the vampires. I no longer have a cross nor do I leap across the room, but my limbs will always stay within the confines of the covers.
4) Is Jeffrey’s Favourite Colour Purple?
Because mine is. The other day, a very nice man stopped me on the street to compliment me by telling me that he loved how my hair and my handbag matched. I don’t know a lot about Jeffrey—well, nothing really—but if he’s a man with purple hair and a lavender Kate Spade bag then Ken is going to have to step up his game.
5) Is Jeffrey slightly OCD?
On Friday, I told Ken about Jeffrey and that I was really concerned that my colleague meant I was like Jeffrey because we were both weird, so I asked him, “In what ways do you think I’m weird?” He thought and thought for so long that I said, “Are you in your nothing box right now?” and he said, “No! I’m still thinking about what you asked me, but I can’t come up with anything.”
Me: I don’t f*cking believe you.
Ken: Maybe Jeffrey swears a lot.
Me: If he’s like me, then clearly he does. Seriously. You can’t think of a single thing I do that’s weird?
Ken: No, sorry.
Me: Come on, Ken! I can think of 5 things off the top of my head RIGHT NOW that are weird about you.
2 hours later…
Me: I forgot to tell you—I had a terrible dream last night.
Ken: What happened?
Me: I’d created a display of glassware on the ledge in the stairwell, and you’d taken it apart. You moved the pieces all over the house, and I had to find them and try to remember how I’d arranged them so that I could put the display back together. It was awful—I woke up in tears.
Ken: Ah. There is it. And was everything arranged in groupings of threes and fives?
Me: Obviously. I’m not an animal, KEN.
So you can see my dilemma. I really want to know why Jeffrey and I are alike, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it might be for reasons that are just a tad off-kilter. We’re all back to work next week, so I’m determined to ask my colleague to elaborate. I’ll keep you posted.
(As an addendum, I have to say that even if Jeffrey showed up in a purple suit and had a bouquet of violets, he’d still have nothing on Ken, who just read this and said, “You should totally get a hidden camera and then you could find out for sure which bathroom stall is the least used.” Now there’s a man who understands me.)
My Author Interview
Last week, a blogger pal of mine put a call out to anyone who was interested in an author interview. Gareth of GJ Stevens blog and I corresponded, and he’s just posted the interview that we did. Gareth is a writer of many genres, and has a fantastic series on his blog called “In The End” that he’s just on the verge of publishing into a novel series. His blog also has excellent advice for anyone who is interested in doing their own publishing. You can see the interview he and I did by clicking the link above. If you’ve ever wondered what I actually look and sound like, he’s included a link to the cable show that I appeared on to promote my last novel Smile. It’s fun to watch—I sound just like Jeffrey.
In other news, I just finished my new novel, The Dome. I’ve sent some mark-up copies to a couple of people for feedback, then it’s off to the publisher, who liked the sample chapters, so fingers crossed that they like the rest. Wish me luck!