The next day is more or less what she expected. To tell the future is really no problem as long as one can add up one and one. Of course, one needs to leave room for the surprise as a factor of uncertainty, - only gods are permitted to be infallible. Good fortune has it that work is not quite as unpleasant. It is one of those days where it is very quiet indeed.
Femina has plenty of time to brew herself one coffee after the other and she can read the papers and magazines that lie around. The news are not really any different from the ones yesterday, the only things that change are the names and the localities. She browses the pages without much interest and has another cigarette, again. She had no breakfast. She was glad to get out of bed altogether. The coffee certainly helps her to keep going, with a little tremor as noticeable side-effect. She can see it on the cigarette she holds between her fingers.
She grabs a science-magazine and finds a few interesting articles, but it is “utopia” for the local health organization, simply because most of the advances cannot not be implemented here, partially due to financial constraints. Oh well, Femina can only repeat herself, using the phrase of ‘living on, or behind the moon’ again and again. She never was on the moon to her regret, but is sure life up there would have to be more advanced than it is here, technologically advanced, at least.
Before she starts to get too carried away with her criticism she remembers she needs to attend the ‘lunch time’ meeting. What time is it anyway? She has no watch. She turns the radio on. Every full hour they bring the news and state the time. Pop-music, the type of light entertainment for a fresh new day, breaks the silence. Still too loud for her, so she turns the volume down. She really wants to know the time only, the rest is too much for her senses.
Time! How important time has become. Particularly in this world order, time is all and everywhere, visible, from the clock towers to the watches, in public places and market halls, in all work places and offices. Surprisingly, no wall clock is in here. Likely, because no one is without a watch anyway, administration may not have bothered. Too much importance is paid to time for her taste. She has constantly to look what time it is. Without a watch one is lost. Time equals money equals life. Strangely enough, most people have neither time nor money, - they still live, but may be they don’t have a life after all. Ah, so what! There are many sand corns in a desert. Circumstances demand adjustments. That is a question of survival. But she does not need to worry about that at present. She is more concerned about the question regarding pleasure. Ah, so what! She must admit her thoughts are truly disorganized. Today is not the day to be pensive. Today the surface is deep enough.
Just as the gong sound breaks off the music, the door is flung open and a colleague storms into the room. She makes so much noise, as usual, in whatever she does. Femina cannot hear the time announcement. ‘Indeed, it had to be this “Blowfish!” Her thoughts go off like firework. She never likes the presence of this woman. The blown up body documents her hyper inflated ego and her babbling is painful and empty. She produces soap bubbles, no content and sadly none of the colors either. But she has a watch, so Femina gets the time after all. Eleven o’clock! Ah, that’s good! She can have another coffee and another cigarette. The colleague also has some bananas and offers Femina one. Accepting happily, she finds it goes well with the coffee. Besides, hunger has made its appearance. She must admit that she is indeed a lucky person. Her thoughts can busy themselves with the question of pleasure instead being forced to have to think of survival.
More colleagues turn up. The peace is definitely over. ‘What will be the first topic today, gossip or talking shop?’ One is as good as the other, they only want to outdo each other anyway. She grabs her magazine and retreats from the table to the bed that is further away. She focuses on an article, to prevent herself from listening or even looking at anyone. Her energies are the Holy Grail, particularly today running on half empty. Besides, she dislikes wastage. And she will not dislike herself because she does not like these characters nor their clamors.
Unfortunately, the article is not helpful. It is a report about a hallucinogenic drug, which does not really add anything new to the already known facts, but the author is very bias and makes statements that are truly his personal views rather than an objective account as he tries to claim. It annoys her to see this in a scientific magazine because it is a misuse and manipulation in the name of science for his own agenda. May be he should go on a trip, once at least. Femina smiles. Most likely he would have one of horror…….
She gets serious again. It is so disappointing, because she is totally for science. She loves the specialists who cram themselves full of data, adding the ‘nano seconds’ and the ‘zero zero point zero mass particles’ enthusiastically to the other point zero of whatever they study, - but that is enough, no more is required. Everyone should after all form his own opinion. She looks up. There is the general motion of departure. The troop of young ‘White Coats’ hurries to the conference room.
“You are not really in a good mood today, or are you,” says Blowfish to her as they wait for the elevator.
“Not necessarily,” she replies, remaining silent again.
They squeeze themselves into the cabin and one of the other colleagues whom she calls “balloon heads” because they have air in their heads and not much more, starts to talk about late nights and partying ogling over to her in reference.
“Ah, and you”, says she, “have you discovered the stone of wisdom today already?” Some of the group grin, others remain uncertain of what to say or do. Nobody answers.
“But Femina!” Blowfish exclaims after all, “I have never seen that side of you!” Blowfish is obviously in need to earn some ovations. ‘That’s it!’ Femina shrugs her shoulders and states ‘that life is full of surprises, isn’t it.’ After that they leave her in alone.
The lunch meeting gathers the whole team around the boss. Some of the people she likes are there as well and as it turns out, - the boss is in an acidic mood. Some of his requests for his department have not been successful, got stuck in the stickiness of the institutions with their overblown bureaucracy. The cynical remarks he has for it make Femina laugh. She finds it refreshing and entertaining. Sometimes she can like him and will admit that he has some potential, can even see some Sozieterna material in him. What a pity that he is otherwise such a loser, it would never suffice for their folks. She calls herself to order. There is no need to go on a recruitment trip, neither now nor later nor ever.
After the meeting most go for their lunch to the canteen. She returns to the officer’s room, and brews another coffee. A nice colleague turns up and just as they want to settle for a bit of a chat, the telephone rings and calls Femina to duty. Too bad! It is so close to the end of her shift and now work has caught up with her after all. There is just enough time to have the coffee, and off she goes.
She still finishes work on time and makes it home just right for her meal. Tina and the little one are out for some day activities. They will only come back at dinner time. That means Femina has the rest of the afternoon to herself. She retreats into the bathroom and indulges in body and mind regeneration. She covers her face with a hydrating mask and while it unfolds the soothing effects she relaxes in a scented bubble bath that takes care of the rest of her body. Then she has a hot and cold alternating shower massage and well after an hour she truly feels like Aphrodite, - she also was born by emerging from foam as we know. To round it all up she prescribes herself a beauty sleep which is deep and dreamless and is only interrupted by some unusual noises. She remains a little while longer in her bed, listening. The laugh of the little girl is a clear sound like a bell that comes up amongst all other commotion like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day. Femina slips into a comfortable gown and enters the living room.