The Bottom Line

Bernice Mendelsohn looked right through me. Eye contact between us was an unsanctioned landscape. She had to pass me at least a few times each day, but saw nothing where I stood or sat. I banked my working life on this law of matter. I wanted only to silently exist, do my appointed jobs, and get out before anyone noticed.

I was everything Bernice loathed–lanky, rumpled, and a shiksa, not to mention a peon buried beneath the writhing layers of corporate advertising. I was an assistant to a media buyer in a large advertising agency, H. R. Bingaman. I was that coffee mug never dredged out of the back of the cabinet, branded with a permanent, brown stain, that shouted out from the sides of it’s non-descript beige ceramic: KRUT: Fastest growing market in Christian Bog, Kansas? No one knew how long the mug had been there or if the town existed, but nobody was invested enough to throw it out.

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