As I mentioned some time ago, there are fewer outrageous freaks at my new work location than there were at my old building. Some of you expressed concern (a concern that I shared!) that I might lack for new additions to my rogue's gallery of human oddities.
Well, it's taken me a while to get my bearings, suss out the lay of the land, etc., but now I have a new character to share with you.
Her name is...Witchy Woman
Witchy Woman is a cashier in the company cafeteria. I would guess that she is in her mid-forties. Her hair is suspiciously black, and she wears rather heavy make-up, but not so much of it as to be horrifying. Witchy Woman favors colorful blouses that she often combines with a faded jean jacket. On many occasions, she proffers more cleavage than one might find necessary or desirable when buying a ham sandwich, but I wouldn't exactly call this behavior freakish. Trampy, perhaps, but not freakish.
Witchy Woman is always polite, but her tendency to read while seated at her register sometimes results in overly languid customer service. She has been known to finish reading a paragraph before ringing up the purchases of the diners queued at her register. "Just one sec, hon," I have heard her say. Read read read, place bookmark in book, and "Okay, let's see--you're having the chicken salad?"
What does she read? It varies. Often it's the newspaper or a romance novel, but one particular book stands out in my memory, and it was this book, The Witch's Bible, that gave Witchy Woman her name.
It was a month ago when I stepped up to buy a cup of soup and, glancing at the page she was reading, saw a rather graphic depiction of a nude woman copulating with a grotesquely over-endowed Satan, complete with goat legs, cloven hooves, and bat's wings. Just the sort of thing you would expect to see a cashier reading at her station in a Fortune 500 company, wouldn't you say?
Perhaps due to her skills in the black arts, Witchy Woman's strangeness extends a good two meters beyond her immediate work environment to encompass a large table that would normally be used by up to six cafeteria patrons. This table, it seems, has been claimed by Witchy Woman as her "office." It is here that she keeps a few personal effects to cheer her when she tires of reading about the latest Viking's football game or ways to use menstrual blood to conjure demons from the nether realms.
The centerpiece of this little mise en scène is a framed portrait of a Boston Terrier wearing a little pink tutu. It's a simple image, yet I find it striking in its evocative elegance. Surrounding the dog there are also what appear to be pictures of Witchy Woman's family members, but these are too small to see well while casually strolling by with a tray of food.
For a time, Witchy Woman even had a pet at work. For several weeks after Christmas, a single goldfish in a spartan fishbowl was stationed next to the balletic canine, but recently the the dear little carp fell victim to the nighttime chill of the under-heated cafeteria. Witchy Woman arrived at work to find him floating at the top of the water, perhaps under a film of ice. (I wasn't privy to all the morbid details of the untimely death.) She's a plucky gal, our Witchy Woman, and she seems to have met this loss with a stoicism I find admirable.
So, the next time you go to buy a sandwich, and the woman taking your money is engrossed in semi-pornographic reading material, tell her hi from WG. And remind her to get a space heater for her fishy friend.