I still stand on my stilettos when I get past the clinic’s door. No turning back now, it would really look bad to run away now that I am at the reception desk. I know damn well that my appointment is scheduled for 11am though it is still just 9:50am, but I try to push my luck…
– Maryse Claveau, 10 o’clock appointment!
The clerk looks at me, nods to let me know that everything is fine, and sends me to get seated in the three chairs waiting room. And what a “room”! I turn my back to her, thrilled to see that my ruse has worked, and walk to the first chair in a feline way when I hear;
– Miss Claveau, there seems to be a problem. You do have an appointment, but it is scheduled for 11am!
Fuck! So close… I throw myself into excuses at the clerk’s desk, curling a blond lock of hair around my finger. I must have made a mistake… I am sure I read 10am on my email confirmation… Oh, that will be inconvenient, I work at the other end of the city, and I have to be there by 12:15!…
Unfortunately, the receptionist isn’t sensitive to my charms, and disappointed pout, and she sees through my game. I get sent back to the pile of magazines as a punishment but she grants me that I can inherit next appointment if the 10 o’clock patient doesn’t show up on time. I sit in front of the clock and mentally bomb Miss 10 O’clock every second of the five minutes between me and an exam I don’t really wish for all that much.
But of course, Miss 10 O’clock is straight on time, stylish and fresh in her nice ladies’ tailor. And I work hard to keep myself from childishly tripping her to punish her for her bitchy punctuality!
Now that I have a whole hour to kill, and a little bit of latent aggressiveness to let out, I forget about the pile of outdated magazines and decide to go on a search for something to snack on. I make sure to tell the desk clerk on my way out, not that it means a long detour considering the exiguous room. I see in her faintly snobbish look that I’d better make it back on time. I even think about asking her what time she has, to adjust my watch, but I gauge that an hour is far enough to go down eleven floors, eat something and get back up the same eleven floors.
Once back to ground floor, I notice one out of two things. Either I have the memory of a red-fish, and there has never been a Café in this place like I was sure I had seen before, or life is just biting me in the ass today, and once my appointment was confirmed for good, someone particularly mean made sure the store would close down for good!
Anyhow, the result is the same, not even a muesli bar to nibble in sight. Being a strong believer when it comes to Murphy’s laws, I refuse to leave the building to look for a plan B, and I settle for a walk on the terrace to smoke a cigarette before going back to the clinic. With a little luck, I will not have to wear a pigeon decoration for my appointment.
It is 10:30, and I hesitate for a second smoke… But I think about the dryness of my welcoming hostess upstairs, and tell myself that after all, I’d better go back and read my 3 year old horoscope than getting there at the last minute, like Miss 10 O’clock. At least, if someone else has thought (like me) she could get an early appointment, I won’t give her any hope… Some people have class… some don’t!
Since thirty minutes is far more than enough to go up an eleven stories elevator ride, I tell myself that a little cardio wouldn’t hurt. And since I work until 9 O’clock, I pretty much doubt I’ll be in the mood for some time at the gym after. So I sneak to the staircase, take off my high heels and start climbing my way up with optimism. I take an appreciable pace and notice that my recent effort to work out is really paying off!
Here’s to the non-smokers who think that we run around with a cyanide capsule between our teeth always ready to perish in a horrible painful way… Damn smokers!
I trot happily about until my eye catches the sign “11th floor” on the wall… Still a little out of breath from my climbing (let’s just say the contractors didn’t go out of their way to install efficient ventilation in the staircases, knowing that only crazy people and self-esteem seeking smokers would be stupid enough to use them unless there was a catastrophe), I suddenly get an irrepressible urge to crack someone’s neck (which will be incredibly difficult to do, being the only crazy, self-esteem seeking smoker in the stair case for now!) I stare at the wall in total denial: Un-fucking-believable! A magnetic cards’ lock?? Really?? I need a freaking magnetic card to access the upper floors by the stairs?? Really?? I don’t get it… Do they intend to keep terrorists from losing their breath before making themselves explode by forcing them to take the elevator??!?
Disgusted, I go down the eleven floors, making sure that every floor’s door has its magnetic gizmo, so that I don’t walk myself all the way to the first floor for nothing…
I can imagine the 11:30 nymphet exulting at the idea of taking over my appointment, for the good and only reason that this building has absurdly hallucinating security standards.
Back to ground level again, I put my shoes back on, hoping no one will remember seeing me enter the staircase, (I can imagine the blasés and not super busy security guards hitting each others ribs with their elbows, thinking “Hey look at the tart over there, about to use the stairs… And she obviously doesn’t have a card!! Hahahahahahahahahahaha”) and I get out immediately spotting the nearest elevator.
Second metal tomb ride… Geez it is hot in those things! Eleventh floor at last! I am safe and sound and I let myself fall back on my waiting-chair, a little sweaty from the “adventure”, under the obviously disappointed look of my favorite receptionist, and next to an incredibly ugly plastic plant I baptise Pénélope to have a friend in the room. 10:55, I made it!!