It’s not as strange as it sounds. I’ve worked here for fourteen years, and no one ever really notices me. It’s no one’s fault. My office just happens to be located in the back corner of the floor, so people just don’t have much of a reason to come over here. It’s okay, but for fourteen years I’ve watched as this company grew, and I’ve seen many come and go.
In all those years of service, I’ve never had anyone I could really call a friend or even a pal. I know it’s nothing personal; it’s just the logistics of the setup. No big deal.
About six months ago the office was graced with another new journalist. Her name is Patsy Wallace. Her hair is like peanut butter, flowing clean with volume. Her eyes tell a story of pain and anger, but green speckles decorate the gray of her irises and hint at the beauty of her youth while still retaining the elegance of her age.
At times she seems to glance at me while I’m sketching her, another portrait to add to my cubicle. Just like everyone else, I know she doesn’t see me, but I can see her, and I’d much rather be stuck sitting outside the gates looking into heaven than banished completely to hell.
Yesterday I finished my fiftieth drawing of Patsy, and each one I name a variation of envy. It’s not so strange. I’m not the first to be enamored by the beauty of someone more perfect than themselves. My cubicle wall stares back at me with a hundred eyes, unfeeling, no judgement. My Patsy doesn’t mind surrounding me.
Those people out there, outside of my cubicle, they’ll never change, and I suppose the same is true of me. I’ll never force my way into a conversation just to make myself heard; I’ll never laugh at nonsense just to seem friendly. That’s just not who I am. No.
Instead, I’ll just keep company with the more splendid reflections of those incapable of accepting something beyond the normality they’ve been manipulated into endorsing. Three walls covered with black and white faces of ink. They keep me feeling sane, even though I don’t believe in it.
I followed Patsy home today, and although I had no hope for a future together, I still felt an intense devastation when she embraced her husband. I watched them from the park for about an hour, sketching them. After talking for a while, they began to become intimate, so I decided it was time to go home, and if you can appreciate the art of my cubicle, then my apartment would blow you away.
Two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, and living room, all the walls covered with neighbors and idols and strangers. Size nine by twelve, the sketches flutter and flap with the wind from my ceiling fan. A hundred thousand eyes give me strength to be myself. I sit at my desk, a mirror before me. I study my own face intently before turning it around and sketching someone more perfect than myself.