"Sales are down." I wasn't really paying attention to the meeting. It was the same old tired phrases the company trotted out on the first Tuesday of every month. I stared out the window, thinking. There's no time like a meeting for a really good fantasy. If you focus your eyes on a spot on the table, it appears as if you're deep in thought, which you are of course. Sales, what would boost sales, I started thinking about some of the people at work. The obvious solution to me would be to give more people sales training. One of the women up front is good at sales. She tells people about products she likes, and they sell. She's very warm, very friendly, and open. Another woman likes to drink Yerba Mate tea. It comes in a bright yellow can and customers ask about it when they see her sipping. One of the guys I work with is good at sales. One day I was walking past him when I offered him melon from a container I had just purchased. At first he refused, then he changed his mind.
Someone else was droning on about how sales were down. I was hot, I was tired, I was incredibly thirsty. Those chunks of melon seemed to taunt me; cool, refreshing, seductive, juicy, there's something about fruit during peak season that drowns the taste buds, my mind went back to the melon sharing episode, sex sells I thought to myself. All this guy had to do was stand there with samples and women would come up to him, lured in by the bedroom eyes, dreamy voice, and attentiveness to personal space. Idly I wondered what kind of a lover he would be. Good, better than good, I knew he would be extraordinary, but there are so many ways to have fun in bed that I got lost in my list. Slow, he wasn't one to rush into anything. Sensual, anyone who picked up melon like that knew how to use their hands. I pictured him licking juice off the slice of melon, he would be highly skilled when it came to oral sex, the kind where you felt like demons were being exorcised from your body, or driven more deeply into it.
Sales were still down. Mustard was lagging, maple syrup was flat. Who gives a fuck I thought to myself. Passion, when someone is passionate about a product, that inspired sales. I pictured him eating passionfruit, slicing into a dragonfruit, a cheramoya, persimmon pulp dripping from his hand onto someone else's body. Sun beat through the windows as mercilessly as someone who knows how to keep a woman hovering near the peak without sending her over the edge until he had wrung every drop of passion from her limp and screaming body. He would never be boring in bed. Unless I was wrong, and I am rarely wrong when it comes to sex, he knew how to pack it in the way growers know how to nestle oranges in boxes before they were shipped. Some people think the quiet types are boring, I wondered what kind of kink they were contemplating. Was he the romantic type, did he really have that lust for playful adventure, new places, different spaces, touch, taste, smell, more touch, more taste, better smells, he would be innovative, was he into playing with frozen fruit? I bet he had a thing for silk scarves, call it women's intuition, it felt like this meeting was never going to end.
"What did you say?" I took a moment to pretend that I was reflecting. I didn't think I had said anything, but now everyone was staring at me. I had completely lost track of whatever was being discussed in my zest for fruit filled sexual encounters. My friend kicked me beneath the table. "She was just asking if she could use the bathroom."
I left the table, grateful to be given this brief reprieve. I would lick maple syrup off of someone else's body after we had pancakes for breakfast. I probably could even skip the pancakes. I washed my hands slowly, letting suds splash into the sink. Sales were down. This was a fact, and it was a problem. I went back to the meeting and smiled at my friend who shoved a sheet of paper toward me. It was a sign up sheet asking for volunteers to be on yet another stupid committee that didn't do anything except waste a lot of time doing nothing.
"What if we put together a list of products and came up with ways to bundle them together?" I hadn't put a lot of thought into this strategy. Inside my head I hoped I hadn't missed the part where someone else had advanced this same idea, but after glancing around the table I could see that everyone else seemed to be languishing in the same sort of fevered mind blocking stupor I had been before my break. "Fruit for breakfast, we could stack it near an end cap and put maple syrup next to pancake mix. Have someone run a sample table there with the dairy free yogurts. Someone else could do lunch, mustard is a very versatile condom, I mean condiment. You can put it on virtually everything. There has to be a way to work mustard into more meals, we just need to get creative. We need to get excited about this. Passion is what sells products. When someone is really fired up about something, it shows. They can't wait to tell others about it. When was the last time we had anyone demo mustard? It's cheap, we can find some recipes and put those out as well. Put it on chicken, slap it on fish, add it to your mushroom marinade, slather it on your lover, I bet some of these people could use more spice in their sex lives."
After my impromptu speech I was invited into the HR manager's office. I was asked to clean out my locker, remove any personal possessions from our shared work area, and I was informed that I was no longer welcome on the premises. Good riddance I thought to myself as I drove away from the parking lot. It was going to be tough financially, but like I had said in the meeting, mustard was cheap and I had a container of it sitting in my fridge that needed to be eaten. Word spread through the small community that I had been relieved of my responsibilities. Several people who worked there reached out, that was touching, and made me feel better about the hole I had dug for myself. Probably the funniest moment came about a month after the incident. There was another meeting about sales, but this time there was happier news. Jessica the trouble maker was gone, and mustard sales are up.