Our intern, John, comes running past.
“Quick! Rob is parking. Everyone hide!!!”
John is adorable in that rosy-cheeked-just-fell-off-the-bus-into-Los Angeles-and-hit-my-head-on-the-pavement kind of way. He is in his third year at journalism school and takes his job here very seriously. I’m sure he had three tasks today; stock the fridge, take out the mail, and be on the lookout for when Rob gets back from lunch. And I’m sure he accomplished all three with admirable conviction.
My co-workers scramble under their desks in anticipation of saying “Surprise!”, which seems like a wasted effort to me as we’re all respectively engulfed by cubicle walls as it is. There are eight of us in the bull pen: Amy, our office manager and resident struggling actress, sits at the front door, Kyle, our style editor and resident struggling musician sits in cubicle number #1 a.k.a. “The Love Den”, Brad, our field writer and resident struggling screenwriter, sits in cubicle number #2 a.k.a. “Deathstar”, Ginger, the one who does a little bit of everything and is our resident struggling t-shirt designer, sits in cubicle #3 a.k.a. “The Gingerbread House”, and me, the advice columnist/pop culture reviewer and resident struggling human being sits in cubicle #4 a.k.a. “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”. Julie, our layout designer, works against the back wall in between Marty and Rob’s offices. Julie really isn’t struggling at anything. She’s worked for Vogue and Playboy and has a beautiful graphic designer husband, and a fauxhawked baby from Taiwan. The two interns, John and Molly sit at make-shift desks in opposite corners of the office. I made their desks myself out of saw horses and doors and one can read about my little DIY project “Laurel’s Attempt at Making a Desk” in issue #4 of our magazine. The only two enclosed offices are Rob’s and Marty’s. I should have an office considering I’ve been with these guys since the conception of Sin Magazine, but until we can afford a bigger office, I’m stuck out in the open. Marty’s office has four walls and a door and a view of Sunset Boulevard going east. My office has three walls, no door, and a view of our intern’s butt crack when I turn around. Sometimes I’ll bring blankets into work and turn my cubicle into a fort and demand that everyone say “the secret word of the day” to enter. The only good thing about my cubicle is that it’s in direct eye sight of Marty’s office. When I’m bored, and Marty is on the phone, I will position myself so that I’m staring directly at Marty. He’ll try to shift his chair and dodge my stare, but to little avail. He had to buy one of this remote control door shutters because of me.