“I guess,” she paused to think, “I guess I should have zigged when I zagged, you know, life wise. “

“What the fuck does that mean?” I articulated with little puffs of smoke between laughs. 

“Well,” she paused and motioned for me to pass the joint. She took a puff and thought for a moment exploring the patterns of light the lamp was throwing on the ceiling. “I was given an opportunity, right out of university, or college as you call it. It was a job in one of the top conglomerates in the country. This is the sort of job everyone dreams of, it’s the reason you try to get into a top university. This is the sort of company that either hires you right out of college or never at all, and” – she paused to take a toke- “once you’re in you are in for life. You’ll move straight up the corporate ladder to at least upper middle management.”

I laughed at the term upper middle management, she smiled at my giggles, then joined, both of us giggling at the silliness of how those business terms sound. 

She took another drag to gather her thoughts. “So it’s a sweet gig, well paid too. Well, probably not hourly if you think about it. The hours are insane.” 

“Is the work hard?” I interrupted. 

Blowing out a puff of smoke, “Sort of depends.”

“Explain and puff puff pass dude.” 

“Oh shit yeah.” She passed the joint and continued. “Depends on the time period, in this company it was feast or famine. Some jobs you worked an insane amount, others you just sat at your desk for 12 hours a day answered a couple emails.”


“Well since they only promote from within, they think they’ll need you later on, but maybe the guy above you hasn’t been promoted yet or too many people are delaying their retirement so it clogs the pipes so to speak.” 

She laughed at her own joke, I laughed too and passed back the joint, which she took with an excited smile. 

“My first job I did jack shit all day. Actually I napped most of the day.” 


“Yeah, we had after work drinking every day after work, which is important for your career, seriously, if you want to make it to the top you can sleep your way there or drink your way there. I wasn’t down the first, and I’m great at the second, so you know, I went with it. “

“I have it on good authority and a bit of personal research you’re good at the first one too.” 

She laughed and raised an eyebrow. “Well if you keep talking your research grant might be suddenly and perminated terminated.” 

I laughed and mimed zipping my mouth shut. 

She laughed. “Getting back through to the zigging and zagging. I had this great job, after I got promoted a few times I worked my ass off but I’m not afraid of hard work. I’ve always been a hard worker so it didn’t really bother me. The money was great too, the social position wasn’t anything to sneeze at either.” She laughed, earlier she had told me she found sneezing inherently funny, just something about the fact we all do it and how weird it is when you think about it tickles her, and honestly she was surprised it doesn’t tickle more people. “It was a great gig, but one day- oh you need to know I was the captain of my highschools taekwondo team, didn’t include that detail, should have- my boss grabbed my ass. So normally I should have zigged and ignored it, rolled with the punches, accepted that, while it is a despicable part of office culture, it was something that I alone couldn’t fix and trying to do so wouldn’t get me anywhere but the back of the line at the unemployment office. But,”

She drew out the words and I joined in creating a near harmony that made us both giggle. 

“But I zagged.”


“I broke his nose and knocked out four teeth.” 


“Yeah and gave him a black eye, and a mild concussion.” 


“Yeah serious zag. Cost me my job, but not gonna lie, if you’re gonna zag you should really zag and I really, really zagged. And I don’t want to creepy you out or make you think I’m weird or something, but it was great kicking that guys ass. Not gonna lie, 10 out of 10 on that experience, five stars. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

“So I shouldn’t grab your ass.” 

“Well,” she laughed, for the moment your research grant covers extensive research into me and grabbing my ass is covered, but don’t push it. Maybe ask first.” 

We both laughed as I made a quick mental note to never, under any circumstances to grab her ass. 

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