Jan 2011 28

by Brandon Perkins

In the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who recently x-ed his GF (Katya), ventures out for his first major post-break up night on the tiles with the boys. Unable to cut the ties completely, and with reminders in the form of text messages still causing his phone and his emotions to vibrate, in this flashback Mikhail recalls his first breakup with Katya a year ago after temptation moved into the next cubicle at work.

Please Use Rear Exit: Chapter 8 – Slow Jam Filly

Despite the constant typing, the Office of Emailing People (OoEP) was a cushy job for anyone who didn’t give a fuck about words. The entire gig was built around brainstorming sessions in the morning that tried to discover new loop-holes in the legal language surrounding spam. Equally as time-consuming, the afternoons were spent circumventing the morning’s laid-out illegalities with clever scams. Some days, Mikhail was writing persuasive paragraphs about the financial benefits of a perverted pyramid scheme. Other days, he was a Nigerian prince. And then there was the completely non-sensical part of his job.

But the OoEP paid pretty well and was a significant setting in his relationships with Katya and Saffron. And he was really, really good at the work.

It was the type of place that fostered small talk: not big enough for cubicles, the Office was just a few lines of long tables where each work station consisted of a computer separated on both sides by a pile of books on grammar. The joke, of course, was that the vast majority of their emails had nothing to do with the English language. This was the squid’s share of what he wrote on a daily basis:

That was the most of it, most of the time. The little remainder of his “work” focused on literarily embodying a prince in a far off land-literally. But the largest part of his day was spent talking to the people on his immediate left and right, piles of books be damned. Three weeks before, Katya was on his left showing him the ropes on his first day. Then she got hopelessly drunk over a football game and he had to end their relationship, and she had to quit the same job that she had gotten him. Two days after that, Saffron started working at the OeEP.

All the men in the office remember that day like it was the anniversary of their own birth. Saffron sauntered into the OeEP wearing a tank-top, sweatpants and Uggs – only a woman of her stature could ever get away with the casualness of such a first-day outfit. Her soft firmness instilled ideas of Sunday mornings spent cuddling into any man with a heart and passionate mornings spent fucking into any man with a dick. In a bouncingly beautiful 3.2 second loop, Mikhail imagined her getting dressed on his apartment’s wood floor after a hypothetical early afternoon romp. Back in the office, where she awaited her desk assignment, she stood seamlessly, not even a line for her bra and panties. As soon as Mikhail convinced himself that her undergarments were definitely pink, she was guided to the empty seat next to him.

He wasn’t sure if it was a gesture of good will on the shift manager’s part or a devious plot for his pimply affections to steal Katya’s love away from him. Despite any territorial issues he might’ve felt, Mikhail wholly wished the acne-faced shift manager would take Katya’s broken heart off his hands. Especially with the temptations of Saffron at his fingertips.

“How do I spell there?” Saffron asked him, pointing to her screen before he even knew her name. It was barely 30 seconds after the shift manager finished a 45-minute spiel that normally took 10 minutes.

“Let me let you in on a little secret,” he said, being both genuine and curious, “it doesn’t matter. Right there, you want T-H-E-Y-apostrophe-R-E, but it’s all moot. Words per minute are all they want.”

“Oh, okay. Like, T-H-E-R-E standards aren’t that high?”

[Mnislahi in The Temp]
Mikhail spent the rest of that first morning wondering if she was stupid or just bad at telling jokes. And about how pissed Katya would be once she found out how sexy the new girl was. Saffron didn’t say anything of any intelligence, but her body spoke too loudly for him to think straight. The top of her breasts peaked out above her tank-top and Mikhail was so concerned with kissing the warm silkiness of that voluptuous skin that he didn’t even think about the nipples hiding beneath her clothing. His emails started succumbing to Saffron’s level of acumen and for the first time in Mikhail’s first month at the OeEP, he was issued a warning because his lack of random word construction wasn’t by-passing Gmail’s spam protection. The break for lunch couldn’t come soon enough.

“Did you bring a lunch or do you maybe want to find a cart with something good because I know a few good pushers that come around perhaps?” He wasn’t sure where his sentence was going to end so he just ended it with a question, tucking his packed lunch out of sight.

OMI, Mikhail, I know this place better than you’d ever believe,” Saffron said, stroking a stray wisp of her hair behind a set of delicious ears. “My mom worked here for, like, 20 years. I practically grew up in this office. She retired, so, like, she packed me a lunch.”

Mikhail un-tucked his paper bag of pita and hummus, conjuring up all of the confidence he could to shake it in Saffron’s direction without being a dick about it. He then let her lead the way towards the break room, where she changed The Internet station on the dial and turned it way up. The other emailers were a little shocked that their lunch-time soundtrack had so loudly switched from talk-radio to classic R&B, but Saffron’s pulchritudinousness was too overwhelming to protest.

“I remember dancing to this joint in middle school,” Mikhail said, placing his bag on the table and preparing to take a proper seat. “I don’t know if this makes me feel old or young. I practically want to ask you to dance, a full arm’s length apart like my mom is chaperoning or something.”

“OMI, yes, okay. I’ll totally dance with you.”

Right then and there, it started. He was just trying to hang with the new girl, but his efforts had thrust him into a situation that felt adulterous. Katya had only quit a few days before and all those co-workers who gossiped about the rise and fall of that relationship (despite his and Katya’s best attempt to hide their ride) were witness to Mikhail’s new ticket. Trying to match the irony of nostalgia, he found himself lock-armed in a mockery of pubescent flirtation. Saffron and Mikhail side-stepped as they laughed, their midsections miles apart as they jerkingly twirled. “Down On Bended Knee” ended and they sat down to eat lunch.

During the next day’s lunch break, they inched a little closer while “Water Runs Dry” played.

And during the next lunch, Mikhail’s thumbs found Saffron’s belt loops and then his hands inserted themselves into her back pockets. Her elbows bent tighter and tighter, closer and closer around his neck.

On the fourth day, her first Thursday, while everyone in the lunchroom gawked on, their midsections traded touches and Saffron turned up the volume on the break room’s Pandora.

By Friday’s lunch, it was un-spokenly important to the both of them to find the rhythm within the cheesy R&B playing in their increasingly no-longer ironic act. As much as he tried to take the lead, he always followed the ebb and flow of her hips and the dips of her ass. They shuffled in small circles and interlocked tighter and tighter until the arch of her jeans rubbed against his thigh and she dug her fingers through his hair. Mikhail continued to tell himself that it was all an act, fighting his hormones and the cackles of their co-workers to a point of reasonable submission. Katya still didn’t comprehend their break-up, but he couldn’t comprehend Saffron’s curves; not when they were jostling so close to his desires.

And then she kissed him.

Surrounded by milling co-workers, a few of whom still considered Katya a friend, his bag lunch still on the table, he froze. He stopped kissing Saffron before he really started. As hard as it was to remove his hand from the small of her back, where it was warmed by the grip of her knit top, he did. The on-lookers who began as part of the joke were suddenly dumbfounded paparazzi of potential pornography, and probable snitches to boot. He grabbed his lunch and took it to the #2’s main corridor. Minutes later, Saffron followed him.

“A lunch break is too overwhelming in there,” Mikhail said. “Too observed, too much pressure.”

“I was just dancing and it just happened and-”

“Don’t apologize, I just don’t know what I’m doing. It’s me, I’m sorry. Your lips are amazing, but it’s been a spectacle in there. Can I just see you outside of work, outside of the peeping toms? Where do you live? Can we meet somewhere tomorrow? I’m off. Work, I mean, not off like crazy.”

Please Use Rear Exit is an online novel set in a futuristic facsimile of Los Angeles literally set inside The Internet on a mysterious public transportation system. You can read about it on author Brandon Perkins’ SG Contributor page and find additional chapters and related media at


  1. […] the previous installment of our futuristic fiction series, Please Use Rear Exit, Mikhail, who recently x-ed his GF (Katya), […]