Monday, September 26, 2005

My Coworker Pinky Toe

The coworker who sits nearest to me is originally from Korea. She was raised Catholic and now studies Buddhism.

We share a work ethic, the love of mankind and Classical piano. Since we can never find time to get together to play duets, we are contemplating returning to the earth as twins in our next life.

I explain to her American idioms and she tells me parables. We each make the other laugh.

A couple of weeks ago we were walking to a work luncheon together and she told me about her pinky toe.

She said that one time she hurt her pinky toe very badly when she closed a sliding glass door on it.

The pain referred to her foot, then to her leg, then to her lower back, then to her neck and then to her head.

She said, "'Oh, Pinky Toe,' I said, 'I have newfound respect for you!' Here was something so small and seemingly unimportant, yet it created big and far-reaching effects."

By that time we were nearly at the restaurant. I was at once in stitches and reminded of why I love her so. But then she went on to tell me about her boss.

(Of course, I know her boss because we sit so closely together, but this was her perspective on her boss.)

"Sometimes," she said, "when I am so intent on my work and have to work really hard to make a deadline, I shut him out and do not talk about anything but work, work, work. Then he gets a really long face.

"But when I talk to him about my life and my family and my interests, he gets very cheerful.

"I think," she said, "that maybe I am a pinky toe."

When we returned from lunch, I told her, "From now on, I will call you Pinky."

She corrected me.

"Pinky Toe!"

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