I remember Paul.
He was the first really handsome guy
our company ever hired.
They fired him nine days later.
It was pretty spectacular.
Something about using his work computer
to make appointments with a local dominatrix
and moderating some online sadomasochism forum
during business hours.
When he was let go,
they changed the locks and the FedEx password.
(I’m not sure what they thought he would do
with that information.)
All the girls in the office squealed at the scandal,
perhaps secretly titillated,
but they publicly declared it “gross, super gross.”
I remember feeling lonely.
I wouldn’t date anyone at the office on principle,
but it was nice to see a ruggedly handsome face.
He had a dimple in his left cheek
and light blue eyes.
He mentioned a television show that I liked,
and we talked about it for a few minutes.
Then I got a phone call,
and he walked away,
and that was our only interaction.
I make pumpkin muffins every year in the fall,
for everyone in the office,
and I was sure he would have liked them.
Maybe he would have made a point
to say hi to me in the morning.
Maybe he would reliably remember my name.
Maybe we would have met up at a coffee shop
on a Saturday
or saw a movie together.
But now he is just a memory,
and I’m not even one of his references.