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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2021: Disguise


I decided today to work in the dining room. While the setup isn't as functional and I don't have my sit/stand desk, I at least do not have to be upstairs with that spirit messing with me. The laptop will suffice for today. I don't need all those bells and whistles. Hell, when I was traveling and working in hotel rooms, I didn't have three monitors and a sit/stand desk. I worked while sitting up in bed and watching television. Prior to working from home exclusively, I set up shop in this dining room disguised as an office with only a laptop. Who needs a fancy set up haunted by a troublesome entity who shows up in your mirror and whispers an ominous catchphrase? Not this guy. Not me. Out of sight, out of mind, right?


Most of the day has proven uneventful, almost a return to the usual routine of halfway paying attention to conference calls and forgetting to respond to emails while working on creating the perfect PowerPoint deck. This is how it's supposed to go. Daisy is laying on the floor at my feet. A glass of sweet tea provides caffeine since I'm trying to give up Diet Coke. Snacks are at my disposal. In particular I am craving my favorite candy bar, the 100 Grand.

A blank PowerPoint slide taunts me, insisting I lack the creativity to fill it with interesting content. Time for a brain break and one of those 100 Grand bars will do the trick. That delicious blend of rich caramel, milk chocolate, and crispy crunchies would give me a nice little post-lunch pick me up. I step into the kitchen to seek out my treat. The collection of available snacks consists of a half of bag of pretzels, a can of lightly salted cashews, some corn chips bought when we made a pot of chili, and an untouched bag of plantain chips I promised myself I would eat in order to get healthy. No bag of fun size 100 Grand bars. I am sure I still had some left because I have made a concerted effort to ration them. One a day in the afternoon.

They're upstairs on the sit/stand desk.


What do I crave more? The candy bar or the need to not be frightened in my own home?

Candy bar it is.

A deep, cleansing breath summons the courage I need to climb the stairs. I reach to top, head held high with fragile confidence and enter my office. The bag sits right where I left it on the bookshelf next to the desk. In and out, like going into the dark basement in a horror movie. I pluck the bag of goodies and rush out of the room before my poltergeist even knows I'm there and rush down the stairs two and three at a time. I release a long, slow sigh of relief, retrieve a well-earned candy bar from the bag, and plop down in my chair with cockiness of a man who just outwitted a ghost. I take a bite, glance at my laptop screen, and my blood freezes. The blank PowerPoint slide has now been edited. Five words glare back at me like that awful face in the mirror.

There are no good things.

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