Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The Meeting
Back when I was managing the New Age Bookstore, my friend Steve and I were supposed to get together to develop an outline for a project we were presenting to a group. Steve had a great sense of humor and was a lot of fun brainstorm with. We'd already batted around a few really excellent ideas we were both excited about.

Since my ex was unexpectedly taking the kids for an overnight, I decided to leave Steve a message to see if he might be free to meet. About five minutes later he called me back at work.

"Hi Juno, I got the message you wanted me to call."

"Hey Steve. Thanks for getting back to me so fast. I was wondering if you might be free tonight to go over some of the things we talked about in a little more detail. Maybe like around 7:00?"

"Sure. I suppose I can do that."

"Great," I said happily. "Want to meet at your place or mine?"

He hesitated. "Ummmmm . . . your place I guess."

"That probably works best anyway since I have the apartment to myself. This way we won't be interrupted. I can even order in some Chinese food for us."

"Okay."

"I 'm really excited," I told him. " I have some new ideas I want to try out on you.

"Sounds cool."

"I think you'll like them. I figured we can try them out one on one first and then maybe do it in a group next week. . . are you still there? You're awfully quiet."

Steve cleared his throat. "I'm here."

"Good. Okay then." I gave him directions to my apartment. "I'll catch you later."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Juno, you have a call on line 1," my assistant manager called across the store.

"Got it--thanks." I picked up the receiver. "Hello, this is Juno. How can I help you?"

"Hey Juno. It's Steve. I got your message."

I sat down heavily into my chair and stared at the phone.

"Juno? Are you there?"

"I'm here." A queasy lump had formed in my stomach and was moving up to my throat.

"So what did you need, lady? Your wish is my command."

I swallowed hard. "Steve, you didn't call here about an hour ago did you?"

"Huh?" he asked, puzzled. "No, I just got in the door. Why?"

I couldn't figure it out. "Because I just had a phone conversation with a 'Steve.' I thought it was you."

"Nope, not me. Any idea who it was?"

I groaned. "No. But whoever it was now has directions to my apartment and is meeting me there at 7:00."

Steve laughed. "That could be interesting."

"Oh shut up and let me think." Nervously I began fiddling with the sheafs of papers on my desk, trying to calm down. Suddenly, I froze.

"Oh God! I know who it was." I stared at the resume in my hand.

"Who?" my friend asked curiously.

"I've been running interviews for a new sales clerk all week. I finally picked out this one guy and had left him a message to call me so I could offer him the job."

"Let me guess. His name was Steve?"

"Uh huh." Horrified, I replayed the conversation back in my head. "This is very bad. Oh my God, I am so screwed! Taken out of context it sounds like I'm asking him to have sex with me in exchange for me hiring him!"

"Wow! Do you sexually harrass all your employees?"

"It's not funny Steve! This is so embarrassing! I better go. I have to call this guy up and explain what happened and hope he understands."

"Good luck. Let me know what happens."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Steve? This is Juno from the bookstore."

"Oh. Hi again."

"I wanted to call and apoligize to you. I am so sorry." I took a deep breath and explained the whole situation to him. "So you see, it was a simple case of mistaken identity."

Steve laughed. "So I don't need to come to your house tonight?"

"God no! I mean, that's not necessary. This is SO embarrassing. Lord only knows what you thought of me!"

He was still laughing. "It did actually sound like you were propositioning me. And then when you talked about going one on one this week and then doing it with a group the next week, you made me a little nervous. But I really wanted the job so I was going to go along with it."

I blushed furiously. "I am so sorry. I'm really a nice woman, and I don't go around trying to get strangers to come home with me--especially potential employees. Trust me on this one."

"It's okay," he said kindly. "What the heck. It actually makes a pretty funny story."

"Thanks," I said, relieved.

"While I've got you on the phone, can I ask you a question?"

"Sure."

"Did I get the job?"

I laughed. "Yes you did. That's why I had left the message for you."

"And I don't have to sleep with the boss?"

"Nope." Thank goodness he had a sense of humor!

"Good. 'Cause I'm gay and it might have been a little awkward."

Both of us lost it at the same time. I laughed so hard I could hardly hold onto the phone. "Come on by the store around 10:00 on Monday, and we'll get you started," I told him when I could finally catch my breath.

"Will do. And Juno? Thanks."

"No problem, Steve. Thank YOU!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

You know, it's incidents like these that give a good girl a bad reputation!

My husband Rich proofs all my stories for me. He pronounced this one "typical Juno". This kind of stuff happens to me all the time. He suggested that maybe I should start getting more details about a situation before I jump in. I told him I thought I HAD the details! Oh well. . .
Memories and musings shared by Juno
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I'm a 40-something writer, artist, and Jill-of-All-Trades. For me, magic is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. My writing tends to take me to unexpected places--not so surprising when I think about it. I had an unusual growing up and have always chosen the offbeat over the "safe". I prefer interesting people over beautiful ones, and I am fascinated by people's stories. What I love most about life is its glorious imperfections and fantastic plot twists.

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