Here’s another rewritten scene from the New POA. In the original is was all just Abby’s internal monologue. I like it much better as inter-character dialogue. Dana is on the autism spectrum by the way.
I touched base with Dana and Lena back at the office later that afternoon and told them everything. Dana tried to reach Trog, but he had become incommunicado. At six o’clock, with nothing else left to do, I got ready to go home.
“I’m leaving,” I announced to Lena, who was sitting at her desk.
“Don’t you think maybe we should stay and see if we can track down, Trog?” Dana asked, suddenly appearing in Lena’s doorway next to me.
“No, I don’t. He’ll contact you. He’s motivated enough. Besides, I have plans.”
“What kind of plans?” Dana asked with a smile.
“I’m picking up some Chinese and watching Ally McBeal,” I said with dignity.
“You wild woman!” Lena snorted.
“Hey, I may not be living life in the fast lane, but it’s a hell of a lot better than proofreading contracts in a freezing cold office. I finally have work/life balance.”
“I think that spending an evening at home sounds like a lot of fun,” Dana said enthusiastically. Dana was agreeing with me about having a fun social life. I must admit, that made me pause a little. Dana liked to do things like learn neuroscience for fun.
“Well, once in a while,” I clarified. “My life will get more exciting eventually, though. I have long-term plans too.”
“Like what?” Lena asked, sitting back and folding her arms.
“I want to travel. See the world!” I answered somewhat defiantly.
“Have you gone anywhere lately?” she asked, knowing the answer perfectly well.
“Yes!” I shot back and she lifted an eyebrow at me. “There was that family reunion, thing … in the Poconos.”
“How exotic,” she said dryly and then turned to Dana. “That was sarcasm.”
“I knew that,” Dana answered.
“Okay, well I may not have gone anywhere yet, but I will. When I have some money again.”
“I saw a deal for Atlantic City online,” Dana offered helpfully. “You get a free bus ride and a roll of quarters too!” Lena bit her lip trying not to laugh.
“I’m also developing some hobbies,” I broke in.
“Such as?” Lena asked, looking ever more amused.
“So far, not many,” I conceded. “But um … I bookmarked several articles on making your own soap. In case soap isn’t, you know, readily available.”
“You have a growing collection of empty wine bottles. That could be a hobby,” Dana chimed in, trying to stick up for me. I think.
“Yoga is kind of hobbyish,” I added, realizing how pathetic I sounded. “Yeah, okay, my life is pretty sad.” I walked into her office and plopped down in a chair.
“The fact is that we all need to get a life now that we finally have the time to do it,” Lena said. “None of us is trying very hard to get out and do things and meet new people. At this rate we’ll wind up becoming the Golden Girls someday.”
“I’m not really good at knowing what to say or do when I go out,” Dana said, looking a bit glum. “It’s very rare to find other people who like discussing subjects like the Higgs boson or the veracity of eye-witness accounts at Roswell.”
“We’ll help you, Agent Mulder,” Lena reassured her with a wink.
“Okay, point taken,” I replied, getting up and heading for the door again. “We should come up with some plan to improve our social lives, but not tonight. After a morning with Agnes, a lunchtime with Barry and an afternoon with Wright and Wong, I just want my moo shu chicken and my Ally McBeal.”