August 28 | Ada Wofford

 

God no! It’s soup day at the office again.

 

Yes, once a week it comes wafting through the vents, assaulting your olfactory senses, sending your nerves into shock as you try to prepare yourself for Soup Day. The soup knell rings its angry cadence to the clacking of phones being picked up and dialed. Myriad co-workers slobbering into the receiver, “What’s the soup today?” You sit there wondering, why doesn’t the cafeteria send out an email? Why not coordinate, just have one person call? No! Impossible.

 

But this is just the beginning of Soup Day, this is the easy part. You listen to people making phone calls all day but now, now that the clock has struck noon and the soup has arrived, now you must listen to it. You must listen to the soup!

 

The smacking of lips, the gulping of broth, that awful ahhhh thing people do for some horrible reason after they swallow. All of it in uncanny unison for a solid 30 minutes. You violently jam your earbuds in and blast Fresh Air but to no avail, for Terry Gross’ sweet voice couldn’t possibly compete with the cacophony of soup being lapped up around you.

 

The end of this torture is heralded by a fanfare of slurping; the bloated beasts making sure to devour every last drop. There is a chorus of belching and the soft pitter-patter of styrofoam cups being discarded. You have survived yet another cursed lunch time. But still, you are not comforted. For you know this is not the end of your suffering and that you, like Sisyphus, are merely at another interim of your misery. You pray for Death’s sweet kiss to come swiftly and to spare you of next week’s inevitable Soup Day.

 

Monstrous choir of slurping and smacking

Upon my weak brain this cacophony racking

Nary a soul soup-steeped office lacking

Upon this broth art my colleagues thus snacking

Slurp, slurp, slurp, slurp…