Of all the people in the department, the person I have probably connected with most is my fellow new hire. (Remember, the one who was a local adjunct hired full time?) It's kind of odd when you consider that we are from really different backgrounds and not much alike personality wise (I'm loud; he's quiet, almost stammeringly so, so I have to remember not to talk all over him and interrupt) but maybe because we are in the same position of Figuring All This Shit Out, we hit it off.
I'm going to need an evocative pseudonym for this colleague, I know. Just the other day I walked by his door and waved:
New Colleague: Sisyphus. Can I ask you a strange question?
Me: [I stop] Sure.
NC: Does this office --- smell?
Me: [I step in the door and take a long exaggerated sniff. I take a second step and a second long inhale. Decisively:] I don't smell anything.
NC: I was thinking of bringing in the spices from when I visited [far away foreign land]. Is it --- the air conditioning? Something? --- When I open the door in the morning something smells ---
NC: Human, All Too Human?
Me: Maybe another plant would fix that problem? Or some Hegel?
NC: [shrugs, palms up] I was thinking Derrida.
Me: No one should have to smell Derrida first thing in the morning.