Sexual Harassment by John Grochalski

trina used to blow all of the janitors
it was well known amongst them
that if you were hard-up
five minutes in a basement men’s room stall with trina
could cure all of your ills
she wasn’t anything to look at
but trina was willing in a way that others weren’t
we used to smoke together
on a big orange bench when we didn’t feel like working
trina talked about her douche bag husband and their bills
she would tell me….you know…if you need a little…
i was a clerk
trina thought this meant moving up in the world
because i didn’t wear a uniform
even though the janitors made double what i did
often i’d think about taking her up on the offer
every night i went home alone
i didn’t really see the harm in a little men’s room action
but then trina got weird on me
everywhere i went in the building she seemed to be
once she attacked me in the elevator
bit my neck and licked my nose
told me how good she’d suck my cock
that if i didn’t believe her, go and ask the janitors
i went and told my boss
she said, you need to write everything down
so we can build a sexual harassment case
i didn’t write down anything and i didn’t say anything else
i just avoided the orange bench
started smoking my cigarettes in front of the building
where the homeless guys stood in packs
and bothered the college kids for change
but it got back to trina that i’d squealed
when we passed each other we kept our heads down
except one time she was with a janitor
when she saw me she whispered something in his ear
they both laughed then they dipped into the men’s room
and i went back to the orange bench
for my first smoke there in months
knowing that i had at least five minutes of peace
before trina came sauntering outside
wiping her mouth
and acting like the goddamned CEO.


John Grochalski is the author of The Noose Doesn’t Get Any Looser After You Punch Out (Six Gallery Press 2008), Glass City (Low Ghost Press, 2010), In The Year of Everything Dying (Camel Saloon, 2012), Starting with the Last Name Grochalski (Coleridge Street Books, 2014), and the novel, The Librarian (Six Gallery Press 2013). Grochalski currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, in the section that doesn’t have the bike sharing program.


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