The Rumbling

Grrrroooowwwl. 

My eyes flicked toward my coworker in the cubicle to my right.  I mentally forced myself to not turn and look straight at his belly.  

It was the embarrassing tummy grumble we all experience whenever it is dead quiet in a room full of non-family members. I insist on pretending I do not hear tummy growls.

He stood up and walked away. I went back to work, quickly forgetting him… and his awkward belly music.

Immersed in my lively data entry, I heard a voice and then noticed his head turned in my direction.  He asked quietly, “What did you eat for lunch?”

My face twisted. “Nothing. I think I should punish myself since I forgot my lunch at home again. What did you eat?”

“Oh, I didn’t eat lunch. My stomach is bothering me. Could it be the milk? My stomach feels…” he lowered his voice to just below a whisper. “Shitty,” he mouthed. “All morning since I had cereal and milk. Going to the bathroom.” He rubbed his stomach soothingly for emphasis.

I looked at him thoughtfully. “Did you check the expiration date on the milk?”

“No, I bought it from the cafe downstairs.” He continued when my puzzled look remained frozen, “They pour milk into the bowl for you.”

“I see. So it is possible they left the milk out for too long. Yeah, you could be feeling yucky from the milk.” 

Since he looked a little doubtful, I sought to reassure him that it was entirely possible. “Places give out expired or bad milk all the time. I cannot tell you how many times kid meals come with expired milk. It depends on the person checking the inventory and it often goes unnoticed.”

My coworker nodded. “Yeah. I am not going back for cereal and milk from there for a long time! Sorry that was so TMI.”

I scoffed. “Nothing is TMI. I am a MOM.” 

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