There was gossip around the office about the new temp. Some said he was short and tubby, his hair slicked back to reveal fat Korean features. I couldn’t say they were true until he fell face first into my cubicle, spilling hot coffee across my new pants. I was not sure which was more vexing, the warm liquid burning my legs or the highly dangerous ‘man’ struggling to get up from the floor. I was the least bit surprised to discover that this short, Korean-looking temp managed to rank higher in hostility than my husband, a retired marine corp.
For the days that followed, I was convinced that my mind was playing tricks on me. How could such a small, seemingly un-intelligent and physically unfit man be so dangerous? The idea was ludicrous from the perspective of a woman that had encountered many dangerous people in her life. For the weeks that followed, I found myself observing him from the break room as if waiting for him to commit a crazy act of violence. Yet he acted like any other reserved guy would, quiet and rarely social discounting his occasional Korean curses. For the longest time, I was perplexed by the entire situation, puzzled by how such a man could be so threatening. This continued until I arrived home from a long day of work months later to see a certain Korean man broadcasted throughout the news.
The new temp we came to call Kim had been gone the last week on his ‘vacation’ to a family cabin. Some could say it was me being merely superstitious, but the man all over the news looked remarkably like Kim. For the longest time I sat, perplexed into the front of the television, convinced that the man threatening millions of people was an identical twin of Kim. But that theory soon proved to be invalid as weeks passed without Kim returning. His presence seemed to no longer matter, the months wearing away the short tubby figure from each of our minds. I soon came to forget about the small man that somehow came to be so dangerous.