I Want People to Be Afraid
of How Much They Love Me

by Delaney Saul

“Pilot”: Michael Scott is a commercial pilot for Pan American World Airways in 1994 when he crash-lands in rural Nevada. He manages to pull himself from the wreckage of the plane, but his energy is draining quickly. As his body and mind are ravaged by heat stroke, fevered hallucinations begin to take hold. You laugh. It’s a funny joke.

“Diversity Day”: When Michael arrives at the office, he finds it has become infested with bugs. Spiders descend from the ceiling. Narrow veins of creeping centipedes line the floor. Stanley opens the supply closet and a wave of ants engulfs him. He disappears under the mass. Jim looks at the camera and there are beetles where his eyes should be. Dwight brings in a murder of crows to prey on the insects. Michael sweats through his blazer. You scream with laughter.

“Health Care”: There is a new painting in the office. No one knows who hung it, but everyone suspects Pam. The painting is of a bowl of fruit. As the day goes by, Michael notices the fruit is becoming more and more rotten. The ghosts in the walls make the fluorescent lights flicker and hum. Phyllis trips going down the stairs and breaks her leg. Her ankle distends where the bone has come out of place. She is electric with lost memories. Everything is an omen.

“The Alliance”: Jim is shocked awake in the night. The screen is black, but the audience can hear him fumbling in the darkness for the cord on his bedside lamp. He can feel the weight of someone sitting on the edge of his bed and he knows it must be Jan. She is beautiful, with diamond fingernails and a terrible, flopping tongue. She tells him that Pan Am ceased its operations in 1991. In the morning, Jim wakes up aroused but cannot say why. At work, he avoids Michael’s gaze. Pam looks at the camera.

“Basketball”: When Dwight was a child, he saw the hands of an old beggar woman on the streets of Vienna. They were calcified into two crooked bowls. He smelled her desperation like soil and something else he couldn’t name. Dwight is shaken from his reverie by Jim, who is telling him that Toby was dragged from the office by a pack of wild dogs. Dwight is frozen. Tears leak down his face. The episode has nothing to do with basketball.

“Hot Girl”: Jan comes to the office. She is emaciated, and her heart beats through her papery skin. Pam begins to cry. Michael doesn’t notice. He is in his office. It’s a sweltering day, isn’t it? When did Scranton get so hot? When did it start to look so much like a desert? Why is he so thirsty, when seconds ago he was sitting at his desk with a cup of coffee? Why is he sprawled on his back in the hot sand, looking up at the blue sky and the craggy peaks of mountains? Find out the answers to these questions and many more on Season Two of The Office.

Delaney Saul is a person. Her Twitter handle is @RoseHipsCryBaby.
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