Sheila wants to call it electronic milk. “But you’re describing the extraction system,” he said, “the milk itself is not electronic.” Malcolm sits in the conference room hovering over a white bowl of raspberries. He looks at his knees beneath the charcoal glass of the long table where he remains many minutes after the meeting. He dips his fingers into the bowl, plucks a soft morsel, its bulbous fuzzy exterior held up by his gentle grip. He thinks of Sheila’s head in his hands, about squeezing the berry. He’s not mad at Sheila necessarily, though it is her voice he hears in his head leading the pack in misunderstanding the product, he’s just tired of explaining the differences.
"Electronic cannot be the right adjective, even if it sounds cool. The product is about flavor, the different varieties of milk now able to be naturally made within the beasts before the extraction even takes place. We are milking flavored milk!” he shouted, his fists slammed against the glass table quieting the room, “the regular stuff has been cultivated electronically for years!" Malcolm cannot remember the last time he had a glass of milk. He remembers it fondly, dipping a dark chocolate cookie into a thick white puddle. He squeezes the berry between his teeth, plucks another from the bowl.
The title will go all the way to the top. His name will be associated with it, it’s his team’s account. Malcolm is tired of the glass walls of this city. He anxiously scissors his knees beneath the table. He is tired of arguing over adjectives. Proper usage is losing its grip. These new girls are wrestling over power and ruining language. They’re toppling over one another to claim victory. They’re not listening to him anymore. He is on a path to extinction, the sole man in the office, the only one that’s over forty. He cannot keep up with synergy. He holds the berry up and looks at the frosted follicles surrounding the little chandelier’s bulbs, and squeezes it flat with his fingers. Wouldn’t it be nice from time to time, he thinks, to set the world on fire.