“Hey Jude,” Neil said.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” Jude’s face went from his usual happy self to annoyed.
“Woah, what’s up?”
“I’m just so tired of that.”
“Huh? People saying hello?” Neil came to stand beside Jude’s desk, a coffee in hand.
“No, no,” Jude said, looking resigned. “I just mean the ‘hey Jude’ thing. I get it. My name is Jude. Like the Beatles song. Or like the biblical character. Or both. But how about neither? Maybe just say, ‘hello, Jude, how are you today?’ But no, no one does that, it’s always ‘hey Jude, don’t make it bad,’ or ‘hey Jude, don’t be afraid.’ I just get really tired of it, you know?”
“Oh, jeez, sorry man. I didn’t mean to, you know, touch a nerve. I was just saying hello for the day. Next time, I’ll try to say it a little differently. How’s ‘Greetings and salutations, Jude’?”
“Well, you don’t have to get all snippy, Neil.”
“I’m not, I’m just checking to see what’s okay.”
Jude frowned. “It’s fine, don’t worry about it. Say whatever.” He looked away, ending the conversation.
Neil turned and walked away from the desk, making a mental note not to greet Jude in the mornings.