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48 / M / Straight / Available
His journal posts
Jul 3, 2010
Years ago I knew a fellow who grew up in Vietnam, during that
country's Bad Old Days. The fellow loved to tell stories. His
English was entirely passable and lively. He told me the story of
how he got the scars on his shoulders (I once popped the left one
back in after a dislocation) and the story of his father buying a
sword that beheaded a water buffalo in a single blow. And then
there was the story of the boy and the clay pot. That's the story I
will relate today: the story of the boy who wanted to be
trained up into a Martial Arts Phenomenon, the next Bruce Lee. But
the boy was dim.
The dim boy sought out a revered Teacher, petitioned to be his student, and was refused. He petitioned again, and was again refused. But he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer and by the third time he came around asking for training, the teacher was ready for him with a huge pot full of wet clay.
No, I changed my mind. I'm going to tell you about the shoulders, first. Then the pot of clay. Nevermind the dim boy for now.
My Vietnamese friend was throwing a guy up into the air. It was a demonstration of chi, he said. He would toss his compatriot up into the air and then when catching him, absorb the energy of his fall, reflect it through his body (just like a trampoline) and add a little extra push, so that with every fall the guy would go higher and higher into the air. Twenty feet, so I was told.
Unfortunately, during the 'liftoff' portion of one upward launch, my friend's hands snagged on the inside of the other's uniform. This is how he got the scars on his shoulders. If you know what a 'gi' looks like then you understand that they're loose-fitting strong cotton, much like bad-ass pajamas, so there's an open area around the sternum where, if you happen to be launching a fellow twenty feet into the air with your bare arms, your hands might catch in the opening.
This all happened in Vietnam years before I met him, so that by the time I heard this story his shoulders were put back into place and he had the scars to show for it. And you could see the scars because he was reluctant to wear the top half of his karate uniform. Understandable, really. It turns out they can rip your arms off.
Okay, so that's about all there is to say about his shoulders. We got that out of the way, so we can finally get on with the story of the dim boy and the pot. Remember the boy and the pot?
Every day the old master told the boy to stir the big pot of clay with his hands. Every day the old master would add little bits of paper to the pot, and the boy had to stir and stir the pot for hours until the paper was evenly mixed. The boy became very strong. I imagined that his shoulders, huge and solid as boulders, served as the core of a profound strength that would radiate from that fulcrum to every part of his body; arms as thick as oak branches, legs and torso toned and barrelled from weeks and months spent throwing the force of his strength into moving that enormous mass of stubborn clay.
And every day the master would add a little more paper, so that each day the clay was just a tiny bit more stiff than the day before.
What is strange about this story is that it ends there. My friend never went on to explain how the dim boy who stirred clay might have distinguished himself through his training. The boy did not win notoriety through great victories. He stirred the pot and stirred the pot, probably not forever, but at least longer than the story went on. End of story.
Despite this fizzled ending, there's ample opportunity for Moral Reflection. We could compare the dim boy to the two-piece water buffalo in the first paragraph. We could sagely observe that no great teacher will instruct without permission, and conversely, if the teacher refuses to instruct after being asked, perhaps you ought to honor that decision unless you're really into clay. I'd bet a clever professor could invent entire philosophy lectures on the meaning of the boy / clay story, just as it stands.
But I heard the story when I was young, long before the Age of Pondering, so I didn't much care what the story might mean. I just liked the imagery, and the notion of what evolved from the meeting of those two strong personalities.
But do you know what I really wonder about now, all these years later?
I want to know what happened to the fellow who went twenty feet up in the air, after the shoulders popped out.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jul 2, 2010
...it would be more funny.
Apr 14, 2010
Blame the allergies, and the medicine: I have been sleepwalking
again, these past couple of months. If I were to sleepwalk like
ordinary folk I would go to bed at the end of it, perhaps with a
few thorns and brambles, and that would be all there was to it. But
my nocturnal ramblings tend to cut a swath, to leave a cluttered
trail of clues in my wake the way lotus blossoms would spring up in
the footsteps of Buddha, except that my clues tend to be more
ordinary than the blossoms, and the clues are slightly more
difficult to explain, and the clues need to be put away.
The misplaced objects are not the worst of it. I would have you know that there have been injuries. Years ago, before I'd fully realized that something about my night life was askew, I once woke to discover I'd just crushed my hand while swinging around one of the big kaleidoscopes on which the plots of novels are roughed in. It's a common accident in the fiction department, but I've been purely in phenomenology for several years now, ever since Beth left me for that wily Italian scoundrel. How the kaleidoscope came to arrive in my study I will never understand... and as a result, returning it becomes impossible. Let me know if you would like a gift of it.
But I digress. For now, nevermind the kaleidoscope, especially if you're not interested in taking it off my hands. I meant to tell you about the sleepwalking. This latest onset came to my attention about two months ago when an old colleague remarked: "I didn't know you owned a bicycle." When pressed for an explanation he told me that he'd seen me bombing down 148th Street in the dead of night astride a fine looking Kona Kula with a hardtail and café racer bars. The sore legs were finally explained but I had no idea what came of the bike until recently.
The bicycle incident occurred about the time that strangers started to call me Geoffrey -- Geoffrey, of all things, a name that would never occur to me and, as far as I care, holds no particular appeal. There was a moment in the elevator at work when, just as I was stepping out, that alluring, curly-haired woman from the fifth floor, the one who looks rather like my aforementioned ex-wife, nudged me right in the kidney and whispered "Geoffrey!" with more than a bit of a hiss. I ignored her as I walked out, but nevertheless wasted the better part of the day turning this event over and over in my mind. Sadly the best I could think of, even in retrospect, was to ask her if she owns a mountain bike, and try to glean a bit of knowledge from whatever fallout arrived from the question. But the whole idea of that struck me as a good way to destroy the value of any knowledge I might gain... sort of like my former veterinarian who infected herself with ear mites "to better understand the plight of her canine patients," and ironically had to close down her business because she lost so many customers after wearing one of those giant plastic cone-like things around her neck for weeks. I hope you understand what I'm getting at.
In any case I decided, regarding the elevator woman, to let sleeping dogs lie. It's my way. I'd call myself cautious, rather than a coward, even though some will argue that caution and cowardice are like a nose and nostril, in that they operate as a team. Cowardly or not, I am staid and that is my way. It's why I was encouraged to depart the fiction department for the quiet halls of the phenomenology wing. In the fiction department people would judge me by my work, and they would judge my work by its style and direction and 'flair.' In phenomenology I can pace in circles all the day, and never find a direction. It's something I'm good at, I'm told. My ex-wife Beth, more than the others, reminded me of this in a number of ways that, toward the end of our relationship, evolved into unquiet little grunts and sighs that were so well-practiced and full of nuance that I could extract full epistles out of a single exhalation. She was not happy, and such dissatisfaction in one so expressive, and so deeply loved, is a powerful force. In my imagination I feared that if she ever did express her disdain in words again, the force of it might blow the head clear off my shoulders.
But I digress. I didn't mean to go on about my disposition, or about losing my wife, but rather about my sleepwalking, and specifically the mysterious phenomenon of strangers calling me 'Geoffrey.' Do you remember? Now, where was I... ah, yes. It was a strange thing, to have no direct knowledge of this nightwalker-Geoffrey, and to have to piece things together from the remarks of others. Geoffrey had no small number of acquaintances, it turns out. I encountered at least a dozen folk, most of an unlikely persuasion -- the sort that I tend to avoid in everyday life. Out of pure self-defense I eventually started responding to their overt greetings with a friendly nod, accompanied by a crooked smile and half-closed eyes that could have conveyed just about any sentiment, since of course I wasn't sure exactly what sentiment to convey.
It even went to my head, for a while. I thought about actually buying a bike like the one my colleague described, and ride around to troll for attention (and clues) from would-be acquaintances. But I discarded that idea after dragging myself, exhausted, into work one morning last week, to hear my boss ask me where I'd been the last three days, and petulantly inform me that they had to bury the time capsule without the fabulous article I wrote celebrating the 300th anniversary of the death of Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre.
For me, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Geoffrey did not just borrow my body while it was idle, but instead stole three days that belonged to me (and Jean-Paul.) In my eyes, that discovery transformed him from an intriguing phenomenon to an insidious, uncontrollable force.
By the end of the day I decided to enlist the support of someone who would be kind, open-minded, and not overly incredulous. I felt a pang of nostalgia for Beth, who would have made a game of it and come up with some clever ideas. Discarding that notion I opted to contact the veterinarian, who might keep my car keys, or even the keys to a set of handcuffs, before I fell asleep and allowed the phantom menace another chance to take over. I sent her a cautious e-mail, but got back a bewildering automated reply explaining that the e-mail component of her pet psychic business had been discontinued, and that I should call her office during regular business hours.
Ultimately, sleepy and out of time, I had to make do with leaving Geoffrey a threatening note on the inside of my own front door, before I was finally so tired that I had to lie down despite my unease.
The next morning was decidedly abnormal. I woke up to what I can only describe as a heady, intoxicating awareness. Lying still and waiting for my eyes to slowly swim into focus, I finally managed to make sense of what I saw leaning against the far wall of my bedroom: a pair of mountain bikes. A sleek Shimano XT was pressed up against the notorious Kona Kula, the handlebars draped over each other in an improbable, charmingly graceful tangle. After a moment I began to realize what a pair of bicycles meant, and became emphatically aware of a pair of familiar arms, Beth's arms, draped gracefully around my neck and torso, her naked body firmly, gently, pressed inch-for-inch against every part of my back, her legs wrapped in a languorous spiral around my thighs, her warm breath gently stirring my hair. The light, familiar scent of her, after such a long, lonely absence, brought me near passing out.
At one point she stirred and seemed about to wake up and my pulse, my veins, my nerves panicked when I felt her nipples brush against my back as her embrace softened slightly. I exploited her own sleepy movements to carefully and gently extricate myself from her embrace and silently lower myself onto the floor beside the bed long enough to regain my breath and my bearings, terrified of what I might do, what I might say if she woke and saw me.
I was painfully aware that my bedroom door sticks a bit, but to my relief it was slightly ajar, so I could sneak out and collect some clothes before slipping away. I noticed wine glasses and unwashed dishes in the kitchen as I tiptoed toward the front door. The threatening note, of course, had disappeared.
It was a little embarrassing to slink away from my own house, and from my own dear Beth, who I miss so terribly; I wrangled over my dire circumstance the entire day. A part of me tried to accept the situation, to accept the idea that they were no longer my own home or my own wife; they belong to Geoffrey now.
Later that day I found the note, neatly folded and tucked into the pocket of my own pants. There, on the backside of the paper, in my own neat writing, were the words "I love you."
Apr 6, 2010
(Photo cred: Jon Ross, of Lightning Passage from Burning Man 2005)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Tell me, my good man, how can you be an exile, when you're
standing right here, in your very own native village?"
"Tell me, pale woman, how you be exile here, when you not here?"
"Oh, I wasn't exiled to here. I was exiled from somewhere else."
"You are from? Where you exile from?"
"I was exiled from meatspace, you see. That's why you can see through me. I'm just a bunch of cleverly arranged lights."
"You are ghost. You are spirit."
"Yes, yes, that's essentially correct. That's a good way of putting it. Heh. Very well, ashes to ashes and all that."
"You have vengeance, spirit of light? You have many days walk from meatspace, to have vengeance? You very cheerful, for spirit of vengeance."
"Cheerful, well, yes, thank you! No, no vengeance, not at all. I just did something silly, and ended up like this."
"You do silly thing but not die. You exile. I understand. What you do, Silly Light Spirit?"
"I will tell you, but remember, new friend, remember I asked you first! So, tell me... you say you're an exile, and yet here you are in your own village."
"Dead? You don't look dead."
"You look dead, pale woman."
"Fair enough. How did you... die?"
"Many days I was far away. I became hungry, it was like monster inside me. When you hungry, hungry eats you! I set trap for weasel. With planning, I did this."
"Yes, yes, go on, you're not dead yet..."
"I caught weasel and ate weasel. Weasel gave strength and sight. I found way back to village."
"Ah! A happy ending, then."
"No, not happy! I went to village Elder hut. I pull my hair and cry to Lusungu, I cry to her. 'I was so hungry!' I cry. 'I caught weasel! I ate weasel! I was all alone! There was no sharing! I ate all of weasel, and shared none of it! I had no sharing! The life of weasel ended in me, and me alone!'"
"You ate it all by yourself?"
"Yes. With shame I say this."
"This is a bad thing?"
"Yes. It is tabu. It was evil!"
"Yet, you told the Elder, of your own will!"
"Yes! Yes! It was to Elder! And she laugh at me, she laugh and laugh! Then she kill me!"
"Killed you? Just like that? Good god, man! How terrible! How did she do it?"
"She say, now you are dead weasel. Your name is Dead Weasel."
"What? That's it?"
"Yes! Yes it is terrible! I am Dead Weasel."
"That's ridiculous, fellow, you're standing right in front of me, talking to me. How can you be a Weasel?"
"You stand in front of me! You talk to Dead Weasel! You ridiculous!"
"Now, wait, just one minute..."
"No! Dead Weasel never waits! Your turn to tell!"
"Wait just one minute, fellow! You can't just say you're a dead Weasel..."
"I say this thing! Now, it your turn! I know barter! Dead Weasel never waits!"
"Oh... Oh, very well. It was the traffic signals, you see. I had to cross a major intersection to get to the parking lot at work, every morning. It was tiresome. The red light was very long. It wasn't fair!"
"Red light make spirit?"
"Well, sort of. This past Sunday I borrowed my cousin Larry's ladder, you see, then I took the ladder to the intersection and put on a cheerful orange work vest. Then I took off all the red lights, and all the green lights too, and then I put the red lights where the green lights were, and then I put the green lights where the red lights were. Then I went home."
"Did you eat the light? You eat the light by yourself? I see..."
"No, silly, not at all. I just switched the lights. And in the morning, I crossed the street pretty as you please, and got right to the lot."
"Ah! Happy ending, then."
"No, not happy. I got to work, but on the main road, traffic was backed up quite a distance. Eventually a crew of workers came by and opened up the big metal electronics box on the sidewalk. They were moving the wires all around, and I spent my lunch hour laughing and watching the lights go crazy, it was a great show. They kept trying to change the wires, but it was the lights, the lights were backward.
"Finally, at the end of my lunch hour, I couldn't stand it anymore. My jaw hurt from all the laughing. I went over to the workers, and the wires in the box were all in a tangle, and the lights were still mixed up. And I said to one of the workers, did you notice, the red light is on the bottom and the green light is on top."
"Then they laugh, and you die?"
"Essentially, yes. I suppose so. I should have used gloves, to hide my fingerprints. But I didn't, you see. That was my silly mistake."
"You are Dead Light!"
"Yes, yes. Those silly meatspace people, they can be very zealous about their traffic signals."
"That very funny!"
"No! Don't laugh! It was funny then, but not now. They took my parking permit, and a lot else besides, and here I am, a bunch of photons. Now, I can't go home. It was my seventh offense. They say I'm a menace."
"You funny menace! You eat light and not share! And now you are funny!"
"Your laughter offends me! You ugly, primitive little man! You impugn my spirit! Dead Weasel is funny. Dead weasels are always funny!"
"You not spirit. You troll. Lusungu warned me of spirit world!"
"Lol! Wtf, meatspace boy, every time someone disagrees with you, you call them a troll? You really are a weasel! You're fat! You're a fat weasel, and you're ugly and old, and besides all that, you're dead! Dead dead dead!"
"I block you!"
"WELL, FINE THEN, JUST GO FU-
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mar 28, 2010
Six months ago I'd saved up enough to buy a toaster, really I
did. And it would have been a smart step financially, I know, even
though I have all sorts of excuses why I didn't go through with it.
I couldn't find just the right model; it wasn't a good time in my
life for major changes; or, what if I fell in love with a guy who
already had his own toaster?
Meanwhile the local toastermat keeps raising prices, little by little, nickle-and-diming the whole neighborhood, putting up these trite little signs about the rising cost of energy, and inflation, and saying how sorry they are. It's to the point where we're bringing in just as much loose change as butter, and I watch the toaster swallow all those coins gulp gulp gulp, worse than parking meters. Makes me wanna stick a butter knife in the slot.
The real reason I didn't buy a toaster was because of Bicycle Boy. He'd come in wearing these cute little shiny bike shorts while most of us were still in our morning pajamas, and he caught me staring once, and after that we'd smile at each other, and then look away really quickly, like a couple of schoolkids, but still smiling. After that I started wearing short little skirts to the toastermat, and sometimes my one chemise. Bicycle Boy wasn't the only one to notice the chemise, but that was okay, because being pretty for him made me feel good about being pretty for everybody.
But still, the glances didn't seem to be going anywhere. I didn't know if I wasn't his type, or maybe he had someone else, or maybe he just wasn't getting the hint. It would be just my luck if he wasn't getting the message; my father has this lame habit of calling all my dates "the next Mister Cute-and-Stupid," and I didn't want this boy to be stupid. If I could, I'd date an ugly rocket scientist just to pester Dad, but with my luck he'd approve.
Meanwhile my roommate knew I was set to buy a toaster. She knew everything, of course, and she said I was the one who was cute and stupid, and if I just went and got a toaster I'd forget about him in a week. But I knew she just wanted to use my toaster after I'd left for work, because she gets up really late, and that mid-morning 'mat crowd is kind of seedy.
So this is what I did: I bought a brand new DomoKun toaster cozy, so my toast would stay warm and I could butter it after getting home, instead of at the 'mat. And then I took the extra money and bought a can opener. I figured, with the money I'd save on canned food, I could get a toaster later on, which would give Mister Cute-and-Stupid Bicycle Boy a little time to fish or cut bait.
Having a can opener made me brave, it turned out. I walked right up to Bicycle Boy and asked him if he'd like to help me break in my new appliance. We rode together on his bicycle back to my place, with my hands clasped right around the waist of those little bike shorts, and everything went swell after that.
Now, all these months later, Bicycle Boy and I are still dating, and I've been careful and smart with my money. I've saved almost enough for a toaster again, and I've got my eye on a darling "Hello Kitty" model I might be able to afford if I trade in the cozy. So anyway, last night Bicycle Boy and I were walking around the fancy part of town, by the Mountain of Light, which is 44 stories high but they tapered the sides like a steep pyramid, so that if you look up at it from the bottom, it looks like it goes up forever. And I was looking up from across the street, but Bicycle Boy was looking at the sidewalk in front of the building, where a bunch of people were clustering around something on the ground.
We walked over and there on the sidewalk was a toaster, splattered into a hundred bits. Somebody dropped it from one of the apartments above, I suppose, just to be mean, just to flaunt in front of the rest of us. I looked up at the windows above the mess, seeing if anyone was looking down and laughing, anybody I could mark down in my heart for a wicked curse, but the vertigo from looking up just made me feel more small and weak. I leaned against Bicycle Boy, who as usual gave me this smirky little smile and supported my weight but didn't put his arms around me or say anything.
That night I dreamed Bicycle Boy was a slick toaster broker, an evil toaster salesman who secretly lived in the Mountain of Light, and every once in a while he would send a toaster cartwheeling out of his high window, just to make us feel tiny and powerless. I dreamed he brought me there to drain my spirit, and I could see it along with all the spirits draining out of all the people looking down at that toaster, spilling into puddle around the broken parts, all our spirits except for Bikey Boy, who just stood there with that fake little sympathetic smile.
I don't know if I can ride on his bicycle anymore. If he doesn't say he loves me before I've saved up enough for that toaster, I'll just dump him, and I won't even have to worry about running into him at the toastermat. That would be satisfying. Every time I hear that 'clunk' of the toast coming up, there will be that extra bit of satisfaction.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Mar 22, 2010
In honor of the sweet young trophy-child-wife driving solo in
the black SUV...
For your driving comfort, we are renaming the stoplight colors to "rose," "sunflower" and "deep absinthe."
The gas station attendant will kindly explain to his other patrons that you have every right to drive up the cost of gas for everyone else, because daddy's name is on your credit card.
We are putting up special signs along Coal Creek Parkway for all the other drivers, to explain to them that they must (of course) patiently wait their turn, but the road work signs do not apply to cute young chippies driving shiny shiny shiny new Lexuses, so would you please make way for Her. When the flashing orange -- excuse me -- "safari sunset saffron" arrow tells everyone else to merge left, that's so you can just keep on rolling along right up to the front of the line, since they're all out of your way.
But that creepy long-haired bastard in the aging Japanese sedan with side-impact air bags... there's nothing we can do about him. I can't believe he pulled right in front of you like that. I mean, what if you were texting? OMFG! He exploited the intrepid glory of your anti-lock brakes, and then didn't get out of your way even when he saw how hot you are, and how your hair is the latest style, and how you have such a pretty little lipstick smile when you give nasty old fucks the finger, impeccably manicured for our viewing pleasure.
You poor, poor baby. <-- Here's an instructional video.
Mar 13, 2010
The brother spoke to his younger sister.
The Sun God, Utu, spoke to Inanna, saying:
"Young Lady, the flax in its fulness is lovely.
Inanna, the grain is glistening in the furrow.
I will hoe it for you. I will bring it to you.
A piece of linen, big or small, is always needed.
Inanna, I will bring it to you."
"Brother, after you've brought me the flax,
Who will comb it for me?"
"Sister, I will bring it to you combed."
"Utu, after you've brought it to me combed,
Who will spin it for me?"
"Inanna, I will bring it to you spun."
"Brother, after you've brought the flax to me spun,
Who will braid it for me?"
"Sister, I will bring it to you braided."
"Utu, after you've brought it to me braided,
Who will warp it for me?"
"Inanna, I will bring it to you warped."
"Brother, after you've brought the flax to me warped,
Who will weave it for me?"
"Sister, I will bring it to you woven."
"Utu, after you've brought it to me woven,
Who will bleach it for me?"
"Inanna, I will bring it to you bleached."
"Brother, after you've brought my bridal sheet to me,
Who will go to bed with me?
Utu, who will go to bed with me?"
"Sister, your bridegroom will go to bed with you.
He who was born from a fertile womb,
He who was conceived on the sacred marriage throne,
Dumuzi, the shepherd! He will go to bed with you."
Mar 10, 2010
I shall commence with an Observation on the Female of the
Species. Doubtless it will get me into all sorts of trouble, but so
what? I am at a safe distance from you, and I won't have been the
first person in this particular online venue to step into the
sickeningly tepid, hazard-filled grease pit that is, from time to
time, the ideal metaphor for OKCupid journal entries.
Just from time to time, you understand.
Oh, yes, the Observation... I promised you such a beast and have sucked you in ever so far without delivering on said promise, without offering so much as a Moral Reflection with which to momentarily distract you from the aforementioned omission, and on and on, and here I am talking about what I am talking about, or rather not talking about, instead of talking about what I promised to talk about. So. It's about time:
My Observation is that the Female of the Species is more verbal than the male. She starts with the talking thing at an earlier age, practically right off the bat compared to boys, and throughout her life she won't really slow down as readily as the Male Edition who, (whom? I dunno) anyway the Male Edition, never one to miss an opportunity to make catty remarks about the Female of the Species, if he were driving in a late-model Toyota Camry with his girlfriend when the accelerator decided to take matters into its own hands, might well make some remark despite imminent peril, about the car's penchant toward rolling along incessantly being comparable to her penchant to avoid ending a run-on sentence before bedtime.
But I digress.
Here's the thing: The team with whom I'm currently attached includes a female component. Such a thing is rare in a Large Software Company, rare enough to be remarkable, and yes, yes, she talks. Her role on the team is to deal with customers and make sure everybody is on the same wavelength. It's a difficult and political job that involves meetings, lots of conversation, and even moreso telephones, and her office and my office share a back wall.
A thin back wall. So, yeah. I know her job involves a lot of talking. I also know a few juicy tidbits about her personal life, though I'm quite sure, on a more virtuous level, that I heard absolutely nothing and I know absolutely nothing. About that.
As a reward for getting this far*,
* Really... what the heck is wrong with you?
I will make a second, completely bonus extra Observation on the Female of the Species. It is that she can start words with apostrophes, whereas The Male is socially incapable of doing so. If you don't know what I'm talking about here, it's something called the glottal stop, or more fully, the voiceless glottal plosive**,
** I am not making this up. Totally ganked it from Wikipedia.
which is a little like beat-boxing and speaking at the same
time. Guys can't do it because it sounds too much like the noises a
chipmunk makes when it's trying to chase you from its tree. But
gals win with the sound. Coming from a woman, the sound is
downright sexy. Sexxxay.
So, let me tell you a story: about three weeks into this new gig, with the new team, which includes the aforementioned Female of the Species, this one day, during lunch hour when things get a bit settled and relaxed, the verbal feed from the back wall switched off, and my office was immersed into a sort of monastic quietude. She, the Female of the Species, I surmised, was out to lunch.
But then... after a few minutes of quiet... the glottal plosive: "'ah... 'ah... 'ah..." every few seconds, lilting at times, settling into a delightful rhythm before skipping merrily along to a joyous finale.
Ah. Yes. Noises like a chipmunk.
So, meetings were more interesting after that. It wasn't my intention, not a bit, but doubtless she received an ample share of sidelong glances and appraising gazes. From myself. I mean, really, how could I not, after, you know, that... thing... I heard.
So, anyway. A few weeks in, and the dynamic evolved. Nothing overtly discussed, mind you, but team meetings were infused with just a tad of fearless eye contact, a smattering of bold body language here and there, maybe the occasional Mae West quote, or similar, who knows?
Kept me awake at meetings. This all went pretty much nowhere until she took a week of vacation. Now, pause.
Pause right here. I want you to think about this: If things went
somewhere interesting, it would
not be while she was on vacation. It
would be while she was in the vicinity. If things got interesting
when she was on vacation, that means... something else.
What was interesting was that she went on vacation and...
the phone conversations filtering in from the back wall of my office...
continued as before.
You see... I had committed a slight architectural miscalculation. The back wall of my office is not shared with the woman on my team. It's shared with some other woman I've never met.
I wonder how the next team meeting will go.
Mar 5, 2010
There are 347 books in this aisle.