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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Across the Room

Huffing and puffing. Panting, with the occasional pause to let hot air pass in and out of my parched throat. Hoping, that mouthfuls of oxygen-mix will turn back time, in addition to stopping me from blacking out. Glancing up at the stairs yet to be climbed, and there seem to be many more there than when I began my ascent an hour ago. Alright, two minutes ago. But, when you're late for one of the most important meetings of your career, actively denying the potential consequences to yourself only amplifies your insanity. It was one of those days that made a whole lot of sense before it actually arrived, mostly because it allowed for a thousand dreams and re-writes of the flow of events on this day to be experimented with, in order to match the script in my head. Obviously, this was not enough to force me to offer this all-important day the respect it deserved. Cursing uncontrollably at my run of poor luck with elevators, both of them being out of order at the same time, I continue my way up the stairs.

Approaching the door of the Conference Room, the shrieking cacophony of the ringing alarms and voices in my head belies the absolute silence that envelopes the entire floor. Everyone is already in the room, waiting for the meeting to begin. It is a general meeting for all employees, which means colleagues from branch offices will be present as well. Reaching for the doorknob, I suck up one last lung-full of air thinking, no, dreading the fact that all eyes in that room will follow me from the moment I enter, until I settle down, and for as long as I continue to be a point of interest of these proceedings. Being interesting, in this case, was handed to me, being asked to go first in a series of presentations to be delivered to the rest of my colleagues. Of course I accepted readily. Of course, twisting the doorknob to enter the room, I was now regretting this eager acceptance on my part.

Quick glances, the first aimed at my manager with all the facially-expressive apology I could muster, being returned with a look of cold disbelief. Oh no! The second, at the clock on the wall, happily telling me that I was more than acceptably late. Thanks a lot. No need to make eye contact with the audience yet, settling slowly down to what was in store, taking their time to do so, like I seem to have taken mine in getting here. Gathering up my notes, and plugging my laptop into the docking station to put my presentation up on the screen, I say a quick prayer to try and undo any damage, certainly in the hopes of being able to complete my task undamaged. Stepping up to the dais, making some eye contact with mostly familiar faces, and half-smiling where similar reactions were directed at me, I clear my throat to indicate my readiness to initiate proceedings. This works, and soon the murmur in the room dies down completely. One last, quick and appreciative smile, while I apologize with, "Thank you all for your undying loyalty to and patience with the public transport system," hoping to get a couple of laughs by blaming it on my preferred mode of transport. Nothing.

Deciding to get on with the matter at hand, I open my mouth to begin my presentation. And that's when I see her. A sudden flash of being awed by beauty, so untarnished and perfect, so elegant and poised, and really, so inexplicably uncelebrated by the world, takes hold momentarily. I cannot take my eyes off of her. Perhaps I should be trying harder to do so, but my mouth agape, and no passage of air in either direction, not to mention the sudden interest of everyone in the room to see me falter spectacularly as part of this debacle-in-progress, I finally decide to do what I absolutely must, most necessarily, do.

Looking her dead in the eyes, across the room, I say, "I'm sorry, I believe we haven't been properly introduced, but I want you to know you are the most beautiful person I have ever seen. My name is..."

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With reference to my last post, one of the things that I am trying to do is to make an attempt to describe short scenes and/or interactions between people, or perhaps even among them. Two reasons have guided me to this decision, at this point in my life and the life of this blog. The first, because I am attempting to get some practice with many of the literary techniques in use today, both conventional and innovative. For example, one area that I have had some trouble achieving balance is with dialogue, not yet getting the hang of how much is too much. This is an issue I seem to have with the length of the pieces I try and write, indicating lack of focus on the one hand, but arguably also,just a general unfamiliarity with the finer points of these devices, for want of practice. The second reason is to try and enhance the level of details I provide in a shorter work, because any attempt at providing the level of detail I think is necessary, sees me turn a piece of writing into a bloated carcass of some kind.

These kinds of posts I will tag with "Practice Write" and "Miscellanea", in addition to the normal tags that I use. The second new tag, or label, in particular, I am considering to use for such kinds of partial glimpses into the situations that many of us experience in our lives. Of course, through all of this, it would be great to get to hear what you think, and any feedback or comments that may go a long way to help me, and others like me. Thank you for your patience, and continued readership!
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