Musings on a barbarian's interests
For an entire set of us, this intense scrutiny leads to no better than malaise – and so, meeting each pernicious detail tepidly, with neither great hope nor guiding expectation, but merely as a step toward a conclusion whose direction will not matter greatly to us, we wait un-waiting til this time has passed and a decision has come. But to some it matters.
Then: From outside you could only see him in the second before he came out the near-ever turning door; with a purple bit of silk, darkly glimmering from a corner barely-overhanging his bottom left jacket pocket, the aquiline gentleman turned his head quickly – left, right, left. Stumbling, he seemed to take a step forward with both feet at once, re-caught his direction, and set off at great pace to the waiting car. The purple corner signed a morning, well-spent he thought, which merited his haste.
There is little separating great man from common, and this man’s haste was driven by a most common spur: fear – but not dreaded fear; rather, an intense, focused fear whose sublimation leaves one drained but satisfied when its pretense stays unfulfilled. A single bead of sweat eked from his scalp and ran down, racing by a well-trimmed sideburn, contrasting a balder palette, to drip, indecorously, on his powder blue shirt, just to the right of his lapel pin. The black Cadillac pulled away rapidly, and sped West, then North, away to the free-est of ways.
Before: Half of the prior evening’s coordinated dark ensemble lay, half-folded, on the nightstand. Blearily, she drank cool tap water in a fake crystal tumbler as she texted in the result. When prompted she lifted the phone to a very small ear barely peeking through well-coifed locks that fell around it in disarray, and mouthed the answer. And fate was sealed. Our spectacle’s cascade was set in irrevocable motion.
Now: The other woman stood beside him, while her body cringed to move behind him. The focused light set of the growing beads now clearly visible, with fear now fulfilled, that seemed to ooze as in vengeance, down the man’s ashen jaw. We had our view, in the fittingly purplish bags puffed clearly from beneath this hawk’s eyes, sagging forth as testament to the answer he’d soon deliver onto us. But would she take it so lightly?