She said she too was going through some crappy situation in her life. He said she could talk about it if she wanted a listening ear.
She responded with a smiley and then logged off.
Reading the list of opening paragraphs from 100 great novels inspired him momentarily. As he sifted through 1-100, he was impressed with the variety of styles each novelist used. He picked up bits and pieces of the different types of “hooks” that drew readers in, line after line, word after word, until they’re done with the novel, leaving their lips pursed in disappointment (that they’ve come to the end of a masterpiece).
He also read about how an outline helps immensely in getting the process of storytelling – through the written word – started.
Yet with ideas becoming fewer and further between for him these days, a 100,000-word tome is simply way, way, way beyond him. Moreover, dealing with idiocy everyday effectively can suck any remnant of inspiration out from him.
Today, the recurring though in his head was about a certain scene at the airport. He was in it and how he was surprised – pleasantly at first and then disturbingly later – by it. A rather lengthy discussion with the bearer of news followed.
He felt for her.
But his reaction was symptomatic of how much he has seen it all. All he could muster was a sigh. Not just because he was helpless about the whole situation, it was just that he had never been involved in anything of that sort… as much as he pined for it.
Now, she was perfect, he thought to himself almost every other day. There was no way for him to wean it off, not when he could see her five days in a week and whenever she walks in and out of her work cell.
But like so many others before her, she was – in his mind – way out of his league. Firstly she could well be a decade younger than him, the man who is getting older and more obiang by the day. Secondly, she was still plugged in to Divinity, while he has now wandered too far in the Wilderness to have known how to crawl his way back. Thirdly, she had erected some form of (protective) barrier that basically screamed “Keep out!” at him whenever he had a chance to interact with her. Last but most important of all, the nagging suspicions – that there was already a man in her life – have grown bigger by the day (which explains the third point). So much so that it resembles a hot air balloon or the planet Jupiter (whichever is bigger). Case in point, the familiar look of love (coupled with a silly smile) plastered on her face whenever she worked on the touchscreen of her iPhone.
So, being the eternal loser of the hopeless mind, he could just admire from afar, even though she sits just across his work cell.
He has a date lined up later this week. He hasn’t an idea about what to expect. The agency decided to be smarter this time. There isn’t anything for him to latch on beyond a smattering of descriptions of her.
Chances are, he is going to turn up looking like a tramp with the cheap body spray he wore polluting whichever unfortunate restaurant they were meeting in. She may turn up wrinkling her nose in disgust hundred times over in her head as she come face-to-face with an abomination of God’s creation.
For him, he would have to talk about how he hated crowds for the umpteenth time and he had quite forgotten the last movie he watched. For her, she would probably have to muster every atom of her body to get enough energy in looking engaged in the conversation, half hoping that the night would simply end quicker. Or try a little harder in coming up with a polite chuckle after he deadpanned his 1,356th lame joke of the night.
Maybe he’s thinking way ahead of himself.
Or simply, he’s been thinking too much.