If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Odd Man Out

Consistency was never his strong point he thought to himself as he eyed the other tables in the room.  Women sipping champagne and leaving the bright blush of lipstick on the fluted glasses while men twirled expensive scotch in a whirlwind of ice and the muted, amber tones of aged liquor.

These people were dedicated.  They came here often.  Often enough that the waiters knew them on a first name basis and although they could not recall the name of the server it still made them feel warmly popular.  He noted this while he sipped warm beer from a glass coated in his own oily fingerprints.  He did not belong here yet he was pulled here by some strange longing.  Not to fit in but to.... the right words always seemed to escape him.  There was no thesaurus here and so he sipped his warm beer, lost in his struggles to identify the word which so eluded him.

Decorate?  Was that it?  He longed to decorate the world with.......no that was not it.

He haled the waiter who politely acknowledged him as sir, not his first name as he had so hoped for.  He was experienced enough to know the difference between hope and anticipation.  He downed the last of his warm beer in one swallow and a grimace and awaited the return of the server.

The couples began to dance and he sat back with a sigh as the womens' long, flowing dresses twirled about the mens' shiny, patent leather shoes.  The orchestra was pleasant but the sound was not intriguing to him.  Only elevator music, cluttering up the forefront of his mind.  He longed for the warmth of his fire, silence, except for the rattle of the keys and the snapping of the flames.  A hot cup of coffee and his slippers.

This was not his world.   Appearances were gradually spacing themselves further and further apart.
He sometimes felt as if he was losing his grasp on the very thing which he had longed to hold for so long now.  Slip, slip, sliding away.

Participate? Give? Experience?  The words continued to roll through his mind and he wished the waiter would return quickly before he lost all nerve and quietly exited the hall, unknown and unrecognized, exactly the way he had come in.

Recognized?  Was that what he was trying to accomplish?  Was that why he was here?  To be recognized?  He thought maybe that word was a hinge that would allow him to open the chest and if he shuffled through all the items in there would he find what he was looking for? 
Down deep in the bottom, amidst the dust and debris of hundreds of centuries?
The one thing that had eluded so many like him, scrawled on a yellowed and tattered piece of paper.

The waiter returned with his beer and he pushed it away with a nod and slunk from the building.

The only evidence that the man was ever there was the beer glass with his fingerprints and the footprints under the table where his shoes had left a trace of mud from the wet dirt in his driveway.
Soon that was cleared away.


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