Exquisite

Now of course we kept exchanging glances; sometimes over the desk monitor, sometimes between the monitors of two strangers, under the right-angled arm of a another; sometimes while we’re walking down the aisle and one of us senses the presence of the other, or when we’re both walking down the aisle, towards each other, pretending when we are still far away to not notice each other, to look away and anywhere else but at each other, and only when the distance becomes intimate, do we peer up and steal a glance at each other. Yesterday too, I happened to be searching for my card to enter the office, and it happened that you were just coming out. I caught a glimpse of your hair – the colour gradient is quite distinctive – through the tiny window on the door, and just waited for you to push it open. Upon opening it, you saw me; looked at me and smiled. You smiled a curious smile, as if you were aware of all that was happening, and what else could I do but smile back just as curiously. It was approaching dusk and people had begun leaving. I was hovering around my seat, waiting, waiting, waiting. I acted as if I were contemplating some piece of work, giving support and advice to my partner who was still on hers. But really, the reason for my loitering was so that I could leave when you leave. But I wasn’t paying as much attention to your direction as I should have, and when finally looked up, you were gone. Every day, you seem to elude me. And yet, we continue throwing each other these glances as if there was kept beneath the surface a secret dalliance.

Why the day was upsetting

Had a rather upsetting day at work today. Not sure why. It started of well; wore a white t-shirt and the bus came on time. Saw the same girl at the bus stop as yesterday. She seemed to recognise me just as much as I recognised her. Got onto bus and found a seat after travelling two stops. Got to the office early. Looked through the news feed. Nothing particularly intriguing. Looked at Snap’s share price. Saw it went up after that big dip. Not that I’d do anything about it. But I read it as though I were going to do something about it; take some monumental action that would greatly increase my wealth. That was all in the imagination; as it has ever only been. I am a lowly fox pretending to be a wolf. I think learnt that today, which is probably why I am so upset. Not upset really – more dispirited. Just like the other day when I was having lunch alone because of a troublesome stomach and sat at a table all by myself, lifting spoonfuls of porridge morosely to my mouth. Except then, I wasn’t really upset. I was at peace. The upset was only appearance. Now, however, the upset has found its way past my usual fortitude. The work in the morning was fine. I was a little tired. Ideas couldn’t come out quite straight, but they came out nonetheless. Found out at noon that I had to work with S when I thought I’d work with A. S seems to be quite dismissive of my ideas recently, even proud of her own. That was why I was upset when I heard that I had to work with her instead. I wanted to begin work after lunch, but S was still busy with some other work which I couldn’t help with. So I sat there just peering into my screen. Sometimes I’d flip over to read some Kafka. I also happened to read about Sagan’s reflections on the Pale Blue Dot. Saw an advertisement of it yesterday; the Pale Blue Dot. It was quite marvellous and inspiring, even though, as I had discovered today, the shot of the earth from the Voyager’s last pumps of life was in the advertisement far removed from the actual picture. But that doesn’t matter; advertisements lie all the time. Lying is properly the advertiser’s art. So yes, where was I? I was upset because I had to work with S. I was beginning to get annoyed at S. I have of late realised the inconspicuous immaturity that lies within her; how she takes every chance to talk about her achievements and of the fact that she’s heading some big project at her school. I get so bored every time she starts talking about herself; I just want to walk away. But I can’t; I don’t want to ruin relationships; I’m just not that kind of person. I’d rather just walk away. But I can’t walk away either. I am chained to her by callous chance. Whatever. So back to the afternoon. At 5 o clock, she was finally done with her work and turned to me and said that we should start on the one we were to do together. So we ploughed and ploughed. At 7, we were still not done. What was worse, we had to run through our work with one of the seniors, who, as if our circumstance were not tragic enough, was not in the office. So we had to take screenshots of our work and send it to him. Then wait for him to reply in those tiny boxes. And again and again, he said that work was not up to standard. So again and again, we kept doing. At 8, I saw the nice girl from upstairs, the pretty one. For a while there was respite. Then she left, I was back in the pit. At 830, we left. S was still talking about herself, about her graduation, about the show she would be overseeing, about this and that, and I just stared up at the dull man in the elevator screen. By then I was starving and dinner was too far away. So I went to a subway nearby and ordered a plain tuna sandwich. Finished it and left in a haste, always making sure to look at my watch because then people will know that you’re not a loafer just loafing around.