Sitting in his fresh office cubicle, Eddy leans back in his chair. The office is empty as he shows up early for his first day. Getting a feel for his new surroundings.
'Who am I going to be?' He thinks to himself. 'Will I be the hard working(more) grunt who appeals to the higher ups by being here early and leaving late? Ooh or will I be the guy who just barely meets deadlines because he's partying too much?' He muses.
Not being one for drinks or debauchery the latter would be an act.
'I could be the office harlot! Wait, can guys be harlots? Maybe not harlot... what's the word?' The mental monologue pauses. Puzzled he examines the soft, dull gray walls of his workspace. With a sudden snap of his fingers, "Don Juan! That's it!" He proclaims aloud.
"Wanna get a coffee, Don Juan?" Startled he straightens up in his chair. The office not as empty as he first thought. The voice is coming from just a few feet directly behind him. "Cof--fee?" She draws out slowly through a smirk. A pretty brunette in a heather gray skirt, white shirt and matching gray jacket top.
Eddy's face heats up as he dons the rouge of embarrassment. 'I guess I'm going to be that guy.' His thought complete.
"Uh- Y- yeah, sure... I'm Eddy actually." He tries to recover, while nervously playing with his shirt cuffs.
"Whatever you say Don Juan." She laughs and walks away for him to follow. "Coming?"
'Meh, coulda been worse.' He smiles, and takes a few jog steps to catch up.(less)
He looked at his watch, 3:04pm.
Resting his head against the seat of the silver Honda Accord, Alvin tried to relax. He closed his eyes and spent what felt like an eternity focusing on his breathing.
(more) In, then out. Slowly.
He looked at his watch. 3:10pm.
Alvin looked at the building he was parked in front of, leaning into the passenger seat to read the name better. First National Bank. He closed his eyes again. "Breathe Alvin... Breathe."
He didn't remember hearing his watch alarm beep, he didn't remember getting out of the car or grabbing his gear from the trunk nor did he remember making his way to the back of the building.
Alvin did remember the feeling of the soft padding on the inside of his blue, white and pink clown faced ballistics mask as he pulled it over his face.
Five minutes until curtain call. Time to put the finishing touches to my shy and tired face. Time to paint on a smile.
In rehearsals, since I was a child, I was told, “Be who they want you to be. Be the golden girl they’re coming to see”. I’ve worked hard to(more) be that girl and this is not my first time on stage.
Now, still, there are the butterflies. The anticipation of my performance drives my guts into the usual rumble and toil. Already I yearn for the concert to be over, to escape the critic’s wrath by hopefully flying under their radar.
Don’t stuff up. Don’t forget your lines. Don’t freeze up or reveal a different character.
One last check that I remember what to say and how to act. One last scan of the room with a promise of a swift return.
I hear tyres on the gravel in the driveway. Car doors slam, not quite in unison. Footsteps and muffled voices up the path. There’s a knock at the door.
The family have arrived.
I hastily lock all comfort and content away, take a deep breath and answer the door.
If all you do with your life is wait for people to make the effort to get to know you, wait for them to pry you open like an clam to see if you have a pearl, then of course n(more)o one is going to know. Because people have their own problems, they have their own things to focus on and to worry about. Why should they use their time like that? They don't know you.
So you have to put a little bit of yourself out there, be forthcoming with some part of who you are. Like the back panel of a book. It tells the reader if getting to know you is worth their time or if you're likely to become another of the masses of acquaintances and false friendships. You know, those relationships were you pretend that you understand each other while all the time in the back of your mind you really just wish they (or you) had something to do that could be an excuse to get you out of interacting with them.
If you're all closed up with lock and key and chains and things, waiting to see who is willing to pick the locks and cut through your defenses, and still looking for friends. You'll be sorely disappointed, and awfully alone. (less)
'Here is your coffee Mr. Robertson,' said Fay. 'You gonna sit there all day looking glum?'
'Is that how I look?', he replied. 'I told you earlier to call me Jack'.
'That's just my waitresses instinct trying to be polite is all,' she said. She leaned over the counter and(more) got close to him. 'I'm fucking sorry, Mr. Jack.' It was nice and deliberate. 'Now you wanna tell me why you have sat here all nice to me all morning and have drank nearly ten coffees? The next one is on me by the way.'
'Thanks,' said Jack. 'Today I just want the company of people who don't know me, is that good enough?'
'Not really but I guess that's all I'm gonna get right?'
They both smiled and locked eyes for a second, but it was enough to tell him he had found a friend. Unfortunately, he knew this small friendship wouldn't leave the diner and would only exist until someone flicked to the news on that shitty old TV hanging in the corner. The lunchtime clientele were pouring in. Someone was going to want the news on but he hoped not.
'Would you date a guy like me?', said Jack.
She smiled again.
'Aren't you a little old?'
'Okay, then in a world where an age gap wasn't so taboo.'
'Sure,' she said.
'Mam, c'you turn on the news please?' called a voice. Fuck.
Fay clicked on the news and there it was. A full screen picture of "Jack's" face with the headline "Cop Killer On The Run".
After a few moments the whole diner was looking at Neil Robertson. Fay had been staring at him teary eyed since she turned on the news.
'I guess the dates off,' said Neil, as he got up and left.(less)