June 17, 2009

Fiction for a Wednesday

I want to start a novel in a meeting just to say I started a novel in a meeting. And what better time could there be? It's an environment made for all sorts of projects: novel-writing, novel-gazing, improving ones penmanship, sketching the skyline of New York, checking the tread on your shoes.

Meetings offer a boredom level rarely seen in daily life. It's a flavor of boredom that is extraordinarly rich but, paradoxically, not in the least excrutiating. Indeed it is almost pleasant. Like love, it is a place where reason can rest.

Various satisfactions attend me, like coffee, warm as a woman's bosom, along with the familiar rising and falling of familiar voices. There is even inspiration.

"Any questions?" our moderator asks after each speaker despite the fact that there's never been a question in any staff meeting, at least that I can recall, except for the ones I throw in for comic relief. Frankly, the lack of questions bothers me, seeming as it does an unanswered call, a missed opportunity.

"Who won the Belmont?" I ask Nancy, and after receiving the answer from Brian I apologize for the question's non-relevance.

The moderator smiles and forgives me and later again asks the question "Any questions?" (which I figure ought count as a question). Time after time, he asks it, with the patience of Job. It's a God-like expression of hope, that this time there will be a question, that this time someone was actually listening. I walk away a new man.

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