Tuesday, May 3

Allusions, Personal Problems

‘Tuesday,’ said their secretary.
‘Tuesday?’ I groaned—‘Fuckin’ hell, first day back. Can’t you arrange it sooner?’ She told me she couldn’t—‘It’s the first free slot in their diaries.’ I was to have a review with the managing director and the chairman of the company on my performance. They thought my performance had been bad. I thought my performance had been okay, given the circumstances. Frankly, I no longer cared a great deal. If I thought about the meeting it angered me, so I was determined not to let it mar my bank holiday weekend. Monday evening, though, it was all I could do to stop my brain from turning it over and over. I thought of things they might say and things I would say in return. Three men around a table; although I hardly cut the figure of a man with my slight shoulders and thin wrists.
I had finished a pot of coffee and they were twenty-minutes late; a cigarette would go down a treat, so I arose to approach the good weather. The chairman called my name. I picked up my notebook and pen, as though I would take detailed notes, evidence of my mutual concern; a prank, for I cared not. It was only a small meeting room. There were men from the Middle-East having a meeting next door, so that often the managing director would hush the chairman, lest they overhear next door. Both the chairman and the managing director had laptop objects in front of them. I opened my notebook and ran my pen along the crease – to indicate a degree of enthusiasm that I was sure they would appreciate.
They let me have it. The chairman started.
I had heard it all before, but the anger rose within me. I am not sure where the anger comes from; probably my mother. I took it, but as I did I made sure I leaned over the desk toward him, bearing into him with my eyes to show that I was not timid nor was I uninterested.
As it continued – and the managing director chimed in – I found myself deflating. I was a balloon slowly deflating. I was not a helium balloon, mind – never have I been so equipped with lightness and altitude – more of a first-birthday-party balloon, puffed up by some eager, wheezing parent between cigarettes.
They hinted that my dip in performance might be due to personal problems. Personal problems, of course, that was an avenue I had not thought of exploring. Maybe my personal problems are so insurmountable that I am letting it affect my work. I have cut down on meat a great deal, and I am drinking less. Or maybe it is because I am engaged in an unhealthy sexual relationship. My libido is back to normal. My skin is breaking out at the moment, yes, but I am drinking a pint of water as soon as I wake up. I am going for long walks and avoiding tourists where possible. The onset of spring is taking its toll on me. I have run out of candles. My paranoia is at a crippling level, which is bad, yes, but I do not think that would contribute to any dip in performance. My writing is suffering. I have no ambition and constantly worry about hedging my bets. Thinking of the future terrifies me, even if I am thirty-years-old. I am becoming increasingly smitten with someone, but she makes me happy and I daydream about our time together. The filter in my water jug needed replacing over a month ago. What if I have personal problems I am not aware of?
Perhaps it is the meat and the alcohol after all.
There were patches of perspiration underneath my arms. The temperature in the room was not to my liking. I looked out of the window. The light glanced around the side of a pillar; decorative, certainly, but attractive nonetheless. I admired how the sun struck it just so, perfectly casting a shading around its circumference. There was fresh London air whirling around the pillar, causing me to be envious. Behind the pillar, in a blissful haze of blurry perception, were a neighbouring building and a bright blue cloudless sky. That pillar had it all.
After twenty-minutes, they stopped.
I left wordlessly.
It was right after finishing the pot of coffee that I had wanted a cigarette, now the taste of it – a ghost – was somewhat diminished. The elevator down five floors. I smoked and stood there, wobbling in the breeze, staring at a patch of road that had been repaired numerous times but always required the council to tend it some more. There was that pillar, five storeys up, laughing at me. Hmm, personal problems, I thought of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blank Template By subinsb.com