Somewhere in Nordrhein Westfalen
Sometime in late October 2019
It was way past the worktime. We sat there, among couples sipping wine and groups of friends, with our laptops open, with his cappuccino and my tea squeezed onto the little table by the window with the magnificent view.
Street lamps and shop windows lighted up the outside world. Car flashlights were tirelessly passing through the town veins like blood cells pumped by the human endless desire to keep going.
He, having three kids and doing his best as it was still before the end of his trial period, as he told me on the way here, in the car, spitting out one work issue after another. Me, sitting opposite to him, in my chic skirt and neat jumper, suddenly feeling too smart, too strong, too much of everything I always wished. (Be careful what you wish as it might become true!)
He kept on coldly discussing new investments mounting up to many million euros, my word counting.
I felt exasperated with all the stuff going on in past weeks, so I dared to smuggle into the usual bullshit-bingo few remarks about how challenging things have been lately, only to find out my words having absolutely no effect on him. Still, I tried once more, though nothing changed. I heard on and on about credit notes, due payments, workshops, and missed deadlines.
I looked around and wished that the version of me, about ten years old, could sit among the crowd. She would be wide-eyed, smiling at me proudly, mouthing: This is it! You made it!
Feeling the connection with my old motivation, I was able to pull myself together and play along. I was present and made myself enjoy the business table tennis, with words or missing words (on purpose) and (poker) faces replacing the ball, though I realized, it was not enough.
I envisioned myself climbing onto the table, just so. I imagined he would still go on with the black-and-white austerity of German business scenery about delayed protocols and scrapped parts, instead of seeing a woman, not just the cold-blooded business partner that I surely also have been, at least I have worn that facade for so long, I might have become it.
I wished for a moment, we could sit there in silence, acknowledging each other presence by the mere sound of breath and few glances, nothing more. Not even that happened, though it was ok. I was not mad at him in any way, as it was the first time I actually noticed what was going on.
Put down your cup of coffee, your running shoes, your Dior lipstick shade 999 (the reddest red), the burger, your motorbike keys, the blueberry muffin, your iPhone, your lovers hands, your hands, the TV remote control, your kid, your dog, the cigarette, your cat, the drink, that bestseller book, the travel guide, your second credit card, the promotion letter, your dead relative’s photo.
Pause ironing that shirt.
Stop the engine and silence the GPS.
Turn off the music.
Close the laptop.
Dim the lights.
And for God’s sake, dear, stop talking for a while!
Now, look around …
Are you not by any chance living in a skillfully crafted Matrix?
What is it that you are really distracting from?
What is it that you really wish for?