February 1, 2012

During Staff Meetings

I have a confession. I HATE meetings. Any kind. Every kind. I get antsy, my butt-cheeks go numb, and after a while, all I hear in my head is, "He/she is STILL talking? Why? Why is he/she still talking? Makeitstop makeitstop makeitstop."

I've found coping mechanisms for such meetings. I knit (they've gotten used to it), I grade (again, no surprise there), I text surreptitiously to other meeting members - usually the mantra I just wrote above. Sometimes, if the person drones on a bit too long, I can find a creative bent.

This was one of them. Funny thing is, this is exactly, EXACTLY how I felt, years ago, when I "found" myself again. I remember talking with a friend, and she said, "You're BACK." I thought at that moment, "Not quite. I'm better."

“Hey,” he whispered, drawing her attention away from the swirls and shapes she was contemplating at the bottom of her coffee cup, “I remember you.”

“No,” she answered. “No, you don’t.”

He hunched down to look her fully in the face, and stared, trying to get past the barrier of friendly-polite-yet-aloofness. His eyes were still the bright blue; the twinkle not diminished by time. The crinkles along the sides of those eyes and the gray just starting to show at his temples? Those were new.

She did know him. From before…just before.

“Yes, I do,” he smiled. “You’ve been gone a long time, but you’re back now.”

“I guess I am,” she acquiesced. Smiling slightly.

“Same old gal, huh?”

“No,” she spoke the words slowly and carefully to make her point. “Not at all. I’m stronger. Better.”


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