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The Waiting Room: Pt. 5

The quiet only hung in the waiting room for a brief moment before Charles burst out in a fit of grand applause. He praised Gill, “Well done well done, exceedingly well done. Oh boy, but that was fun. Especially that part about how you won—”

Bethany leaned in and whispered to me, “What does he mean, ‘won’?”

“I do believe he means scored,” I replied.

Her forehead scrunched with understanding, “Make-o, sense-o. Man, you kids have all sorts of bizarre terms these days.”

We continued to listen to Charlie’s cheeky commentary, “I did indeed enjoy this a ton, I swear to it under each and every sun, oh yes I do. I wouldn’t suppose now is the time to make a pun?”

“I’d rather of that you did none,” Gill replied with a grin, clearly pleased with himself.

The recluse girl just quirked an eyebrow at the whole thing, and it seemed, to me at least, that she was opening up a bit, adventuring outside her protective jumble of dark hair. That was a good improvement, maybe at one point she might even talk. {Wouldn’t that be a trip}, I thought. I kept telling myself that I would have to give her time before she would speak and talk, but part of me was getting ridiculously impatient.

Luckily, Charles began to distract us all again. He craftily cavorted toward Bethany. He took one of the chairs out of the perfect row and placed it in front of another chair. He plopped himself down in the uncomfortable maroon leather seat and kicked his legs out ahead of him. He began to mutter odd phrases to himself – I was not able to understand and question whether they were even in English or not. It was too quiet to tell.

That’s when the lights shot out. The absence of light left us in a void as dark as oblivion. All spatial awareness was snuffed out of the room at the speed of light, and I began to feel more than a little dizzy. I heard Ida gasp from her desk like she had just seen a ghost; I never heard her exhale. {She must be very blue}, I thought to myself, {blueberry-like}. Another noise to penetrate the depths of my ears was this quirky little yelp coming from across the room. It was one of those noises something like a chihuahua would make when one accidentally steps on it. I suspected the recluse was the one guilty of making such noise. I believe Bethany was the one who just took in one deep breath, then let it out. {How very zen}. The politely elder Rick and the infant-toddler cusp Ricky both seemed to be caught in a vast state of apathy. Richard, to me, was just one of those stereotypical I-don’t-give-a-damn old people, whereas Ricky was probably snoring away anyway, to which he wouldn’t care one way or the other that it was dark. Gill was fumbling for something in his pockets, as to what it was, I could not tell at the time. Charles, however, was afflicted by a heightened state of paranoia.

“Oh man – this is not good. Not good. They’re preparing their assault. Are the doors still barricaded?”

“I would think so; I do not believe anyone has moved them. But it’s not like we can just glance over and see the chairs now is it?” Gill responded.

“Are you getting snippy? There’s no time for that. The G-O-V-T used to do this back in ‘nam, man. They were trying to blind the people to the atrocity.” The last word was extended into three arbitrary syllables. “Man, we ought to prepare ourselves, no telling what might come from behind that door.”

“All your psycho paranoia hullaballoo is getting a little ridiculous. We all need to just relax. Geez.” Gill fumbled in his pocket for a moment and removed something – I could only see the outline. It was about three inches long and shy of an inch wide. Then, I could hear the scuffling as he reached into his breast pocket and produced the unmistakable shadow of a cigarette. With the slow pleasured expression of a person who had obviously been doing this for too long, he brought the cigarette up to his lips. Next he brought up the curious outline, now apparent that it was a lighter, and grimaced as he attempted to flick on the fire. It didn’t catch. Gill gave a loud {hrmph} and stubbornly persisted in his endeavor. He winced as he snapped the lighter again. Mission success. He lit the cigarette hanging out of his mouth, sucked in a huge breath, his eyes turned red and watery, and he spat the air out.

Ida was the first to raise an objection (maintaining her pseudopolite attitude), “Sir, this room has a {no smoking} policy. If you could kindly stop smoking in here, do so now.”

“I don’t {see} a sign,” Gill responded asininely, “Besides; I was just using it as a flashlight.” He quirked his eyebrow and his mouth twisted into a rather smug expression.

“Well there {is} indeed a sign. Whether or not you can see it is another matter entirely.”

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound?”

“Wha–?”

“Exactly.”

Ida just stood there dumbfounded, thus compelling Bethany to take a stand, “I know it’s in your nature, Gill, to push limits a bit. We all recognize it; no need to prove it. And perhaps any other day it’d be okay to push this one. However, there’s basically an infant in here, and I’d prefer if he was not exposed to any smoke.”

Maybe Gill had a soft spot in him after all because by some miracle he managed to lift up his studly shoes and put out his cig; though none of this was done exactly enthusiastically. “Happy now?” Gill asked, face forlorn with the abandonment of his lonely cigarette.

I sensed that the room was in need of a mood shift – and fast – so I decided I should chime in, “Ida, since we haven’t heard too much from you, other than your unorthodox doctor-patient manners, why don’t you tell us how you got here?”

“No,” she said, flat-out.

“What a team player. Friendly to boot. Enjoy your isolation here, in the dark, no one to talk to, in the dark, no one to hassle in the dark. In the dark, in the dark, in the dark,” I said, and I really did feel quite bad about it. I knew she was afraid of the dark from the yelp of hers when the lights shut off. Maybe it was a little mean to open up that wound, but for some inexplicable reason I wanted to know why such a {selfish} b**** like her would go into a public position like this. I was overwhelmed by curiosity, stormed, besieged, by a need to satisfy the curiosity, like a frat boy needs—well never mind that. So yes, I did provoke her, and it wasn’t nice, but hey, at least I feel real bad about it and according to the Pope, a little guilt is all you need to make things right.

“Alright then, you want me to spin you some sort of fantastic yarn pertaining to why I’m here? I’ve never been so flattered and insulted simultaneously in my life. And with that I’m afraid I’m going to have to take my leave. After all, you did just create a hostile working environment. So my leaving is excusable.” And with a brief hand flutter she said her closing words, or rather, letters, “T-T-F-N.” She wandered through the dark; we could all hear her thrusting her arms out, clambering against the surface of the counter and other such objects to find her way out, then, believing she had found her way, began to move a little more quickly (albeit, less carefully) through the room and smacked right into the door with a hearty {ka-thud}. I was surprised to find no one laughed, though I assumed we were all cracking up on the inside. I can only imagine her face as the whack had completely cramped her style, but she seemed to regain composure readily enough, and as she opened the door a beam of that lively light danced its way through the door. And she strutted out, red nosed (inflamed) and all.

“Well I’ll be; but that was anticlimactic,” Gill commented wryly. His mouth twitched. “She wasn’t a bad looker too. Shame.”

Electing to be a bit more social, I decided to chime in, “Well hey, at least there’s me.” All he did was quirk an eyebrow. I inwardly chuckled at the way his forehead scrunched when he got that quizzical expression; it was almost like a raisin. Gill had been standing up for a while and thought it might be best to cop a squat right next to his newly established psycho-pal, Charles.

I think I could hear them whispering to each other so I attempted to discreetly listen in, to little effect. However, I did manage to catch a couple of key phrases. Gill was asking something about how the schizo got here and Charles seemed to be answering. Gill seemed to be making some sort of ridiculous display as to how he couldn’t really hear Charles. At first I thought he was just mocking the poor loon, but Charlie’s voice grew louder due to Gill’s charades, up until the point we could all hear him. I caught a wink, shot one back and flashed a thumbs up. And for that ancillary donation to the Gill ego, this is the tale we received.



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Aly_Marie said...
Nov. 21, 2010 at 3:07 pm
Really Good.. Glad that.. unkind... receptionist lady is gone :).. can't wait to hear Charles's story :D
 
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