Corridors of Power

I find the room on time and stand by as the others come out. Nothing really happens in the mean time. I let the steam of the inside rise off me and the smell of the outside detach from my face.

Someone I know. wait, wait, smile, Hi! She looks down, who is it who is it looks up, Hi! How are you? Good thanks you? Yeah good.

Great conversation. No matter. Social contact. Bridges. Link renewal.

In the seminar the lecturer asks me if I am who I am. I am. Do they still do that thing in Germany where they bang on the tables at the end of a seminar? Yeah, in Germany they do this thing where they bang on the tables at the end of a seminar, I say to everyone. Good start. Rapport.

The lecturer stops talking in the middle of a sentence. He is looking up. Might be thinking about something else. I look down opposite me. I see a pair of hockey trainers, a pair of running shoes, a pair of wellies. I look up. Bookshelves, dividers. Updike, four of them in a nice fourpack. Nice. Still thinking. Rushdie. Can’t make the words fit, taking his time. Amis. Larkin. Jack London. Who is that? I look right. Laptops. In a seminar? Fishy. too much clicking, not enough typing. fb.

“Dickens started out as a sketch writer in the houses of parliament.”

Heh. sketch. Is that like, comedy? Or just descriptive. Scenes. heh. if only he knew. I am Charles Dickens.

I say something about Great Expectations. Strands in my mind, follow the path, the supposed golden path, path turned off, down a rabbithole? “Don’t really know where I’m going with this,” pity laugh, maybe two. Not bad, keep going. “Yeah, so. Yeah.” The lecturer looks up. “Yeah.”

Someone from downstairs calls for me. I’ll pay you two pounds if you make the last two sentences really unconjointed and irrelevant. “They’re all like that.” Someone to the right: “Ulysses is just random words on a page.” The lecturer looks up.

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