Thursday, January 31, 2013

Adding Chocolate to the Ritual, Part 3

Elsa had a secret. What she didn't want anyone at work knowing was that Elsa, the quiet bookkeeper type that looked rather mild and unobtrusive, was just who Elsa felt like being at work, not who she felt like inside. Oh, she wasn't lying about who she was, not really. She liked wearing penny loafers and soft pink cardigan sweaters. Really, it was a much more comfortable style than the heels and skirts that the other bookkeeper wore. It made people forget about her. It made it easier to sit back and watch if she weren't under the spotlight herself.

It wasn't that she didn't like the people at work. They were interesting people. They really were. But if she were even a little more flamboyant or chatty, she never would have glimpsed them the way she did. It was her gift, to be able to see people when they didn't notice her looking.

For example, Marion, her co-bookkeeper, picked her nose when she though no one else was looking. That Elsa was looking never occurred to her. Elsa had a way of lowering her eyelids just a bit to make her eyes seem a bit unfocused. She could see things right through her lashes. She never stared straight on either. It confused birds at the park as well.  The birds were happy flitting in and out of the people there, she noticed, until some human, usually a toddler, ran after one with that intent stare that said it may have been a baby, but it was still a predator. The birds would occasionally perch on the bench where Elsa sat eating her sandwich. She had perfected the art of not moving to respond to their visits either. This kind of thing worked with people too. If she acted as though she hadn't noticed, the bra-digging, the pantyhose adjusting, and the nose picking continued unmolested.

Elsa had even perfected the art of photographing unsuspecting people using her iPhone. Most people thought that holding the phone up in front of their faces with their thumb aimed at the faux-button on the screen was the way to take a photo. Elsa had a way of looking totally preoccupied with some game on her phone and still being able to tilt the thing at the right angle, from waist level, and getting a great shot of Marion with her finger buried to the knuckle in her nose. A little Photoshop work and that knuckle/nose tryst was cropped and enlarged to fit the screen of her laptop at home, though she wished that her iPhone camera came with a bit more resolution than it did. It was a small price to pay for the anonymity. Everyone sat and fiddled with a phone. It was a lovely hobby and it made Elsa very happy.

Thank you for listening, jb

No comments:

Post a Comment