Can You Move The Needle?

I climb just behind the person in front of me. For some reason, no one seems to be in a hurry. The steps are narrow, and the light is still dim. Finally, it hits my eyes and the air above freshens. I find the sign for eighty-sixth street to regain my sense of direction. I need to head back south just a few blocks. I cross over Park Ave and notice that all the dogs are tiny little things. I’m pretty sure my cat is bigger than most of them. A family stands on the corner. It looks like the dad and what I am assuming is the son are trying to climb the bars on the windows of the building next to them while the mom and young girl watch. The are all wearing helmets and get about half way up the first story before the dad jumps down. The boy follows, and the girls grab their bikes at the same time. It must have been some dad son climbing male bonding moment.  I glance their way as they cross the street satisfied they have checked off one family task. Heading west I look for the building number and look down at my phone and then back up and then back down again. How hard can it be? Finally, I find it. The sun is shaded as I try and adjust my eyes under the canopy. A doorman dressed in black with shiny gold buttons extends his arm as I enter the door.

“Can I help you, sir.” He looks me up and down, and I’m pretty sure that’s not the only time he stood back with a curious look.

“Yes. I’m here to see ______ I have a two o’clock appointment.”

“And you name and identification please.”

I hand him my ID and also my business card. He walks behind a dark almost black semi-circle desk with a solid black top. While he is on the phone, I notice the flowers to the right of me. They look real. The light coming through the window makes the colors even more vibrant.

“Mr. Long. Please sign in with the exact time. I will walk you to the elevator.”

It’s quiet, and I hear just a faint hint of some music in the background. It must be classical. We reach the end of a hallway and what looks like another entrance of some kind. It’s smaller and more private. We stand in front of two elevators. All glass and brass as the one on the right opens. The doorman reaches in and pushes the button for the correct floor.

As I ascend, I watch the numbers. I notice that there are not many. Must be some sort of express elevator. I look straight at myself. It’s hard not to. The entire inside is all mirrors with a brass bar to hang on to at my waist. The elevator stops, and the doors open to a single hallway. It is all white with the ceiling lit up. The reflected light makes it seem bigger and longer than it is. At the end of the hallway are a set of double doors. I stop and notice what looks like a state of the art entrance system. I push on the glass button, and it beeps. A few seconds later the door opens. I look but see no one. It must have opened automatically.

I step in, and the door closes behind me. I think “we live in the future” but then remember that the grocery store has the same type of door it’s just more public and not as obvious. The tile extends down a small hallway and then opens up to a broad foyer. To the left is a staircase that winds up and back towards the entrance. In front of me are two distinct entry ways both trimmed in deep wood and barrel rolled. The floor changes to some other type of deep wood with red matching carpets. I see him standing close to the windows far at the end of the room on the left. I move my head to get a better angle. The curtains are white and floor to ceiling. There are several windows that line both visible walls, and there is a fireplace in the middle of the one directly facing me.

He is not particularly tall and or wide. Mostly bald and white gray. He turns to show and open collar on a blue button down shirt under a gray jacket, jeans, and blacks shoes. He smiles walks towards me and offers his hand to shake.

” Thank you for coming.”

” Thank you for taking the time. I can only assume that your time is precious.”

” It certainly is, but that’s for anyone these days.”

” Yes, that’s true. This is quite a place. The paintings are amazing.”

” Thanks, I have quite a few more upstairs. I do enjoy them. I appreciate your persistence and it’s my understanding that we share some similar views on certain subjects.”

” I’m not so sure about similar as I would say I follow most of what you are saying about the market and how you can time it out almost to the day.”

” There is, of course, a process but it’s not as tough to get right as most people would think. I am interested in what the possible impact some of the technology I have hearing about may have on parts of that process. I am also curious how some of those same technologies may or may not be adopted if at all.”

” I only have a few thoughts on the bigger picture, but it would be fascinating to hear what you think about the same from your point of view.”

This meeting and conversation did happen.

The details are just that details of a conversation between two people.

The depth of understanding and the impact of what could and most likely will happen was beyond most.

That includes me. Especially me.

New York in an amazing place to be.

You have access to more of the world; you just need to reach out.

People are just people.

But then again there are some people as the saying goes “that move the needle.”

Then there are some that “are the needle.”

Can You Move The Needle?









Duke Long