Your head pounds you feel like someone shit inside your brain. The light glares off the table at just the right angle to make you squint and breathe in. You let out an exhale and slowly sink into your seat. At the other end of the table they sit. The dark suits the clean haircuts the smell of a fresh shave and then quick eye contact. You flash the smile. The smile that melts just about everyone in it’s path. Wives girlfriends mother in laws ex mother in laws grandmothers little babies. Hell even dogs smile back. That should hold them off while you figure out where the hell you are what you are doing here and why exactly your presence was needed at this particular place and time. You do remember riding up on the elevator and digging thru your pockets for your phone. Reaching in and instead you found two crumpled receipts, one with a legible signature and one with print too small to read. One of them had to be for a bar tab of some sort. The other one? That may have to wait for you to check the online statement. Looking down you realise that yes you are still wearing the same suit you had on yesterday.That sweat you smell? It’s you. The cigarette smell? It’s not you but then again it is. The makeup smell? No doubt. Blinking your eyes and using that moment to focus you sit up straight and look at the folder in front of you. Plainly printed on the label in the tab it says NYC/229/West.
With a nod “Hello gentlemen how are we this morning?”
A tug on the suit jacket and the man on the left leans in from the end of the table. “Just fantastic. How was your evening?” Can he sense it? Can he smell it? Can he see it?
“Could not have been better.” “Why don’t we jump right in and get this deal done.”
Three against one. Sure just dive right in. You can handle it. Done it hundreds of times before. Just a quick inhale to focus. Wait, what’s that smell? That hint of powder and honey. Is that honey? That’s not honey. What the hell is that smell?
A slight turn of your head and there she is. The first thing that catches your eye is her shoes. Platform alligator patterned gray.Two buckles across the top. Heels at least five inches long. Two red painted toes slightly peeking out of the top naked and bare. Her legs sleek shaved glistening all the way to the knee. You make eye contact and immediately feel the deep green eyes tearing a hole thru your skull. Did you stare just that little bit too long? It was instinct. It was an appreciation. She pulls her chair a little closer and opens the folder. Now it hits you. You look back. The three faces glancing back at you seem to smile in a friendly yet carnivorous way.
The terms the names the companies the space the build outs the time frames the percentages the jobs the reputations. You are here to represent. You are the white alpha male. Nothing gets done without you. Nothing matters if you do not touch it. Nothing in the world exists without you. “Do we want to do a quick recap or do we want to hit the finer points?” You ask.
“ I’m not sure what finer points you are referring to.” Is the reply.
Well shit here we go. This is how they want to do it. Not simple. Not easy. Not professional. The guy at the end of the table spreads out a stack of papers and glances at the other suits and nods as if to say let’s dig in and suck the life out of this guy. You’ve seen it all before. The crisp white shirt the light blue tie. Hair tight and shaved on the sides slick and bald on the top.Thin nose and fingers to match. A runner and no doubt dying to check his pedometer app to see if he is still in the green. His buddy cheeks bulging out still has the twenty extra beer pounds from college and it looks like mommy still makes sure he misses no meals. Sitting a little farther back is some old guy who must be looking for his AARP card because he has not raised his gray head out of his briefcase. Who the hell still carries a briefcase? Nice. Three generations of complete bullshit putting on their best big boys do big deals persona.
“Did I miss something?” Are we not here to get this deal done and move this project forward?” You say without the least bit of sarcasm.
“ Miss something? No, not that I am aware of ” the runner says leaning back and raising his hands behind his head pulling back for a stretch. You catch a quick glance off to the side. Not one move. Not a sound. No looks. Just that sweet smell.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hjl/8676563087/