Tools of the Trade
Friday, September 21, 2007

This wasn’t unusual, the aching thump of her heart against her breastbone. She tried to swallow away the loneliness lumping at the base of her throat as she shouldered through the crowd. The shallow lighting of the subway cast a pallid hew to her skin, highlighting the already stretched and worried cast to her face.

A small deserted island in a sea of hundreds, she hunkered under the weight of her obligations, shoulders bowed with the strain as she jockeyed and hustled for standing room in the already filled car.

“I am so tired of being invisible”, she whispered to herself as the car picked up speed and she rocked back against an older woman with hard, ‘don’t touch me’, eyes. The matriarch glared right through her, her mouth compressed in a thin line of annoyance as she stepped back farther into the swell of Drakkar, Old Spice and Red Door that hung above masses like a fragrant mist. Turning away from the woman to face the hand marked windows, she watched the underground weigh stations fly by in a blur of industrial grays and brick mortar, creating a slushy of blandness for her tired brown eyes.

Shuffling off the car like the last hand in a deck, she fluttered to the surface streets. Pushed along by the tide of nine to fivers, she let the flow of humanity propel her along the streets of the city. Long nimble fingers, more at home on a pianist then on her tired worker bee body, pushed through soft brown curls as her eyes tracked the ebbs and flows of traffic, waiting for a break in which to escape the fight upstream and to slip into her building.

Spotting a lull in the frantic pace of business suits and high heels, her more sensible loafers caught the wind as she darted along the empty spaces, jetting into the doors like an angry winter gale. The world outside faded with the shut of glass doors and the warmth of expensive lighting bathed her in its artificial tan.

Her soft soled shoes slippered across the waxed flooring and past the notice of the occupied rent-a-cop who sat with feet propped up and novel in hand. Raising an unseen hand in greeting she smiled her shy smile and slipped into the elevator.

Unlike other buildings on the busy street, this one bore little resemblance to the hustle and bustle of the early work day. Little noise marred the peacefulness of silence that permeated the building, leaving the air as still as that in a well cared for mausoleum. The clients who were served here had little use for attention and paid for the privacy guaranteed by the onsite security consultant firm, Spellcaster Security.

The elevator whisked up the floors in it’s mechanical efficiency, depositing her several hundred feet above the everyday normalcy running about outside the building. She walked down the industrial carpeted hallway to her office door, pulling keys out of one of the several pockets in her tan button down coat.

She passes other doors just like the one she’s approaching; their names pass by like the pages of some crazy rolodex; ‘Gremlins R Us, Mechanical problems? No problem’, ‘Career Guidance by Madam Marlene’, ‘Brownies Housekeeping’, and her personal favorite, ‘Fairy Wonderland Landscaping’.

“If only the clients realized how the statement ‘Truth in Advertising’ really applies here” she chuckled.
Opening the door to her office, her eyes paused on the lettering in the frosted door window, reading over something she has seen everyday for several years now,
“McClain’s Investigations; If they see me, you don’t pay”.
Collapsing at her desk with a sigh, she laughs softly, “I guess some days it does pay to be invisible.”

Blogger Carrie had this to say:

Bravo! Is this going to be a series?

6:22 PM, September 25, 2007 

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  • Name:Kara
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