Friday, March 14, 2014

The Pursuer

He's strolling down the hallway on his way back to his office when he first notices the footsteps behind him. Click clack, click clack. He doesn't think much on them, in this safe and well traveled hallway, but they keep coming closer.  And so fast!  Click clack, click clack. His stride falters. Is he being followed? He angles to the right a little to let them pass. But they're not that close yet. Just getting closer. Click clack, click clack. He corrects back to the left, hunching his shoulders almost imperceptibly against an unlikely attack. Click clack, click clack. Why are the footsteps coming so quickly? He swings his head toward one shoulder, then the other, hoping to catch a glimpse of his pursuer out of the corners of his eyes, but without being too obvious about it. Click clack. The footsteps are almost right behind him now. Click clack. His body tenses. Suddenly he lurches to the right and stops dead in his tracks, turning, prepared to fight if he has to, or simply let the pursuer pass him if it turns out to be harmless, disguising his fear as politeness.

She turns her head toward him as she breezes by, giving him an uncomfortable half-smile before click-clacking down the hall.

"She" is me. The click-clack is from my high-heeled shoes that make it impossible to travel surreptitiously, and "he" is practically everyone who ever steps into my office building. The reason this story keeps occurring is I happen to be a fast walker. No matter where I go, if there are other people walking in front of me, it is pretty much certain I will overtake them, apparently making them very nervous in the process.

It's embarrassing to know that I inspire so much anxiety in those unfortunate enough to go before me, but what am I going to do? Waste my time shambling slowly, whistle ice-cream-truck jingles to advertise my presence in a nonthreatening way? Probably I am just going to keep on keeping on, striking fear into the hearts of men with my stiff-soled shoes and purposeful stride.

4 comments:

Kristi Lonheim said...

At least you are aware of other people's awareness of you! And "surreptitiously" is such a great word.

Kristi Lonheim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy Boyden said...

this piece made me laugh, after building up the tension in the beginning, your ending tickled my funny bone. Thank you.

Jackie said...

I can just hear you...my friend, Cindy, was a click, clacker...but I walked faster...my shoes were the quiet types. Now...Maxine...she would be right there with you...clicking and clacking. Loved this. Wish I could walk fast now...but my toe is not happy and I really need to get it fixed. :-(