Imagine someone who tells a lie to himself and others. What would happen if he stopped?
The other people in the office are quiet, heads bent over their desks. Sometimes they ask him how he is, whether he had a good weekend. Sometimes – the easier times – they don’t.
The usual meetings and coffees glide past; it’s like he doesn’t even need to be there, really. When it used to be just work this didn’t matter very much. Or, if it mattered, no-one said anything and no-one complained. If you don’t mention it, it can almost be like it’s not real.
Sandwiches over the keyboard, crumbs falling into the cracks between the letters. Another incomprehensible report.
His phone chirps and there’s a message from a friend. Someone who used to be a friend. They’re making plans they both know he’ll agree to and then cancel at the last minute. It’s fine; he goes through the motions anyway.
More clients, a teleconference and finally it’s almost home time. The thought of going back into the mindless stream of traffic, to sit, uncomfortable, alone; it’s too much. Better not to think about it at all. Nod goodbye to the receptionist, answer an email from his mother, and out the door.
It’s amazing what the human soul can tolerate when it has to. Even when nothing’s fine, and nobody knows it.
Read more of my 642 things to write about here.