Square Peg

The table is an agreeably polished and smooth surfaced wood. I don’t know what type of wood, but it’s dark and has swirling grains along which my finger absently saunters.

The people seated around it are all conversing confidently; jovially at first, then sternly and accusatory as time progresses. Their faces don’t appear happy, despite the apparent enjoyment they take in disagreement.

I haven’t spoken a word in hours, feigning attention to their volley of figures and acronyms, contributing an occasional oblivious nod in response to eye contact.

My attention lingers on a photograph hanging behind one of their heads. A mountain somewhere, snow-capped against an Azure blue sky, luring me to hoist myself onto my chair and leap through the frame.

They stare, bewitched by blurred spreadsheets projected on the wall. The tedious rumbling of their voices becomes a hypnotic lullaby, defeating the remnants of caffeine seeping through my system.

Until silence.

And faces fixed upon me.

I’m expected to speak, but all I can think about is what sandwiches are arriving at twelve.

Do they wonder what I’m doing here as much as I do?

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