If my life was running on Tivo, I would pause playback right now and rewind, just to watch the CEO pick his nose again. Then I would watch it one more time to see the faces of the two VPs that are sitting next to him as they suddenly look the other way, pretending nothing happened.
The image is black and white, and the sound is not good, but at least you can make out what they're saying. Most video security systems don't have sound, but this one does. They installed microphones after an executive saw a movie where they used it to snoop in on negotiations.
After it was installed nobody mentioned it again, Ever. As if ignoring something made it go away.
Trust me, that doesn't work.
The camera is on the thirtieth floor of the building, the sacred ground. The gods in the sky, like some Greek pantheon, looking down on everybody else. I wonder if Zeus also set up shop in Mount Olympus because of the view, and if he also had problems with the elevators.
What we're looking at is the boardroom, a mahogany table that seems to have a surface of ten acres and ten middle aged white men around it. In a corner there is a sculpture, abstract art. It looks as if someone just smashed some garbage they found on a dumpster and then sold it for a few hundred thousand. Fitting. For a moment, I think of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Was that the original board meeting?
Jordan says, Look at that.
One of the VPs is scratching his ass, and pretending that he's not doing it.
It doesn't work. Everyone around him looks the over way.
This meeting has to do with the move? I say.
No, she says.
And how do you know?
Because we called the meeting, she says.
You called it?
Yep, she says.
So, what are we doing then? I say, Besides practicing some good old-fashioned voyeurism.
We're waiting, she says.
I feel like the proverbial hamster running inside the wheel in its cage, a pile of woodchips and a tiny plastic bathtub with dirty water next to me. I might not think my stupid questions are useful, but Jordan is obviously enjoying them.
For when they want to leave, she says.
Why? I say, but somehow I already know the answer.
Because the door is locked, she says.
I did know. How did I know?
That's what I would've done, I guess.
And so what? I say.
Well... Jordan starts, but then something catches her eye on the screen, and she says, Wait!
One of the VPs gets up. Is he leaving?
No. he's going to get some coffee, from the small table we watched Don Cicce set up only a few minutes ago.
Jordan, I say, What's going on?
We're taking over, she says.
What about those packages I kept receiving?
That was a side effect.
Some people make a mistake and think for themselves once in a while, she says.
Okay, I say, Look. You are talking, but you're not saying anything. How about you tell me what the hell is going on?
She looks at me for a moment and smiles, and she seems to be about to say something when another camera, one that is looking at the entrance of the thirtieth floor, shows movement. The doors are opening.
Someone's walking in.
What? I say.
Who's that? She says.
All we see is a wad of long, black hair instead of a head, the body that sustains it walking backwards into the floor with all the graciousness of a crab. He is holding a backpack in one hand.