It was supposed to be a nice gathering, a promotion, a meeting of the minds, an opportunity to see the benevolence of a community workplace for people to gather and build business, hoping for the potential partnerships to brainstorm and maybe a possible collaboration. Buy local, as they promote; support local as they preach. He stormed in, his feet moving at such a speed to stir up a sandstorm, but the impression of Pig-Pen quickly came to mind; the buttoned-shirt-and-tie and slacks-and-shoe arrangement was degraded by sneakers and sweat shorts–the kind of cotton shorts fashioned to look like the shorter version of sweatpants, if they weren’t a cut-and-then-sewn thought at one point–a T-shirt covered by a windbreaker, and his person was topped with tussle hair. Wide-eyed haphazardly confused fervor–his persona. Immediately, going for the food station, he grabs a handful–five thick-sliced slices of cheddar–and inhales them, popping the small sticky-note-sized slabs of cheese into his mouth in a similar fashion as pieces of popcorn.
Is this the Under Forty? He stepped closer.
The Under Forty? He stepped even closer.
The individuals addressed by this vague question stood with their mouths partially open, and they balanced a question mark on their noses.
This person’s head bounced back and forth between the two people, uncertainly, trying to catch the immediate moment when one of these addressees began the slightest utter towards a coherent response.
Rescued by a young lady, she answered his question.
It was hard for everyone to resist looking at this individual out of the corner of their eyes. He spun in circles, perhaps for effect or for purpose, and inquired:
Where are the plates?
He pivoted on one foot, looking back and forth adamantly.
The closest person in his line of inquisitive fire, stumbled over words as the plates were not located. Save the layout of the table that consisted of: a vegetable plate, cups for beer (Middle Ages’ Syracuse Pale Ale), chips with ruffles, the meat and cheese platter, and napkins (of course). Yes, save the common acknowledgement that these options are all in the niche of finger food. Save the notion that everyone had the same understanding towards this set up.
Upon his return to the original two people, he asked:
What do you do? He stepped closer.
The first person answered. Conversation ensues. He stepped closer. The conversation ended.
What do you do? He stepped closer to the second person.
The second person answers.
They need to lower taxes. If people want to do business, start their own business, taxes MUST be lowered. Look at manufacturing.
The second person replied, telling him taxes will never be monetarily lowered, they never have and they never will, and that is especially true in today’s society. The second person continues with a one-worded question: Manufacturing?
No one is going to open a manufacturing business with the taxes. They are too high.
The second person responded: Encourage people to buy local. We need to have the consumers think local before anything else. Buying and relying on local business is crucial when stimulating economic growth.
The second person gives Pig-Pen the cold shoulder, who returns to the table and grabs another handful of cheese. The slices float into his mouth in consecutive fashion. It’s as if the guy is swallowing the cheese segments whole. He sat in the chair, which accompanies the table. This is the point where he begins to shovel chips into his mouth. He asked after the second helping is consumed:
Where are the plates?
No one responded.
He grabbed a beer cup, and he scooped up chips in it. Hey, that worked; Darwin would be proud.
To a third individual, he asked about the space. The questions were legitimate. He then asked about
The third individual, who was more than patient with him, took the disheveled individual under his wing. Moments before, he circled closed groups, looming over shoulders like a grey cloud, figuring a way to weasel into the conversation with stepping in; the thought of jumping over shoulders probably did not cross his mind. He floated in and out of the door, disappearing for three to five minutes at a time. But at that moment, he was comfortable in a chair, talking up to the third individual giving him the most time of day.
Are you thirsty, the third asked. We have Middle Ages, they added.
Hmm, no. I can only drink very little. Do you have anything else?
We have Cafe Kubal coffee.
Ah. That’s hot, right? It’s kinda hot outside.
Save the time of the year, late spring. The actual temperature outside was a comfortable 60 degrees Farenheit.
This moment, the eyes of the second individual met the eyes of the third individual. The guest currently chewed down on chips.
The conference ended between Third and the guest, and promises to keep in touch were made. As the guest exited, the room depressurized.