Friday, August 6, 2010Dr. Becca
in her infinite wisdom has chosen to tag me with a blog meme.
And if you've just arrived on the internet that sentence makes no sense whatsoever.
It's an odd little tag though, because normally these things come like 20-fucking-questions and try and to expose your soul for all to see. Kind of like the office retreat ice breaker that goes horribly wrong...
"OK, everyone settle down. I know we're all excited to see some new faces after our successful merger with First Bank of Bartlett." The atmosphere in the room was burdened by a few heartless cheers. The staff were wishing he'd just sit down and let them get on with their lunch. They'd driven across the state to this wilderness retreat for an enforced three day "meet-and-greet-and-motivate" workshop. No one wanted to be there, but everyone had attended. Jobs had been lost in the merger and only the hopelessly naive or freshly graduated thought the attirtion was over. Nervous faces turned to the figure standing near the trestle tables as he spoke once more.
"We've got a great weekend of games and team building planned, but because we are a new group, to all intents and purposes, I think we'll start with an ice breaker! Let's get to know each better."
This was met by a chorus of good-natured groans. At least this was harmless, unlike some of the other activities scheduled later in the day. Rappelling and kayaking were not popular with some of the older office drones.
"OK, let's start on the far end there. Tell us your name, your division and then something about yourself. Something that'll help us understand the *you* inside you. You go first Julie."
"OK. My name's Julie. I work in mortgages and loans. Um," A nervous giggle. "once, when I was a little girl, I stole some cookies from the church fete. I was so scared I'd get caught I ate them all and got sick."
Maybe half the group smile indulgently, the older half. Tsk, kids, eh? They had kids of their own, or even grandchildren. The other half of the group, the younger half, expressed a mass of raised eyebrows and muttered, "What the f...?" Stealing cookies?
"You next Jim," said the CEO, smiling and knowingly in control. He'd picked on Julie first because she was such a good Christian girl. He knew she'd set the tone. Let them relax but not too much. Let them joke, but not too much.
"Uh, OK." He blushes. "I'm Jim, I work the front desk and some times cover shifts for the other tellers when they're on they're on break. Um, I uh...I dunno, in high school I once borrowed my dad's car to take a date to a movie. I, uh, told her it was mine, but then she found my dad's insurance card in the glove box. The, uh, date didn't go so well after that."
This time the whole group laughs. All except one man. He is silent. A shadow, almost unnoticed. Almost. Except he is next in line.
"OK, you're next" Says the CEO, encouragingly. This is one of the new staff from the Midtown branch. He doesn't know all their names yet and won't show it. Control. It's all about control. Don't be seen to be weak.
"My name is David. I work front of house and security." That's why I don't know, thinks the CEO. He had little, if anything, to do with that side of things, preferring the safety of numbers, gray suits and business meetings. "Tell us something about yourself then David."
"I cried the first time I killed a man."
The group is suddenly silent. Someone gasps. The CEO sensing a sudden loss of control starts to speak, but is interrupted as David restarts. The strong but monotonous voice drowning the CEO's gasping reprimand.
"I cried the first time I killed a man. I watched him bleed. I saw him looking at me but he couldn't speak. He didn't have any breath left. His blood was on my hands and I remember the stink of it. I was supposed to hate him, they taught me to hate him but I was so scared. And he was so scared. We shared his death. I took his life. And he took my innocence. In the hills of Helmand province. I don't cry anymore."
1. Sum up your blogging motivation, philosophy and experience in exactly 10 words.
My name is Tideliar and I love to tell stories.
, who gave his life for his country in the hills of Helmand province, June 11, 2006