Bondzie stopped off at the coffee machine and poured himself a mug full of such a tarry looking near-black ooze I had to refuse his raised eyebrows as an offer. It looked like something surgeons would draw from a smoker’s lungs. Thank god for the water flask. I followed him into his office. He closed the door, almost on me, with a swift but near-silent, definite ‘click’ of the latch, and stepped behind his desk. I perched on the edge, until seconds later a timid knock was followed by a junior clerk wheeling in a chair.
As I sat down, Bondzie pulled his screen around at an angle. He motioned for me to shift my seat to where we could both see it. A keyboard password, a mouse click or two, and up came the media player.
Bondzie broke the silence.
“She’s up on the top floor. Bitter as hell. Didn’t go the way she’d expected.”
“What did she expect?”
“You’ll see. And, try not to freak out.” He clicked on Play.
She walks through the rain,
heading down to the river.
So tall is she the umbrella can’t stop
her long skirt soaking up
rainfall below her knees,
and soon it clings to her limbs uncomfortably.
We watch her go, as she often does so
when her mood gets her down.
But his body’s never there.
Two ships of the desert crossing the sand,
now standing, saddled for us to ride.
You in your boat, floating close to the shore,
dreading a change to an outgoing tide.
Between us a border guard, watching to see;
staunchly he stands between you and me.
We’ll wait. He’ll move on, seek something more.
Then you’ll swim to me here on the ashore.
People with a rubbery personality – you know who they are – drive me nuts. They bounce from mood to mood, stretch the truth, stretch their sense of morality…have no consistency of values or expectations (of themselves or of others).
“I once…” stretches to “I’ve always…” “You didn’t…” stretches to “You’ve never…” “He did… stretches to “He does…” “She went…” stretches to “She goes…”
Generalisation. Judgement. Gossip. Conversation. Letters (TXTs, emails). News stories. Tweets – and who’s the elastic truth Tweet-meister, hmm?
Elastic doesn’t only stretch – it rebounds; it shrinks.
Planning a marriage shrinks to Planning a wedding. Now that’s elastic right there, and contributes to over spending, and later, failed expectations, which in turn may stretch to unfaithfulness, betrayal, separation and divorce.
Team-work shrinks to a one-man workload. Group projects shrink to a one-woman contribution – and her workload stretches.
A good family cook can stretch a budget to put food on the family table. An unemployed parent has to shrink the family’s spending.
Elasticity is a necessary evil in some contexts – and a pain in the proverbial in others. It’s only consistently effective use is in clothing – and even that use diminishes with age and over-use of the drier!