The man in the rocker

If you’ve never spoken to the man, don’t ask other not to

I walked, increasing my pace so that I was running slowly until I reached the stairs. I climbed the half a dozen of stairs and pulled open the glass door to the carpeted, serious-looking office. A man in his late thirties sat behind a glass separator. I bent down so that he’d be able to hear me speak, and in barely more than a whisper I asked him if I could have a word with the person everyone knew better than to speak to. He looked up from the book he was reading and peered from above his spectacles. His eyes warned me but he shrugged as if to show he didn’t have anything to say. I smiled, mentioning my thanks, but he just stared after me. A woman approached me and said “After me, if you will please” and led me to where he sat in his rocker eating an apple. He smiled… and I let go of the breath I was holding.

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