Tuesday, November 18, 2008

His Master's Voice

The company president had on a dark blue suit and a paternalistic smile, worn like a necktie, as a fixture of his dress. Like an emperor, he travelled with a retinue to feed him names before the start of each audience. There was the clatter of hard-soled shoes outside my classroom door, a voice said "Michael desu. Igirisu-jin", a file snapped shut, and suddenly I saw an outstretched hand in front of my chest and greying hair, gelled back at the sides. "It's Michael, isn't it? How's everything going? Any problems?" I tried to squeeze out a reply, but he'd already hurried on. "You're from England, right? I've been told you're doing a great job. Thanks a lot. Keep up the hard work." Another smile, polite laughter, then the door was closed and I was left alone with my baggy suit and the lingering smell of aftershave.

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