Monday, August 08, 2005
Secrets at Work: A Real Life Adventure
The poem that follows was inspired by a real life adventure. I recently struck up an email correspondence with a guy who works for my employer in another department. We had never actually had occasion to interact at work. One day he sent an email company-wide, which revealed that outside of his rather mundane day job, he is in a rock band, and also does graphic and web design. I had never suspected such marvels of this guy, and thereafter he and I began emailing. Likewise, of course he had never guessed one of his co-workers wrote erotic romance.
We two are classic examples of people who look ordinary but in reality are not.
Our correspondence so far has led us down some interesting paths of mutual discovery, not the least of which is that he very kindly shared with me a sample of his own erotic writing after having read samples of my own. The little tale was lovely, and delightful, and soul-brightening. I read the piece in the morning and then went to work, where of course both of us went about our business not even having opportunity to converse.
It is a very strange thing to have swapped such creative intimacies with someone and then spent a day in which both parties must carry on with the mundanities of life, disguised as ordinary people. It made me wonder what mysteries go on every day, in the lives of people everywhere, beneath the façade.
Beneath the Façade
It’s 8:04 a.m. and I punch in,
Check out your desk, but you’re not to be seen.
I fetch my coffee, read my email, meet with my boss;
And meanwhile I know you do your own Monday.
But all the while my soul is far away,
In that world your words fashioned,
The room of your imagination where lovers meet,
And tentatively touch, then surrender to desire.
I know it’s not real because I alone see it,
Although it seems more substantial than this office.
Not real—and yet, are you and I not true magic,
Even though no one else suspects?
I swap news with my co-workers,
Talk about movies and home projects;
I settle down to write a report,
So professional in reading glasses and tasteful skirt.
No one can tell that I am haunted
By the thoughts of another dreamer,
His secret longings, his trembling heart,
His kiss, his bliss as he takes love in his arms.
Nor I suppose do those who look upon you
Guess that your thoughts might be so bright.
As your fingers work you must seem just a man,
And no one sees the light, the music, the fire...
Several walls beyond you in this building of brick,
But all the while cohabiting with you
Beneath the façade.