The Called Part 7

April 8th, 2011 by Wordsman

Peter, the skillful compromiser, removed his jacket, draped it gently over the back of the couch, and loosened his tie.  “What’s the sample?”

“Simple.  I’m going to introduce you.”  The girl spun to face the still-rolling camera that she didn’t know was still rolling.  Even from the front her most notable feature was the monstrous quantity of hair.  It overshadowed her small frame like a poodle standing over a chihuahua.  Were you to get lost in that hair, you would have to hope that you brought string or bread crumbs; otherwise you were never going to get out.

He eagerly waited for his sister to succumb to the same stupefying power of the camera lens, but it didn’t happen.  And here’s why: though they both had a lot of experience putting their talents on display in public, their styles were completely different.  Peter was an orator; when speaking, even when debating, it was all one-way.  There was no interaction between talker and listener.  He could give the same speech in an empty room that he could on the floor of the House of Representatives.

But his sister was a performer.  Music is not unidirectional—it bounces of the walls, it echoes, it reverberates.  The audience was as much a part of her playing as her trumpet or her lungs.  So when the camera drove home the fact that her performance had a potentially limitless audience, it didn’t faze her as it did her brother.

“Hi.  This is my brother Pete.  He’s all dressed up because he’s applying to be a summer secretary—”

“Law clerk.”

“—at some big firm downtown.  He recently renewed his driver’s license even though he hasn’t driven a car since he was eighteen.  He was on the golf team in high school.  No joke: golf.”

His sister’s “interesting tidbits”—some might have called them accusations—were intended to be insulting, but that did not make them any less true.  The first was easy enough to explain: the driver’s license was an all but indispensible form of ID, and the car was an expensive, unnecessary (at least where he lived) hassle.  As for the golf team, well, it hadn’t been his first choice.  He tried out for basketball and soccer also, and they offered him a spot . . . on the junior varsity teams.  Peter wasn’t interested in playing anything he couldn’t excel at.

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