Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's Her Story?

The presentation at the expo is in full swing when she walks in and sits down: medium height, looks to be close to the far end of her late-thirties. Following close behind her are three boys, oldest to youngest, tallest to shortest, all of them with the blank, placid look of the terminally bored youngster.

They are all dressed in their Sunday best, which for this family (because they must be related, even though none of them looks like the other) means wrinkled buttondown shirts and ties, while the youngest also sports a rakish fedora and long hair that spills out from beneath it and girlishly curls around his collar.

The mother wears a sleeveless dress, and when she claps politely at the appropriate points in the (very Christian - "hallelujahs!" and "praise gods!" and the whole deal) speeches, a tattoo of what might be a dragon peeps demurely out from under the strap on her right shoulder, speaking to a wilder past; wilder, at least, than a conference room in some midtown hotel in the middle of the day.

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