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Miho is my favorite cutie of the moment.
(This expression really touches your sensitivity, doesn’t it? Young guys could not turn to a girl and call her a “cutie,” could they? Aaah, the advantages of being an old guy―hiding secret desires inside a flabby tummy.)
Miho is actually a lady who works in the sales department of an advertising agency―a cutie in her mid-20s who works with me.
Some people think that a cutie’s job is to be cute, but one must show their sophisticated side and honorably bury any sordid desire that may be lurking around. Miho is the sort of cutie who causes this old guy, who was infatuated with ex-Asahi TV announcer Makiko Takahashi years ago, a little grief.
After making a presentation, we were sitting on the terrace at Starbucks enjoying the beautiful weather―her with an iced latte and I with an espresso. Our trivial conversation was jumping all over the place, from meaningless comments about the client to which restaurants we frequent for lunch and what we usually order. And that was just fine with me. When you are working together like we do, sticking to topics that are related to work is less stressful―you don’t need to constantly affirm each other’s knowledge or values. And you are not reminded of the generation gap, which can be a real downer.
However, every now and then I put on a casually mature face and bring up titillating topics (I am no angel) like asking (with a chuckle) “why an espresso is so small in Italy―the home of espresso”―and, commenting that “it is probably just the right amount for Italian men to refresh their mouths straight after a kiss” (a total lie, of course). Now I am sounding like a complete fool.
Even so, it is the prerogative of old guys to have a “favorite.” Young guys cannot say they have a “favorite,” no matter how young she may be. Any university student that says his favorite is a junior high school girl is in seriously troubled!
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, “because I want to talk with you,” she says! “Because I want to talk with you!”... Restrain yourself, you idiot.
Okay, okay, restraint. I’ll show restraint. I cannot help but gloat over the gap between the guy (my assumption) she did not want to talk to just now and me.
Of course, there are times when I have to tell someone who calls me, “I’ll call you later,” or “I’ll call you back,” but that is in unavoidable situations, like when I am in a meeting or on the train, not when I am enjoying a coffee at Starbucks.
On the other hand, it is not unusual for me to ring someone and be told, “I’ll call you later.” Click. (Most probably with the same dexterity and speed Miho just demonstrated with that previous phone call.)
Who knows―the person I called may have been on the terrace at Starbucks at the time.
An ill feeling casts its shadow over my good mood when I realize that, when talking on a mobile, you cannot see the other party’s facial expression, or that you are oblivious to their situation or ulterior motive.
Just then, to add insult to injury, her mobile vibrates again.
With an even cooler expression than earlier, she―it is getting harder to call her Miho―checks the caller’s identity and, this time, deliberately ignores it.
Oh, so there are people whose calls you always answer and others whose calls you might not. So, I am one of the people whose calls she would always answer.
I am not so thrilled anymore.
Of course, there were times when I have said I would call people later even when we used the old style phones (Old phones―recently referred to as “land lines”―are like retired CEOs who think they still have many more years of work in them. Well, something like that). But, that was when I had pressing matters to attend to at home or at the office. With land lines, there are many times when you cannot answer the phone, especially if you are on a train or meeting clients, so the need to tell people you will call them later does not arise as frequently as with mobile phones. To say nothing of the fact that, when the phone rang, there was no other option but to answer it―the ring was so annoying. Yet, nowadays, telling someone you will call them later is not a rare scene, as I just witnessed.
I believed, until today, that mobiles were handy and have dramatically expanded communication opportunities. However, the person receiving the call determines the caller’s priority in the blink of an eye and, if the call (or the person calling) is of low priority, the receiver has the option of either telling the caller they will call back later or just not taking the call.
These are not amiable decisions. Instead, these are glimpses of malice.
With the evolution of communication networks, every day millions of calls (my estimate) are brushed off, remain unconnected and float in space only to fade away. How deflating.
Is that me? A work colleague?
Is she talking about me when she talks about people who get angry?
Hmm…so that is what it’s all about.
And what? What situations?
Just as I thought.
On my way back from the restroom, I saw her clenching her mobile, saying, with a sophisticated look on her face, “You’re playing with fire. Yes, you. You know that.” Well that did it. The connection of desire has been blocked! I do have a way with words, do I not?
Then, Miho noticed I was back, so she turned to her mobile and said,
Born in 1961, Yamamoto joined Dentsu Inc. as a copywriter in the Creative Department and has received many advertising awards. He is currently active working as a wordsmith around town. His new book, Tsutaeru hon (A book that delivers), will be released by Diamond Inc. on February 18, 2010.
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|CATEGORY : Culture||TAG : CULTURE,Words around Town|
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