variation on a theme

by uzwi

Around the self-storage office I used to see a man called Doug. Doug was in his early thirties. He had an intense, nervous look. At the same time he seemed pleased with himself.

To start with I used to wonder what relationship he had with Alice, the woman behind the counter. What was between these two? Doug was in awe of Alice somehow, but all it had done was make him bitchy.

They were involved in something long ago, I used to think to myself, and Doug lost out. She knows something he doesn’t, though Doug wants to believe it’s the other way around. He’s weaker than her. He has folded an image of her into expectations of life he now recognises–although he won’t admit it–to have been bizarrely optimistic.

To start with that was what I thought. It was a well worked out narrative, and might even have been true; but by the end, that didn’t matter.