Still Life

Written in the back row while auditing a training session for the second day in a row...

If it had been a snapshot, it would have been reminiscent of that M.C. Escher print, the one where two hands draw each other into existence. Off to the side was a bottle of soda, label peeled and three-quarters empty. Of course, there was only one pen, one of those new mechanical ones at that. But as he looked down at the cold and harsh pad in front of him, the impression of the surreal was hard to deny. It helped that he had been staring transfixed at the same spot - dead center between the tip of his left index finger and the point of the pencil in his right hand - paralyzed in anticipation of the first word - for over 6 minutes. Enough time to be cognizant of the slight shudder in his right wrist. Enough time to be aware of every breath he was taking, the length of time drawing air in, the sound of each exhalation. He shuddered, he breathed.

And still not a word would come out.