The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Treading Water

The man was at least 6’2″. I felt small; and frankly, those towering too far over me make me uneasy now. His loping gait that hinted of an injury proffered the descriptives lanky or gangly though he could not be called skinny. Nor could he be called fat. He was average for his height. He walked to greet me like an awkward dancer who has not mastered the steps. Deviating from type was a head of hair. A type, because it was in retrospect that I saw him as typecast by me. A type not to be trusted. It’s not fair to make the judgment of trust on appearance. But it was not just the appearance that brought me to the feeling of miscasting. It was statements that smelled of collusion. Unproven and perhaps unfounded. When questioned, a look of confusion followed by an explanation to the gullible child of how it worked. Sounding reasonable yet with a whiff of guilt. And after, my gut was still clenching its fists all the way home.

Someone had described him as a bulldog. When she said it, I recognized distaste in her voice. I pictured teeth grabbing and shaking a rag doll back and forth until it flew into pieces. But I saw a junkyard dog. Just not for me. The comparison of dog to human is deeply unfair to dogs. They are far less complicated and more trustworthy than any human.

He spoke soothing words that were the right ones, except they lacked the right emotion.  The person who doesn’t understand the character and overacts the role to convince you of emotion. And instead leaves you feeling confused and wary. And thus, I came to see the possibility of a casting mistake.

So, go with the gut or ignore the gut?

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